BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Kristi Eckberg
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/22/2003

Attention DEBBI TABB need your help

I have asked this question already and someone said there was a post somewhere?? I know Debbi can help me here. Really need help on posing ideas for overweight subects. Just did a shoot for a gal senior portraits and had a hard time posing her. She did not pick the best shirt.(the sleeves were up to her shoulders) so it made her arms look bigger in the pictures I think. Or really makes them stand out. They want to go out and get more pictures done b/c she didn't like her smile so now I'am worried again about how to pose her. SO next question,, I will be doing alot more senior portraits this summer and I really want to feel comfortable with posing on any overweight subjects. Being new to the posing thing since I mainly have done kids that I do not pose, it's hard to know what will work or not with each body type. I like to meet with my seniors before the shoot to go over clothing and get to know them. Is there any polite way to advise on maybe wearing shirts with longer sleeves etc. OR am I worrying to much about this and should I just go out and do what I do best and shoot away?? I just kind of feel like they may think photographers are miracle workers and can make them look good no matter what or that I should have the knowledge on how to pose them if they are overweight.

Sorry about the long post. Just want to be prepared for this next shoot.
Thanks!!! Kristi

To love this question, log in above
5/3/2006 7:27:43 AM

Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Hi Kristi! I'm no debbi, but I just wanted to say that I had the same trouble- and there was a thread where we discussed it... I'll see if I can find it for you. (ahhh, I searched for 15 min, I cant find it!!!)

I had a beautiful girl that was very overweight- I kept showing her poses I wanted, but she couldn't physically manage them. Hmm, hadn't expected that!

I think it's VERY ok to make clothing recommendations! Many big studios in my town have do's & dont's for seniors right on their website.

I feel your pain on the "miracle workers" mentality- when I showed people this girls pics, the first thing they'd say is "she looks heavy". She weighs 275 pounds, what do you expect from me!!!!!

I remember that people said to stand slight above the subject and make sure they turned their legs at an angle (and keep arms away from body I think) with good posture.

To love this comment, log in above
5/3/2006 9:34:27 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Hey Kristi,
I am sorry if I had missed your post before- I have been traveling a lot this month.
There are a few thing that can be done to help, however,Please don't stress to much They know what they look like and what to expect.
I NEVER suggest fixing things that are obviious in Photoshop, that is more of a insult to most folks, unless requested.
Ok first off
*cloths: Black, vertical stripes or other dark colors.
will help.
*when floor posing: a ladies sitting pose ( like little mermaid,legs curved to side), pose the subject with feet and legs curved, but more so behind them, have them lean on one arm at a 45 degree angle from the camera.
this should put the bulk of the body wieght away from the camera and the face and chest towards the camera.
helping the body to appear smaller.
*on a stool or any sitting prop
(tree stumps, poles,even cars etc.)
have the subject just sit on the very edge, legs out in front at a 45 degree angle. have her lean toward the camera, and make sure you have posed the arms to give windows between the wiest( windows around the wiest , always make you look thiner as well)
Please email me a phone number and I will call ya with more info, I have to get one the road soon.
I do hope this helps,

To love this comment, log in above
5/3/2006 9:49:39 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  baby boy
baby boy
windows define the wiste line..
© Debby A. Tabb
Nikon D70 Digital ...
  the little mermaid pose
the little mermaid pose
inly reverse it for a larger person posing thelegs toward the backdrop and the arm toward thefront.
making the focus on thier face

© Debby A. Tabb
Fuji FinePix S2 Pr...
I am looking for examples

To love this comment, log in above
5/3/2006 9:51:14 AM

Kristi Eckberg
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/22/2003
  Thanks ladies. Denyse I know what you mean about trying to show them poses. Just when I think I have all these cute poses and try to show them it just doesn't work for some bodies and that I where it gets difficult. Do you have the pics available so I can see your poses?? Debby, thanks for your help. If you have any samples that I can see it would be so helpful. I do better seeing something rather than reading and trying to picture it.
Anyone else have input???

To love this comment, log in above
5/3/2006 10:32:47 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
I do in my other computer but will have to look later- trying to get on the road this am.
and will be traveling tommorrow.
better to talk by phone if possible.

To love this comment, log in above
5/3/2006 10:38:58 AM

Danielle E. Rutter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2006
  Kristi - where I work we tell people to wear long sleeves because short sleeves draw attention away from the face and to the arms instead... which is true. Just tell her that and she shouldn't be insulted.

And for close-up poses, as was said before, shoot from above. Making her look up at you will thin out her face a little bit (I guess you could do this for all poses but I especially recommend it for close ups).

Good luck!

To love this comment, log in above
5/4/2006 6:06:47 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.