Curvelicious: How to Flatter and photograph Curvy Women
“Cultivate your curves –they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.”- Mae West
Magazine covers today are plastered with images of teensy tiny women; ladies with extra flat tummies, a size 00 waist, and absolutely no curves. It’s such a strange thing to see, considering the glamour icons of our history include Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield and I could go on and on. I mean, c’mon, Marilyn was notably a size 12.
The truth of the matter is, all women are beautiful, not just the super skinny ones. Fortunately, society’s fascination with one style of woman has started to change, and curvy women are beginning to be appreciated in ways that haven’t been seen in the last few decades.
I did a shoot with the lovely Raven Simone a couple of years ago and I just LOVE these photos of her, so I decided to go through them today and retouch a few of my favorites. She is definitely one of the sexiest curvy women that I have ever photographed. Shooting with her was so much fun. She just has “IT,” an amazing ability to captivate you with her eyes. The connection in these photos is spot on, and this is something that I search for with every single client. It’s the one thing that will sell your photographs and it’s just magical when you get it right.
You as the photographer can help this trend along. Here are some tips for how to artfully capture your client’s magnificent curves:
1.Use the Right Lighting
Regardless of whom you’re photographing, you need to make sure your subject is properly lit. Voluptuous curves cast shadows if the light is too harsh, so use soft light to even out skin tone making her look fabulous.
2. Lengthen Her Legs
High heels and the right lens are the keys to making this work. Use a longer lens, take a step back, and frame your subject from a distance. This will soften features, trim images, and create the illusion of legs for days, which is what you’re looking for.
3. Highlight Her Shape
Try to avoid photographing your client square on. Shoot from an angle, and have her rotate her body to three-quarters and pose so that she’s highlighting her curves, instead of subduing. If she’s got it, she should flaunt it. She shouldn’t have to hide a thing.
4. Shoot Just Above Eye Level
Shooting from low angles is unflattering to curvy women because it broadens the hips, and takes away from the bust line. By shooting just above eye level, the focus will be on your subject’s face, and everything else will seem slimmer and more appealing.
5. Pay Attention to Her Jawline
Inappropriate chin position can make even the skinniest model lose the shape of her neck and develop double chins. It’s absolutely necessary that when working with curvy models, you pay attention to the jawline. Once again, don’t photograph her square on, but instead do a three-quarters turn. Also, make sure her neck is lengthened and her jaw is down.
Photographing curvy women is one of the BEST parts of Boudoir Photography, because their shapeliness gives the finished images that much more va-va-va-voom, as long as you do it right.