It’s a well-known fact in the fashion photography industry that certain cameras will make skinny models look fuller. Actually, a camera can make anyone look up to 10 pounds fatter.
As a fashion photographer, one of the most common things I see is how skinny models become so frustrated with their frame in pictures and wonder if there is something wrong with them. The top models are all very skinny, being very skinny in person and in photos is a must to these models because that is what the job requires.
Models want to look as skinny as possible in every shot because skinny models have an advantage over other models, since being skinny is always in demand and thus they are more likely to get hired by powerful fashion houses, get famous or skyrocket their salaries.
However, looking as skinny as possible is not always attainable and it has everything to do with the lens. While some lenses can make you appear thinner others can make you look fatter and it all has to do with the focal length, barrel distortion and other effects of the camera.
The focal length of a camera can make you look fatter because it makes your features seems flat and barrel distortion can make straight lines look curved thus making you look a little plum. However, these same effects can cause other lenses to make you look thinner.
How to avoid the plumped look?
In all honesty, the plumped look is not the fault of the model. This doesn’t have so much to do with the model as it has to do with the photographer. Since the photographer is the one shooting he or she has to take precautions and make preparations like having good lighting, the right equipment, skillful and helpful assistants and a good camera before every shoot. The model just has to show up.
To eliminate or minimize this ” fat look” problem that many skinny models face a fashion photographer should utilize all his experience and put into practice his knowledge during the shoot. The fashion photographer should shoot from the best possible angle since angles can be your best friend or worst enemy. Angles determine if the face will look fuller or narrower. A good photographer knows this and tries to shoot from above.
The distance between the photographer and the model should be just inches apart to not have the model look fat. Perspective has everything to do with it. In photography the closer the camera is to the subject, the narrower the face will appear.
To create the perfect shot a photographer should just be inches away from the model because being too far away can have the model look heavier. That’s why we all seem so heavy in our family photos because they are being taken from a greater distance.
Have the model try different poses and shoot from the best possible angle. Many times you’ll notice celebrity slightly turn their bodies sideway when they pose for the paparazzi, this is because it makes them look slimmer. Positioning your arm on your hip can also make a huge difference.