Which lens and angle for subject not to look fat?

Started Apr 2, 2009 | Discussions thread
Steve Balcombe
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Re: What about a big forehead?
In reply to Mediahound, Apr 3, 2009

Mediahound wrote:

So I ran the idea passed the subject of shooting from a higher angle
and she said, 'but what about my big forehead?'.

Will shooting her from slightly above make her forehead appear large?

Hmmm, this subject has a problem with self-image.

First, she has to feel good and look her best. That has nothing to do with photography, it is hair, clothes and make-up. Does she need help with that? Do you know somebody who can help? The very act of getting dressed up can make people feel better about themselves.

I disagree with the earlier poster who said use a longer lens. The opposite is true - a closer viewpoint (and therefore a shorter lens) narrows the cheeks and is generally quite helpful. Obviously you have to avoid the 'big nose' thing, but that is only really an issue when you are very close, such as for a tightly-cropped full face shot.

There is a lighting trick which is well worth knowing. It's normal to light a bit more from one side than the other - but which side? Normally the subject's face will be pointing a little to one side or the other - let's say camera left. This has the effect of narrowing the cheek on that side (her right, our left) and broadening the left cheek (facing us). So, if you predominantly light from the left, attention is drawn to the narrower cheek. Hey presto - slimmer subject!

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