How do you photograph overweight subjs?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by stellar_gal, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I've gotten tons of great info from this sight, but this is my first post. I need advice on how to take appealing photos (if possible) of overweight people, mostly women. Not just a little overweight,but grossly 300lbs -plus. I've been asked to photograph a friends brothers wedding this weekend and their family is 'huge'- no pun. Small wedding 20 or so in a back yard and it's either me and my 30D, or just point and shoots from realtives, so I agreed to help, for free no doubt. The bride and groom are not too overweigh- but the other family members are. I know not to take the photos from below their level and get those unflattering double-chin shots (from experience), but any advice on slight poses, add photos, ect would be very helpful. Thanks!
     
  2. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    I guess you need to know as to what extent to flatter.
    If they're all happy with them selves then you shouldn't have to do too much to try and make them look as they are not.
    They should be all happy and smiling and I think the emotions and expressions will be the main things to concentrate on.
     
  3. drgibson

    drgibson TPF Noob!

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    and don't take pics of my bald spot either>! ;)
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are some things you can do, not to emphasize their size...but it's likely that they know they are large so trying to hide that would be an exercise in futility.

    Getting above them, as you mentioned, is a good one. Certainly try not to have them face the camera directly, have them stand at an angle instead. Use a longer lens and back up...but be careful not to seem like you are backing up to fit them in the scene. Use other people or objects to partially obscure their bodies. Have one person partially behind another and so on.

    You could always use photoshop to make them look less huge. One technique would be to use the 'Liquefy' tool...but that has to be done very subtly. A quick technique is to just transform the image by bringing in the sides, while not constraining the height. This will squeeze the whole image, so don't go too far. Then crop the image back to the proper proportions.
     
  5. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

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    try using a wide angle lens or arranging shots so that thinner, smaller people are in the foreground and the larger people are further away
     
  6. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    I'll keep all this in mind. Thanks for your help!
     
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I would definitely NOT use a wide angle lens. This will only distort and enlarge features that should not be enlarged.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Once again, Mike... you've put it very well.

    They know they're big. Weddings give us a bit of an edge since everyone is wearing their best and feeling good. If you can get a lot of natural smiles, I think you will succeed.

    Pete
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Pete.

    Maybe I should stop posting on the forum and just write a book.:greenpbl: ;)
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... feel free to go ahead with the book... I'd buy one. But you ain't goin' anywhere... just put that out of your head.
     
  11. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    ...I keep photos of swimsuit models for just this occasion. I then swap heads of my portly subjects and put them on the swimsuit models. My clients are greatful....:lmao:
     
  12. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    hmmm . . . big people. the personalities of the people i book seem to all be pretty much the same, and that personality type would prevent them from hiring me if they weren't super comfortable with their size.

    however, based on my experience real big people aren't going to pay much for photographs of themselves, i've never had anyone hire me that was very overweight.

    . . . and all the bigger people have been in weddings, just like your experiencing, i've had a hard time with that too.

    just hope that they have great personalities and their expressions will outweigh their size.
     

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i've been asked to photograph a friends wedding what is the best lens to use