I could have made this article sound like an autopsy, with a heading on ‘body parts in photographs’!
To some of us, a particular part of our anatomy can be a bit like ‘the elephant in the room’. When having a camera pointed at us, or investing in a photoshoot, it’s the main thing we focus on in a negative way.
It can be one thing, or several elements you fixate on and dislike.
Over the years I’ve heard and observed a wide variety of areas that get the ‘thumbs down’:
- “No profile shots, I’m conscious of my nose”
- “I have to hide my ears with my hair”
- “I don’t like my teeth showing”
- “What can you do with my lazy eye?”
- “My arms are a bit fat”
- “I want to lose some weight before I come and see you”
- “Can you lose my chins?”
- “My hair… (yes even this)”
- “Can you photoshop my lines out?”
- “I smile like a cheshire cat!”
- “I have a scar…”
… the list is long and varied – but I get it, I know the things that I thought were my problem areas many years ago.
When people ask if I can ‘photoshop’ them in an image, my answer is this:
“I can, but then all I’m doing is agreeing that you’re not good enough without correction”. (I will be writing more on photoshopping in another blog). Please do remember, this is solely your opinion of yourself.
Without exception, you are great the way you are. But, I DO understand things that challenge you and am here to help you start that process of viewing yourself differently.
Some people fear being judged, or have indeed had this happen. It could have been from many years ago… it’s not pleasant.
TO EVERYONE –
All who know you, matter to you and love you, will accept you as you are.
TO EVERYONE –
Judgement says everything about the person who is dishing it out and not about you (Judgement is also the subject of another blog).
You may begin to observe that I refer to other blogs that have been written and future blog subjects that will be covered. These will always be relevant to what I’m getting across in the current article.
So let’s keep this relevant to the matter in hand. To begin the process that will help you, rather than removing an item, I work at taking away the focus from that element. This can help you have a completely different view on it. Yes it still needs to be part of an overall pleasing image in all other aspects.
It’s achieved by the lighting used, the angles used and the right communication with the person being photographed to capture your spontaneous expressions.
Let me give you some examples:
Where someones teeth showing is their challenge – to work with half smiles if often successful. To allow someone to keep their mouth tightly closed, just causes tension around the mouth and jaw.
Chins is a common one – one trick is to get someone to lean towards the camera a little. It does’t take much… too much lean and it will look odd. Very often if someone suddenly has a fit of laughter, it can cause them to pull their chin in… giving themselves an extra chin which they don’t normally have.
Let’s say someones right eye doesn’t open quite as much as the other. I don’t like using the term ‘lazy’ as this makes it sound quite derogatory. Turn the right side of the face slightly towards the camera, have the camera a little above the subject, causing them to naturally look up towards the lens. This can often open that eye a little more than normal.
Facial lines – by flooding the face with light, without removing all shadow. Shade context gives your face shape and the unique expression that is you. This can either be using the right studio lighting, or finding the right natural light source. This can also apply to scars.
I can’t stress enough that adjustments in position, angle, height, light, really don’t need to be too much to achieve effective results. As already mentioned, the success is also in your spontaneous expression achieved by the communication with your photographer.
This blog brings a little insight to part of the process of helping you accept the tremendous individual that you already are.
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