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Photography/Photography Posing

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Question
Hi Ms. Muscott!

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my questions.  I appreciate it very much!

I have been interested in photography now for five years.  I would eventually like to pursue a career out of it.  Currently, I am  trying to develop my portraiture skills.  My goal is to take a flattering portrait that captures the individual's own beauty and personality.  

I want to make my subjects look as good as possible, however, I find it very challenging when the subjects themselves are larger or plus-sized.  As a plus-sized gal myself, I know the feeling it's like suffer from post-picture shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing.  

Do you have any tips or techniques of how to pose plus-sized people in flattering ways?

I appreciate your insights.  Have a great day!

-Jessica

Answer
Betty in mink coat; a Russian Princess
Betty in mink coat; a  
Hi Jessica,

I have given some thought to how best to answer your question. I think that the best thing that I can do is to send you a picture of myself taken about a month ago. I gave my husband some instructions as to how I wanted this picture taken, and we got one of them to turn out. As you can see, I am now a plus size myself (didn't used to be, but the stresses of life and my age have taken its toll on me). My husband wanted this picture because he calls me "His Russian Princess." He used to speak Russian fluently when he was in the USAF and spent much time in the Soviet Union during his enlistment.

First, have the subject consider wearing some clothing that flatters them. This usually means using vertical rather than horizontal lines, and have them standing rather than sitting. Then try a full body portrait. If it later turns out that there is a pose where it would be better cropped, then do that. Or, you can try taking more poses where you vary what you see through the lens. Usually a side view is better than a straight on frontal view.

I have had a couple of clients who have asked if I could make them look better after they saw the pictures, and after we had left the site where the pictures were taken. I then used a Photoshop CS program and looked up in my Photoshop CS manual about how to push the pixels to make them look thinner.

This is where is gets a bit tricky, because you have to develop an artists eye as to how far you can push the pixels and still have the person look natural. However, practice a lot, and you will get better.

Photography

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Betty A. Muscott

Expertise

Questions on photographing children from infants to teenagers including technical questions on digital cameras, use of Photoshop for improving images and using photographs as art like pictures on canvas.

Experience

Betty Muscott has been photographing children since starting with her siblings when she acquired her first camera. Over the years she has photographed small children ranging from infants to teenagers both in their homes and in her studio.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Davenport College with extra work at Lansing Community College.

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