Portraits – what about fat arms, heavy torsos and double chins?

I’m not a master at these things, but I have a few ideas – many of which have been borrowed from others.  These ideas are pertaining especially to female subjects:

If an upper arm looks bulky, maybe it’s touching the side of the body.  Pay attention to this because many women are conscious about their arms you can do to move it or simply not show that arm in its widest angle.  Hiding it with another object or subject’s arm/body helps.  Sometimes just lifting it slightly away from the body fixes part of the problem, but then remember to take the photo from an angle so the unnatural arm position isn’t obvious.

In some cases, a wide angle lens may distort arms to make part of the arm/hand look huge.  Don’t ignore this, do something about it before taking the picture.  It’s a bad thing to have the hands/arms in a position that don’t look very good because they’re too BIG.  They compete with the face, and if they are distorted then they also look bad by themselves.

For torsos of any weight, pay attention to the angle at which you are about to photograph the torso to see if you can identify a good bust line, leg line, etc., that can make the person look more feminine and curvy.  Avoid the convex belly.  Modeling basics tend to suggest bending the elbows and bringing the arms away from the torso to give the appearance of broader shoulders and show feminine curves in the waist and hips.  It also “thins” the subject sometimes.  However, this doesn’t work for everyone.

About double chins…the idea I have learned (borrowed) is to extend the neck.  Sometimes you ask the person to extend the neck, other times lift the chin a little, and sometimes you throw in the idea of bringing the forehead out and down after the chin is lifted.  Don’t ignore double chins on male or female subjects, they can both be self conscious about that.  It’s much more obvious from a side view than from the front, but you can still use neck/head extension methods at certain angles without it appearing unnatural.

Just a few more things to add to my blog.  Please email me if you like what you see or have suggestions.  Thanks!

Joey Allen

A few portrait photography points less often described

This is about portraiture, more specifically the face.

Most people with an interest in photography learn about the rule of thirds, about dominant and recessive colors, and about line, form, texture, etc.  Some people also learn about lighting styles like loop, butterfly, etc.

Discussing faces now…what about how the subject looks at the particular angle you’re framing them at?  Above, below, straight on, sideways, etc.  Which side seems to be more appropriate for their gender/personality?

I worked just yesterday with a modeling subject who was very conscious of a slight deviation in the bridge of her nose.  That detail was important because she preferred to be photographed from one side much more than the other, and each side produced very different images.

Still talking about face angles…do you think that the person you’re photographing “looks good” at one angle or another?  Do they seem to be prettier one way than the other?

Another important part of viewing someone is the subtraction concept: If the subject’s face is partly obscured, does it make them look more attractive?  Which part being obscured improves their looks?  Which part makes them look worse?  This can help you pinpoint certain things that you need to be aware of when photographing the subject.

These are just a few pointers I am trying to fill my blog with.  If you like this information or have suggestions, please email me to let me know.  Thanks!

Joey Allen


Everything besides wedding photography

My name is Joey Allen.  I have been a photographer since 2006, when I began as a portrait and event photographer.  In 2008, my work shifted to weddings, and since 2010 I have been shooting engagements and weddings exclusively.  However, I want to include business and family portraits and events, product photography and real estate again because I enjoy the variety and challenge.

I am available for on-site business portraits for multiple persons (3 minimum) at $35 per digital, high-resolution photo plus one-time setup fee of $25 and travel fee of $0.50 per mile one-way.  Selected portrait photos are given general skin retouching and enhancement as needed.  Print release is included as requested for no additional charge.  Sorry, I can no longer offer smaller volume portrait sessions.

Business and Family event photography starts at $75/hour for unretouched photos with immediate delivery on USB drive (plus cost of USB drive) or $100/hour for photos given my standard retouching and provided on DVD disc, USB flash drive or USB external hard drive (add cost of drive).

Product photography rates start at $5 per photo plus one-time setup fee of $25 and travel fee of $0.50 per mile one-way.  Per-photo rate depends on number of angles, digital photo resolution desired and amount of editing requested. Minimum $100 total session fee for booking.

Real estate photography is on a per-quote basis and starts at $200 per property.

All event photography requires a $50 retainer to secure the date.  All balance is due at the end of any photography session, no exceptions.  I guarantee that you will receive your photos.  If you would like references, I can provide contacts from many previous wedding clients who can assure you of my reliability.

All photos are taken with Canon 5d mark II or Nikon D800 cameras and additional lighting is used as necessary.

Because all of my recent portfolio consists of wedding photography, please view my wedding website for reference of my photography at http://www.joeyallenphoto.com

Please contact me at vegasphoto@embarqmail.com for your project or event.