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Old 09-27-2004, 10:16 AM   #1
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Photographing Overweight Subjects




I'm surprised this subject hasn't come up before, or if it has, I missed it.

Do any of you have tips to share for shooting subjects to minimize weight problems? Jowls, specifically? I suppose I could try to Photoshop the resource photos but I would much prefer to set up good resource photos from the get-go.

This delicate issue is made more sensitive by the fact that the subject is an overweight young person.
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
Scott Bartner Scott Bartner is offline
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Dear Linda:

I once painted a young man with a fondness for Malamars. In fact, I think he still had one in his mouth while I was snapping pictures. Once I had a usable photo, I focused on the positive, (his eyes were the color of chocolate), and softened up the less flattering aspects of his face.

I would suggest just taking normally lighted photos and then use your judgment with regard to the jowls, etc. Do some charcoal drawings and see what you can soften without losing the likeness. And what ever you do, save the cookies and juice for after the shoot.
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Old 09-27-2004, 10:47 PM   #3
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Here's something I read in a portrait photography book somewhere about photographing overweight people and minimizing jowls: basically shoot them (and light them) from slightly above, have the subject lean forward and kind of stretch their head up towards you. This stretches out the jowls and minimizes them.
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:15 AM   #4
Geary Wootten Geary Wootten is offline
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Yes....I will echo what Michele said and also add that I just read that in a Digital Photog mag about it last month. It worked really well for me in a couple of recent shots of family members.

Shooting from below the chin line exaggerates the jowls on overweight people who show their weight in the face.


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Old 10-25-2004, 03:40 PM   #5
Laura B. Shelley Laura B. Shelley is offline
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A model's trick for improving the under-chin line: press the tongue against the roof of the mouth. It tightens that whole under-chin area and is otherwise undetectable.
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Old 10-25-2004, 06:05 PM   #6
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Linda... just go into plastic surgery!

The neckline has been the problem for me on both extremes. The painting I most recently posted; she has the thinnest '"chicken neck", that I teased her about. And the lady I did with the book and glasses had the roosters, we just did a tilt of the head on both.

Personally I hate to change certain things. I feel every line on a face tells just that much more about the person, but I will leave a few out to keep everyone happy.
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