Useful Photography Tip #103: Everyone Has a Higher Shoulder

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens review images samples (16 of 24)ISO 4001-200 sec

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When shooting portraits of a subject straight on, consider the fact that environmental stresses may have caused one shoulder to become higher than the other to cope with weight of bags and other reasons. So for starters, ask your portraits subject to stand straight at you and take careful notice of their shoulders. Then adjust their shoulders accordingly. To do this, we recommend asking the subject to move the higher shoulder back slightly so that when you shoot an image of them straight on, they shoulders will look straighter and proportionate in the image.

To master this, it takes practice and minor calculations based on shoulder height difference. But you can also look through your camera’s lens and see what the results will look like.

To further ensure that the shoulders don’t bulge, we recommend shooting an a lens no shorter than 85mm. By this, we’re not talking about a field of view, we’re talking instead about the actual focal length. The reason for this is just because an 85mm lens may render an image of 127mm on an APS-C sensor, it still acts like an 85mm lens. This applies to any shorter focal length too.

Try it–you’ll be creating better portraits in no time.