Tips for good photos of unphotogenic people?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Snakebite Nixon, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Snakebite Nixon

    Snakebite Nixon TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking for some tips for either the photographer or the subject on how to get better photos. I myself tend to squint somewhat when smiling so I try to force myself to open my eyes for photos. This works fairly well but I often look less than candid. In photos, my girlfriend winds up with eyes that seem overly large or smiles that look plastic.

    Can you offer any tips as to lighting, angle, or subject expression?

    Example photos can be provided if it would help. Thank you!
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    That question can only be answered by the photographer. There should be a rapport between the subject and the camera. Finding and or creating that is a long journey. I like to think that there are not any "unphotogenic" people. They are only "unphotogenic" because I the photographer did not take the time or interest.
     
  3. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    The subject also has to take interest. If the subject doesn't take interest and acts as if they are only there because they have to be....that's tough. I dealt with a 2005 senior who was like that. Wouldn't really talk or respond to anything I said to try and build a sort of trust, therefore making communication between photographer and subject difficult, and yet again therefore making the whole situation uneasy. Sessions like that can be torturous on the results. You can see it in the subject's eyes in the end photos that they didn't really want to be there.
     
  4. Snakebite Nixon

    Snakebite Nixon TPF Noob!

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    Willingness to be in a photo isn't the problem somewhow. I just know she doesn't look the way film seems to capture her. Craig's solution is as challenging as it is frustrating (he he) but I like to think that by coming here looking for answers, I'm definitely taking an interest.
     
  5. photoboy15

    photoboy15 TPF Noob!

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    Some people that are considered unphotogenic actually take some of the most photogenic people. Its the oddities that make a picture have character. Capture charater can be helping by lighting. Hideing flaws and showing strenths is key. Also the pose will effect the picture. You asked, " what can you do?". Ever person is different so it depends on the person.
     
  6. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    When I shoot portraits, I have them do a few poses and then ask them to make up a pose of their own. When they are shifting and looking around is often when I get the best shots that show their personality. Most people have ideas of poses in their heads from looking at old photos and magazines. You'd be amazed at some of the expressions that you capture when your subject is pondering that perfect pose and moving around to get into it. Strange but it works. ;)

    The way that I deal with chronic blinkers is to ask them to close their eyes and open them on 3 (1, 2, 3). This might work on someone that opens their eyes too wide as well. Squinters, make sure they don't have too much light (sun) in their eyes. And anyone with a double chin, shoot from an elevated angle. With everyone, just get them to relax and talk to you a bit. You'll see more natural smiles and expressions in no time. :D
     
  7. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I like to dance like a complete idiot. I defy anyone not to have a happy laughing face!

    Rob
     
  8. Snakebite Nixon

    Snakebite Nixon TPF Noob!

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    Good info guys! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. I'll see about some pics later this week. I'll post a few of the results for constructive criticism.
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Soft focus filter.
    The more 'unphotogenic' they are, the more filters you use :lol:

    (an old private joke)
     
  10. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Use the longest lens you've got with a diffuser, fog the front element with your breath and put a pair of tights over the lens. Then take a picture of someone else. :lmao:
     
  11. Ghoste

    Ghoste TPF Noob!

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    Lady comes into my work for a business portrait because her boss is making her. She is extremely un-photogenic and does not really want her photo taken. My manager tries hard to get her to respond to some of the usual photo words without luck. So he tried "Money". That didn't quite work either.

    Manager "Say Sh*t"
    Lady "Sh*t! I like that word! I'll use that. Sh*t sh*t sh*t!!!"

    It was quite hilarious watching that shoot. Maybe it'll work for you. Just not with you child portraits.
     

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