Apparently, someone once said the camera never lies. Whoever that was obviously didn’t really think too much about the importance of very simple elements like lighting, posing and clothing. Melanie Ventura, an Australian fitness instructor (pictured above) has demonstrated very easily the importance of these elements that most of us as photographers are aware of but don’t always consider. Simple, basic technique can absolutely transform the people you shoot. Read on to find out more.
I’ve just spent last week working with Lindsay Adler on some very interesting material for a Kelby lesson she was teaching on how to highlight and bring out the strongest side of the people we shoot. Whether you are dealing with a heavy set individual, someone with glasses (and issues of reflections in their lenses), someone with challenging (large or wide) or asymmetrical features, oily or shiny skin and so on, Lindsay is masterful to watch because she knows that the slightest fraction of movement (by either her camera or subject), her subject’s posture, her lens choice and her lighting direction, intensity and quality can all bring about vastly different final images, and therefore perceptions in the people we see in the final shot. She also reminded me today of Melanie’s picture and her rapid transformation from the result of very simple and basic actions we don’t always think about but can all apply when we shoot portraits or images of people we want to make look their best.
Melanie’s amazing transformation shot was the result of nothing more than a quick pose change (note the negative space when she moves her arm away from her body making her look slimmer), better posture (pulling the shoulders back and kicking the hip out really makes more of a pleasing ‘S’ curve), an outfit change (black slims the figure and isn’t it amazing what proper fitting clothing can actually do!) and some simple hair and make up changes.
It makes you wonder how many of those “Before/After” shots we see everywhere, showing what the latest diet/exercise machine/slimming pill in action are really the effect of said remedy, or are actually just people making some small changes as Melanie did.
We all probably know this stuff makes a difference but often we forget just how powerful it is in how our final image is realized, or how to control these elements like those mentioned when shooting someone. Very simple, but very powerful stuff to apply on your next portrait session.
In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice.
Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more.
Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too.
In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.
Phyllis Korkki, an assignment editor at The New York Times, visited the garment district in Manhattan to interview designers as part of a story for the newspaper’s Snapchat account. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times What Could I Possibly Learn From A Mentor Half My Age? Plenty.
How on earth did I become an “older worker?”
It was only a few years ago, it seems, that I set out to climb the ladder in my chosen field. That field happens to be journalism, but it shares many attributes with countless other workplaces. For instance, back when I was one of the youngest people in the room, I was helped by experienced elders who taught me the ropes.
Now, shockingly, I’m one of the elders. And I’ve watched my industry undergo significant change. That’s why I recently went searching for a young mentor — yes, a younger colleague to mentor me.
You are surrounded by dangerous WOMBATS.
They’re everywhere. Sometimes they hide in plain sight, easy to spot. Other times they are well camouflaged, requiring heightened awareness to identify them. You need to stay alert, it’s important to avoid them. WOMBATs resemble ordinary, productive tasks. However, they are vampires for time and resources, weapons of mass distraction.WOMBATs are seductive. Working on a WOMBAT feels productive.WOMBATs are bad for your career.WOMBATs are bad for your business.WOMBATs infiltrate your work day (and your personal time). Strike them down.WOMBATs may be be ingrained in your company culture: “We’ve always done it that way…” WOMBAT Metamorphosis Alert: A task or project that wasproductive in the pastcanevolve into a WOMBAT in today's environment.Your comfort zone is populated with WOMBATs.More on comfort zones, here.Some people are WOMBATs in disguise. Stay away from them, they are vampire WOMBATs.If you don’t control your WOMBATs, your WOMBATs will…