Hi, Lilly! Thank you so much for the session!

I know I went over a lot of different aspects and it became more of a lighting focused session, but I wanted to shift focus to lighting and shape as your makeup was more of a natural and minimalistic look and could demonstrate these well.

Please note that all information and suggestions listed here are purely my own professional opinion and perspective. Keep your mind open to several sources and learn what makes the most sense to you! I use quotations around key words as a reminder that it's all subjective.

Below is a full recap of what we went over in detail for you to revisit whenever you wish. At the bottom of this web page will be a form if you have any direct questions, comments, or concerns!

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The Lighting Setup

Below is a diagram of the lighting setup used during our shoot. Though you will typically never have a say in the lighting setup, you'll slowly start to recognize them and how you typically photograph in those setups. Learning your angles and the light will be key to initial on set preparation.

The big light is known as the "Key Light" and the smaller one is known as a "Kicker/Hair Light". The Key Light is where you'll want to point your nose towards.

Note* Images shown in black and white to emphasize light and shadow

Short Loop

Short loop lighting is the most common "Flattering" Lighting pattern that photographers will use. If you look to the bottom right side of your nose, you'll see a small shadow, that's known as the "short Loop"

Nose towards Light

(Most Flattering)

This direction utilizes the short loop lighting pattern, but adds a slimming and more defined cheek bone elements to your overall facial structure. It also lights up more of the face, reducing any unnecessary shadows.

Broad Light

Broad lighting is not as common, but with strong/sharper facial features like yours, it's a real effective lighting pattern to show a strong jawline and nose shape. It's also used to help thinner structured models fill a frame more or emphasize a product/feature

Other ways to recognize these lighting patterns

There are two main ways to recognize these lighting patterns:

  • The Top row of the diagram shows the surface level coverage of the light and how it affects your face shape.
  • The Bottom row shows the light coverage in width. You'll always measure the side that the light is coming from to determine the lighting pattern

Body Direction and Safe Turn Zones

If a picture is worth a thousand words, your body language is at least 800 of them. In an image, body language determines how the viewer perceives you. As you get into modeling you may be asked to embody a persona, or an emotion. Maybe you'll want to present more warm and welcoming, or maybe you'll want to be more cold and distant. All of these can be communicated through body language, and a lot of it starts with how turned you are from the camera.

Past 45 Left

Slimming, shows shape, flattering towards light, but feels disconnected to the viewer in terms of feeling like the primary focus

45 Left (Safe)

Staying in the 45 degree range keeps the body language open and welcoming. Turning your body towards the light creates a broader shape in the torso, which can look stronger and more grounding. Great for professional and business presenting posing

45 Right (Safe)

Again, Staying in the 45 degree range keeps the body language open and welcoming. Turning your body away from the light slims the neck line and gives a lighter, care free/friendly air to your posing

Past 45 Right

Though it can still be slimming, due to the heavy shadows that tend to come with turning so far away from your light, this tends to create a broader shape in the front shoulder than may be intended. This also gives a feeling of disconnect to the viewer

Learning your Head Tilts

Head tilts, both bold and subtle, can change the overall face shape and personality to a photo. By tilting towards or away from either the camera or the light, you can manipulate the same pose to present in multiple ways

Tilt Left

With this particular lighting set up, you can mimic "Butterfly Lighting" and emphasize cheekbone structures by tilting your head towards the light.

Tilt Right

Tilting your head away from your light can help create more shadow and textural definition. This is also a safe go to if you're doing jewelry photography as you elongate/open up more of the neck area to showcase the product.

Starting Base Right

Notice your jaw line and cheek bone definition

Tilt Away

Tilting away hear broadens your light and softens your cheekbone structure

Tilt Toward

Tilting towards here emphasizes cheekbone structure at the sacrifice of some of your jawline feature.

Starting Base Left

Again, notice your cheekbones and jawline

Tilt Away

Tilting away emphasizes cheekbones and creates a subtle jawline

Tilt Toward

Titling towards evens out the face shape balance of your forehead and chin/jaw, creating more of an oval shape. Elongating the neck slightly

Sclera in Portraits (The whites of your eyes)

The Sclera ratios in a photo help create natural feeling balance in facial expressions. Too much white brings too much attention to the eyes, in a "bad" way, and losing sclera on each side of the pupil loses visual definition.

Starting Base

Generally Even sclera on each side

Too Turned, loss of white

Makes the right eye look smaller in width and the pupil extra large.

Eyes Front when turned

To rebalance/reset the sclera ratio, default to looking straight forward in the direction of your nose, then slowly look back towards the camera

Utilizing hands in Beauty Shots

In this section, we'll briefly review how your hands can elevate your posing. There's a lot of variety in posing, but there are 2 things to keep in mind:

  • Am I photographing for product?
  • Am I photographing for "Beauty"

These will determine your initial approach. Though there are "goods" and "bads" in general posing, the type of photoshoot always takes precedence in which rules to follow/break.

Pinky Camera Front

Turning your pinky towards the camera is the most flattering shape and direction for your hands when not showing off rings as a product. It also creates dimension and dynamic layering by fanning/stacking fingers. This also communicates openness in your body language as well.

Back of Hand Camera Front

Back of the hand typically gives off a more masculine energy and is great for building strong broad shapes, however its body language is much more closed off and secretive.

Creating Lines to Direct Focus, using your Hands.

Hands are a great tool in posing for creating leading lines. Every portraits main focus will be the eyes, and you can position your hands and fingers to help direct the viewer to the eye more easily. The diagram above shows how the viewers eyes would naturally travel in frame and how your lines can mislead the eyes or deter the eyes.

Again, these rules can be broken when showing off product, but I would suggest finding intentional ways to break the rules when you can!

Questions? Comments? Let me know!

This contact form can act as our open form for communication regarding this project and others that you may pursue in the future. This is a safe space, so feel free to speak your mind and ask any questions you may have.

Additionally, if you feel so inclined, I would love a testimonial/review of your time and project! I'm currently rebuilding the official website for The Model Project Center and I would love to include your testimonial for this project type!