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Portrait technique for large nose

Bob Peters , Nov 03, 2004; 04:13 a.m.

I've been asked to take some "romantic" portraits of a lady who has a fairly large nose, and is very sensitive about this always looking exceptionally large in photo's.

Any tips for angle of head / angle of photographer to head / posing / depth of field (f2, focus on eyes and get in close?) etc to reduce the impression of how large it is?

Many thanks


tomas daniska , Nov 03, 2004; 04:53 a.m.


the closer you'll go the bigger the nose will appear (you will emphasise the perspective). time to dust-off your longer lenses :)

Chris Waller , Nov 03, 2004; 05:01 a.m.

Yes, go for a 135mm lens at least. Avoid strong light falling on the nose which would draw attention to it. Maybe a little powder to take the shine off it.

Jeff Polaski , Nov 03, 2004; 07:56 a.m.

Ditto the 135mm lens, full face frontal. Flattens aspect. for 35mm cameras, the 75mm to 105mm range is typically able to pull back enough to get a more natural aspect. 135mm pushes the limit; longer than that and the long-lens effect will get in the way of the photo.

Robert DiTommaso , Nov 03, 2004; 11:01 a.m.

This has always been a good website to reference posing tips. http://stnphotography.com/tips.html#positioning

W T , Nov 05, 2004; 05:19 p.m.

shoot her from the rear

Martin Richter , Nov 05, 2004; 10:30 p.m.

You can use the same technique used on magazine cover girls, Full face straight on and very heavy makeup, usually a "pancake" base especially around the eyes to eliminate the laugh lines and wrinkles. A single soft box or umbrella will eliminate most of the shadow thus the nose looks smaller.

Take a look at some of the glamor portraits on the news stand and you'll see what I mean. Good Luck

Brad - , Nov 05, 2004; 11:27 p.m.

A little photoshop.

Edward Ingold , Nov 09, 2004; 11:35 a.m.

In addition to optimizing the working distance with the right focal length, lighting and posing can help a great deal.

Make sure the key light doesn't create a big shadow on the cheek. Using loop or butterfly lighting (face toward the light, a small shadow directly under the nose) may help, at the expense of broadening the face. Avoid shooting in profile; her nose should always be inside the far cheek.

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