Photographing Women can be a difficult and daunting task. As a wedding, engagement, and boudoir photographer, one of the most challenging (and rewarding!) parts of my job is guaranteeing that the women I photograph feel beautiful, confident, and sexy. As a woman myself, I can relate to the feelings and concerns many women share with me about their bodies and their appearance. Due to the media’s emphasis on the “ideal” body type, so many women are dissatisfied and even embarrassed by their bodies.
Plan the Shoot
The first thing you should do in order to prepare yourself for a shoot with a woman is to create a solid plan. This plan should include everything from posing ideas to lighting set ups to wardrobe and everything in between. If you follow me here on the Improve Photography blog or on the Portrait Session podcast, you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about the importance of consultations. But, suck it up, because you’re going to hear me talk about it again.
So, here’s the deal with the chin down and out thing. Most people have spent most of their lives hearing “Sit up straight for the camera, dear.” While that’s good advice, it’s not always the best advice because what usually ends up happening is that the person not only sits up straight, but also lengthens their neck and lifts their chin. This results in the loss of the jawline and a photo full of nostrils. And, I’m pretty sure no one wants that.
The height at which you photograph a person can have a dramatic impact on the look of the subject and the feel of a photo. When photographing women, you should usually photograph them from above. In doing this, you’ll notice a few things. First, they’ll be looking up at you, resulting in wider and brighter eyes, which is always a good thing. Just be on the lookout for raised eyebrows and wrinkled foreheads.
Don’t Forget the Details
And, finally, the little things that shouldn’t be forgotten. After she is beautifully posed, her hands are looking gorgeous, and the light is perfectly set, take a moment to evaluate the scene and the little details within it. Taking a couple of extra seconds before pushing the shutter will save you lots of time in post-processing and will result in her loving her photos even more.
Don’t be overwhelmed by this. As with everything photography related, the more you practice, the more natural it will become. Don’t be afraid of creating a posing guide to carry with you. Or, perhaps bring a stylist or assistant to help you with all of these little details.
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