There’s a common mistake a lot of photographers are making right now that’s (accidentally) adding POUNDS to their clients faces.
Are you making it?
Early in our career, we definitely did.
We were new photographers… there was SO MUCH to learn and remember… we felt like we were drinking from a firehose… and we just had NO IDEA that such a *small* thing (a few inches) could add so much weight to our clients.
So if you’re making this mistake…
1. Don’t feel bad! Just like us, most new photographers do this! You’ve been doing the best you can! Don’t beat yourself up for it!
Take some advice from these guys…
2. No worries! Let’s fix the problem today (it’s easy to correct!) and then you’ll never do it again!
Okay, let’s go!
First, we’re portrait and wedding photographers, which means we’re “people-centered” photographers.
Our #1 job is to make our clients look their B-E-S-T.
Yes, we want to make them feel their best.
Yes, we want to give them an AMAZING experience.
But, at the end of the day, if our clients don’t like the way they look in their photos…
It doesn’t matter how good they felt during the session…
Or how much they like us personally…
Because they’re not going to like their photos.
(It’s human nature.)
The first thing we ALL do whenever we see a picture that we’re IN…
Is look for ourselves.
It’s SO vain but it’s SO true!
– If we think we look good, we like the picture.
– If we don’t like they way we look, we don’t.
It’s that simple.
And that doesn’t mean, by the way, that as photographers, we have to make our clients look like someone they’re not, or use editing hacks to literally take pounds off.
Our job is to make people look the best they’ve ever looked.
It’s certainly not to add extra unnecessary pounds.
How does the camera add extra pounds?
The way you add extra pounds is by shooting up at people.
To avoid that, make sure the camera is at your client’s eye level or slightly higher than eye level, so you’re shooting DOWN on them, not UP at them.
When you shoot up at people…
– It makes their bodies look wider
– It can also give them double chins
Let’s look at an example:
In these two photos from Kristen and Luke’s wedding, we intentionally shot one photo at eye level or above… and then another a few inches below eye level.
Can you tell which is which?
The photo on the left shot a few inches below eye level, the photo on the right was shot a few inches above eye level.
What you’ll notice is that Kristen’s jaw line looks much more flattering (and true to life) in the photo on the right.
If we’d only taken the photo on the left, we would’ve done a disservice to her on her wedding day by adding pounds that weren’t really there. This happens a lot to taller clients.
If you’re thinking…
“But I’m short!”
That’s valid. Haha.
Amy is shorter than almost ALL of our clients –– especially the guys.
We have three quick tips for that!
1. Get a toddler potty stool
Seriously, we take our potty stool to every session.
We never go to a session without it. It even travels with us!
It’s lightweight, foldable, compact, and honestly maybe the best $10 you can spend in the photography world.
We tried the 9in. and 11in. versions and preferred the height of the 9in. The 11 in. felt a little too tall for Amy (she’s 5’5). She felt like the 11in. was too high. She was having to crouch down a little bit awkwardly on the stool to get to eye level or slightly higher and avoid the tops of people’s heads.
We recommend naming your stool.
For years, we had a stool we affectionately called “Julio the Stoolio.”
No joke… our clients were LEGIT excited when Julio made an appearance at their wedding.
Julio met an unfortunate end one night after a wedding when Jordan backed over him.
We replaced him with “Julia the Stoolia.”
2. Look for an incline
If you don’t have a stool, look for a slight incline in the ground (like a small hill). Stand yourself on the higher part and your client on the lower part.
You can also look for environmental objects to give yourself a little incline. We’ve stood on rocks, curbs, chairs, really anything that gives us an extra lift!
3. Get your ballet on
When in doubt, get on your tippy toes!
It’s very common for Amy to get her ballet shoes back on (figuratively) when she’s shooting to give herself a few extra inches of height.
We hope these tips help you make your clients look their best at your next session!
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