We often hear that “lighting is everything”, and to a point it is. But when it comes to portraits, so is the posing of your subject. It doesn’t matter how great your light is. If the pose isn’t flattering, your subject’s not going to look great.
In this minute long photography tips video from the guys at SLR Lounge, we see how directing our subject gives a very different look. Nothing has changed with the camera or the lighting. It’s all about the mood and the pose. And it’s just three simple steps that can be done in a few seconds.
For a model, this kind of pose is an every day thing. This is why it’s so popular, because it works. For regular normal people, you just need to give them a little direction.
1. Extend the neck
The first step is to have your subject extend their neck forward slightly. This helps to stretch and smoothen the skin under the jaw and on the neck. It also helps to create some separation, as it will cast a more pleasing shadow on your subject’s neck.
You don’t want them to go too far forward, though. You don’t want your subject to “turtle”.
2. Utilise short lighting
Turning your subject’s face towards the light puts the broad side of the cheek in shadow, adding more depth. It also allows that backlight on the left of the subject to create a nice specular highlight along the neck and jawline.
3. Adjust the chin up or down
This step is largely going to boil down to a combination of personal taste and your subject’s height & build. Exactly where the lights are placed will also play a factor, depending on the look you’re after in those specular highlights.
But, that’s it. Looking at the before and after, there’s a clear and noticeable difference between the two. And remember, the lighting and camera settings haven’t changed at all.
So, there you go. From Borat to Bond in three simple steps.