45-degree angle. The subject's head should be turned to more of a profile for a flat nose and more of a
fullface for a long nose. If a subject's nose curves to the left or right you can make it appear straight by
shooting from the side toward which the nose turns. Mainlight the near side of the head for a long face
and the far side for a round face.
a. Use shields or barndoors on studio lamps to reduce illumination on bald heads. This also
permits some flexibility in where you place the light.
b. It's not necessary, but the subject's eyes may look straight ahead in the direction that his nose
is pointing. His line of gaze should be level with the ground. In many portraits today, the subject is
looking directly into the lens. This tends to make him look lively and warm, but you must make sure
that he looks relaxed. Often, by having him look slightly above the camera lens, it will help the person
to appear as if he is looking at the viewer rather than just staring into space.
c. People who ordinarily wear glasses should wear them for their portraits. Even though the
subject wears glasses we still want to see his eyes, so you will have to position his head and your lights
so you do not get reflection off the glass. If it is not possible to completely eliminate the reflection, then
keep it in the upper corner of the glasses so that it can be easily retouched.
Posing a Standing Subject.
The statements above on posing the subject are general and are applicable to both a seated and standing
A standing subject is harder to relax, so if permissible, have him sit down. If the subject has to stand, be
sure that his legs are straight but not stiff, and that his arms are at his side (except when he is holding
something) but not pinned rigidly to his side. It is also permissible to have one hand partly in a jacket
Posing a Seated Subject.
A seated subject appears more relaxed and natural in a photograph than a subject who is standing. Thus,
for a head and shoulders portrait have the subject sit on a stool or a chair with a low back.
The subject may cross his legs if this makes him feel more at
ease; however, if his legs show in the photograph the near leg