DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY - Point and Shoot Cameras

Pro Tips For Amateur Photographers

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Face Tips

Whites of The Eyes
Eyes Whies, Pro Tips Photography
When your subjects face is turned, their eye pupils should be center focused. If they are not, you will see more of the eye white as shown in this photo. To correct this, just have them turn their shoulder slightly in the same direction as the face is turned. Then the eyes will be centered.

Head turned - Slight turn of head can make face slimmer.

Ponnachio Nose Has To Go - (when face turned), the nose should not over extend the cheek on the side furthest from camera. If it does, this can make the nose look longer or larger than it actually is.

Look at these photos;

The first photo there is no space on the side of the nose furthest from the camera. Because of this, the nose looks larger than it actually is.
The second photo has cheek space on the side furthest from the camera next to the nose. The nose looks normal, and blends in with the facial features.

Ponochio Nose Has to Go, Pro Tips Photography Ponochio Nose, Pro Tips Photography

No Pursing: - If your subject is not going to be smiling for their shot, then you can use this tip. Do not purse lips; leave open just a tad, but not a smiling pose. This helps to define and extend the jawline and keeps subject from looking too stern or serious.

Lose the flab - In our natural stance, everyone has flab under their chin. To lessen this look have them extend their jaw a bit upward, and outward, which will extend the chin and lose (smooth out) the flab. It may seen awkward to do, but for your photo result, it can make a nice difference for their side portrait shot or a slightly turned to camera portrait shot.

Chin flab is not an age thing, nor a weight thing; everyone has some flab when sitting or standing in their relaxed stance.

Look at these photos;

In the first photo, she is sitting in a natural stance, which relaxes the chin, and shows her chin flab.
In the second photo, she brought her chin up just a tad and outward which smoothes out the flab and makes for a better photo.
And, notice how her entire face looks slimmer in the second photo because she smoothed out her chin flab.
The camera is positioned opposite her at eye level.
Pro Tips Photography, Lose the Chin Flab Lose the Flab, Extend your Chin Outward

Hair Tips

Pose Long hair

Hair Sitting on Shoulders, Pro Tips Photography

Do not have long hair sitting on both shoulders, Pose The Hair:

Hair Not Sitting on Shoulders, Tips Photography Hair Side of Shoulders, Tips Photography

Put the hair behind the shoulders, or put the hair on either side of the shoulders. You can also tie up the hair.

Use Highlights:
Use a highlight on hair to emphasize it which adds to the composition.

Body Tips

Lean In But Don't Slouch - Extend chin so parallel with knees,(lean forward somewhat), this extends face chin area helps to define the jaw line and face appears thinner. You can also shoot this at an angle just above than the subjects head as opposed to shooting at their eye level. Try test shots to get the result you like.

Arm-Hand Pose - Sitting Pose: Bring chin out parallel to knees(lean forward somewhat), place left arm elbow on left knee, cradle right arm against left arm. Encase hands together and put against right cheek side as shown in this photo.

Look at this photo;

Posing in this manner makes the jawline appear more defined and the face thinner; and it hides the fat under the chin. This pose is ideal for weightier photo subjects or those who want a more defined jaw line in their portrait. The camera is positioned just above this person's head and angled down towards their face.
Hand Arm Pose, Pro Tips Photography
To get this next smaller shot, the image was cropped in GIMP. Notice how just her hands are showing, not her arms and hands.

For the second photo; the Canvas style was added to the image.
For the third photo; the Weave style was added to the image.
Both these styles can be added to photos using GIMP, a FREE Editing software for images.

Pose Arm Hand Cropped Small Pose Arm Hand Cropped Canvas Style Pose Arm Hand Cropped Weave  Style

UnSquish the Arms From a Side View: When standing naturally our arms rest against our body side which makes them look wider than they actually are. For your side view photo portrait keep your arm or arms a slight distance from your body's side to make them look smaller.

Float the Arms In photography, there is a saying: 'Anything bent is better than nothing bent'. So, if your standing for a body shot, bend your arms and place your hands on both hips. Or just place one hand on one hip. For the body shot; it is body width that is important. The wider the body is, the larger the person will look in their photo.

Look at these photos;

In the first photo, she has both arms at her sides, which adds width to her body.
In the second photo, she bends both arms and places her hands on her hips, which lessens her body width; making her look slimmer in this photo.
Float Arms From Body, Pro Tips Photography Float Arms Away From Body, Body Looks Slimmer

Leave some space between the body and the arms, and preferably bend at least one arm.

Shift Body Weight When taking full body shots, shifting the weight can make the person look slimmer. Put weight on the back leg, and bend the front leg. This creates a more slimmer looking subject.

Leave Bust-Waist Space If subject is posing their arms on their hips and one arm in on backside of hips; make sure the arm on backside of hips is away from the body slightly (leave space); if the arm is nestled to the body, then the bust-waist area will appear wider then it actually is.

Turn The Shoulders- Looking straight on at the camera (shoulders squared to the camera) tends to make the person look wider; so have them turn just slightly to reduce this look to a slimmer one.

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    Camera Tips

    Position the Camera: Most times portraits are shot at eye level of the subject; however there are times when you may want to position the camera just slightly above the subjects head. If your shooting a subject that is weightier or they don't have a well defined jaw line, or they have some fat under their chin; taking a shot from this angle can make them look better in the photo. The jawline will appear more defined, and you can hide the flab under the chin. Take some test shots to get the result you like.

    Outdoor Shots

    Rule of Thirds - If your shooting a portrait shot outdoors with some background in the shot, put your subject on the lines or where the lines meet, as per the Rule of Thirds. This makes for a much better photo.

    Use Your Flash - For some outdoor shots, using your flash can be useful. If your subject is posed as you want them, but their face is not quite lit as you would like, use your flash to lighten their face. You can also increase your(EV) Exposure Value number. Try test shots to get the result you like.

    In This Tutorial Article

    In this tutorial, you learned about composing people for portraits. Body width, the position of hair, how shoulders are positioned, floating arms, smoothed out chin, or how a head is turned; all these can affect the photo result. Experiment with your portrait shots; try different positions, different angles. Learn what works and what doesn't based on face types and body weights. And, remember, a bent anything is better than a bent nothing.

    In our next tutorial article; you can learn Tips For Taking Food Shots.