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Unread 12-10-2014, 01:33 AM   #1
AgentTexas
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Why I Look This Way In These Photos?

I kinda need some advice guys.

So after I got back my professional cosplay photos back I was disappointed to find I didn't like the way I looked in them. I don't know if it's lighting or something but in most of my pictures I look like I have really bad jowls, which I do have them(despite being 20 urg), but not nearly as bad as it looks here.

So...me:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.n...150142dcff364a
https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10444553_529867030483659_2326971444339350080_n.jpg ?oh=3a8754dd5762682a6b8be83ca5454ef0&oe=55093FD8

And then my professional photos:
http://worldcosplay.net/photo/2381936
http://worldcosplay.net/photo/2429231

Is this just poor lighting? How come whatever angle I take a picture of myself I never have them, but the minute a photographer takes my pictures it's like they're 7x worse than they are?

I really just want advice so my future shoots don't up making me look like that. Because I'm thin as a rail, I don't even have enough weight on me to have cheeks that big. Any help is appreciated.
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Unread 12-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
nathancarter
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Yes, it's the lighting. The main light is coming from behind the side of your head, so your cheek (even slim as it is) casts a shadow onto your nasolabial fold (aka jowl, whatever). There's just enough light coming around the side of your head to light up the broad side of your cheek and still cast that shadow on your face - if your head had been turned 30 degrees in either direction, this likely wouldn't have happened.

If you ask nicely, the photographer might be kind enough to retouch it. If the photographer has any experienced with portrait retouching, this would be a pretty quick job with the Dodge tool in Photoshop or the adjustment brush in Lightroom (I prefer the latter).


For future shoots, your ability to control this will come with experience as a model. Be mindful of the lighting, observe the size and direction of the lights, and tailor your pose accordingly. Maybe even practice in front of a mirror or by taking a bunch of selfies, by turning your face in different directions and seeing how the lights and shadows play on your face.

When it's all natural/ambient light, this is pretty easy to do; when the photographer is using multiple off-camera lights, it's a little less easy - but, it's pretty rare for the photographer to put the main light on an angle behind you, anyway. If the photographer has a big umbrella or softbox for the main light, pointing your nose toward the bottom half or bottom edge of that light will often give a very pleasing light pattern for most face types - but don't obsess over it or pigeonhole yourself into one "look."
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Unread 12-25-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
SleazyNerd
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This isn't about the jowl(?), but I would like to comment that your face looks orange around your mouth, and your foundation on your forehead doesn't look so smooth. If you are using a combination of liquid and powder foundation you might want to look into replacing your liquid foundation. It appears to be the wrong shade for your face if that is whats causing the orange around your face. And a good primer beneath your foundation, or even just slightly less thick foundation could help with the overall smoothness of the foundation.
Of course, please don't take this the wrong was as I don't mean it insultingly
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Unread 12-27-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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that's just poor shooting, IMHO
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Unread 12-27-2014, 10:42 AM   #5
AgentTexas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleazyNerd View Post
This isn't about the jowl(?), but I would like to comment that your face looks orange around your mouth, and your foundation on your forehead doesn't look so smooth. If you are using a combination of liquid and powder foundation you might want to look into replacing your liquid foundation. It appears to be the wrong shade for your face if that is whats causing the orange around your face. And a good primer beneath your foundation, or even just slightly less thick foundation could help with the overall smoothness of the foundation.
Of course, please don't take this the wrong was as I don't mean it insultingly
My forehead looks that way cause of acne...and the angle did nothing but emphasize it tbh. So thank you for the advice, but it's scarring so I can't do too much about it. Except avoid this sort of lighting like the plague.
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Unread 12-27-2014, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentTexas View Post
My forehead looks that way cause of acne...and the angle did nothing but emphasize it tbh. So thank you for the advice, but it's scarring so I can't do too much about it. Except avoid this sort of lighting like the plague.
stuff like that - if not fixed during the shoot by model or MUA - is fairly easy to fix in Post processing, which should be applied.
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Last edited by Foques : 12-27-2014 at 11:50 AM.
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Unread 12-27-2014, 06:53 PM   #7
nathancarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentTexas View Post
My forehead looks that way cause of acne...and the angle did nothing but emphasize it tbh. So thank you for the advice, but it's scarring so I can't do too much about it. Except avoid this sort of lighting like the plague.
The direction of the lighting can emphasize or minimize the appearance of acne and scars, too. If you have raised bumps or crater-like scars, light that's coming from the side will make uneven highlights and shadows on them, making them much more noticeable. (related: partial-moon photos are often much more interesting than full-moon photos, as the directional lighting will emphasize the hills and craters, whereas the flat lighting on a full moon will not)

If it's worst on your forehead, point your face toward the light, and the appearance of those imperfections will be minimized - however, this may emphasize imperfections on the sides of your face. Of course, don't get bogged down and refuse to ever vary your pose, just be mindful of how the light affects your features.

In any case, it's not too much effort for an experienced photographer to smooth out acne.
For photographic purposes, I prefer that subjects NOT go too crazy in trying to cover up acne and scars with makeup (pro-level makeup skills excepted). It's way easier to retouch one little 1/8"-diameter bump, instead of a 1/2"-diameter blob of off-color makeup where the subject tried (unsuccessfully) to hide the imperfection.
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Last edited by nathancarter : 12-27-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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