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Old 12-02-2006   #21
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 24. Donít Photograph The Back of Women's Hands.* The sides are much more graceful than the flat of the hand. 24a. Fists are masculine, open hands are feminine.* Note how much more graceful the edges of the hands of the young lady in the second image looks when compared to the flat back of the hand in the first image. I will post an additional image (a horizontal) in my next posting also showing posing the sides of the hands.

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Old 12-04-2006   #22
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Another pose showing rule 24 and how I posed the hands so the sides of the hands show rather than the flat back.

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Old 12-04-2006   #23
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 25. Place the Weight on the Back Foot- and shift the hips (with standing poses.) This will put the hips and shoulders at a pleasing angle. Ask the subject to point her foot that is nearest to the camera toward the camera and shift her weight to the back hip. *This means the front leg and foot will have no weight on it. *She should then bend her knee slightly toward the other leg. *This will give a pleasing ďSĒ curve to her body.

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Old 12-04-2006   #24
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

As you may have already noticed, some rules are for women only, some for men only, some for couples and groups only. Then there are rules for seated poses only, standing poses only and some work best on younger subjects as opposed to more mature subjects.*

Rule 26. (Couples Portraiture) Do Not Photograph Two Heads at the Same Height- Ideally the eyes of the shorter subject (usually the female) should be at about the same height as the mouth of the taller subject.

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Old 12-04-2006   #25
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 27. (Couples or Group Portraiture) Have No Head Directly Above Another-All heads should not only be at different heights but also not directly above (or below) another subject. The eyes of the subject that is lowest in the group should be at about the same level as the chin of the next highest subject. For example in the image below note the eyes of the young lady at camera right are at the same level as the chin of her older sister at camera left. You may have to have someone take off their shoes or stand on something to get this effect. Lots of photographers use old hard bound books with the covers taped together with gaffers tape for this very purpose. One book will raise someone up about 1 inch, 2 books will raise him or her 2 inches!

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Old 12-04-2006   #26
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Rule 28. Avoid Crotch Shots-Raising the leg that is closest to the camera in a standing pose will prevent shooting into the subjectís crotch. *In groups, turning the subject's body to a 45 degree angle and keeping the legs together should prevent shooting into the crotch. *This rule has been "relaxed" in the last decade or so for high school senior images, especially for boys and to a somewhat lesser extent for gals.

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Old 12-04-2006   #27
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 29. Use The Right Key and Good Taste-Generally speaking a subject dressed in all white looks best in a medium or high key background. Conversely, a subject dressed in dark clothing looks best on a medium or dark (low key) background. Note in the above image (the gal in rule number twenty eight above) I broke this rule because she is dressed in black with a black prop but on a white background. Again this rule is frequently broken especially in high school senior portraiture.

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Old 12-05-2006   #28
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 30. If The Subject Has Two of Them, Make Them Different.* Feet, knees, arms, hands and elbows at different levels are more interesting than when placed side by side.* Note in the posted image that everything that can be made different has been made different. His hips are not level, his shoulders are not level, his head is tipped to the masculine shoulder, he is leaning slightly, his knees, feet, arms, hands and elbows are not side by side but are placed at different and multiple levels. Sameness leads to boringness in a photographic image.

After you "rough in" the pose you will most likely want to refine certain things. When refining a pose, do the least important areas first then as you progress toward the actual capture make the final refinements on the most important areas last.

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Old 12-05-2006   #29
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 31. Avoid "90 Degree" Arms (a general rule for females.) Master photographer Don Blair used to call these arms "Carpenter's T square arms." Gently flowing lines usually look best in portraits of women. I broke this rule in my example image of rule 25 above. In my bridal example below I followed it.

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Old 12-05-2006   #30
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Rule 32. Don't Shoot Into a Bare Armpit. Either cover it with something or raise the opposite arm and bring the near arm down. *I've seen bare armpits covered with the young lady's long hair, flowers, toul, strips of cloth, and small props. With long sleeved clothing shooting into an armpit is usually not a problem. *In the example image I covered one with her long hair, and I heavily retouched the other. She didn't buy this image.

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