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Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography

Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography

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Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography

4/5 (5 evaluări)
546 pages
2 hours
Dec 2, 2016


Following up on the success of his first book, Photographing Men, photographer and author Jeff Rojas has created a companion book that covers everything you need to know about photographing women. Unlike so many other books on the market that focus on photographing women—which are often just a collection of images that show different posing and lighting setups—in Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion, Jeff actually teaches you what you need to know in order to create great images.

In the book, Jeff first discusses the variety of face shapes and body types you’ll work with when photographing women. He then dives deeply into teaching you the posing, styling, and lighting techniques that will flatter your subjects and convey your intended message. In Photographing Women, you’ll learn:

• How to identify different face shapes, and how to decide on makeup and lighting choices based on those shapes

• The different body types that most women have—diamond, hourglass, rectangle, apple, etc.—and how best to flatter them

• All about “perceived flaws”—such as love handles and double chins—and what to do about them

• The difference between posing and directing your subjects

• How to style your subject appropriately, depending on the type of shoot (portrait, boudoir, commercial, etc.)

• How to pose your subject for standing, sitting, and lying poses

• The lighting techniques you need to know in order to create beautiful, flattering light in your photos

• And much more!

In the final section of the book, covering lighting, Jeff brings it all together and provides 21 unique lighting setups, working through a series of shoots that cover portrait, commercial, and fashion photography.
Dec 2, 2016

Despre autor

Jeff Rojas is a photographer based in New York City. His primary body of work includes portrait and fashion photography, although he has also directed fashion films and commercials. Additionally, Rojas is a photography instructor and educator who has taught on various photographic platforms, including CreativeLive, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), PhotoPlus Expo, Gulf Photo Plus, and American Photographic Artists (APA).

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Photographing Women - Jeff Rojas






Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography

Jeff Rojas


Project editor: Maggie Yates

Project manager: Lisa Brazieal

Marketing manager: Jessica Tiernan

Copyeditor: Valerie Witte

Layout and type: WolfsonDesign

Cover design: Aren Straiger

Interior design: WolfsonDesign

Indexer: Maggie Yates

ISBN: 978-1-68198-174-1

© 2017 Jeff Rojas

All images © Jeff Rojas unless otherwise noted

Rocky Nook Inc.

1010 B Street, Suite 350

San Rafael, CA 94901



Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Distributed in the UK and Europe by Publishers Group UK

Library of Congress Control Number: 2016941046

All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the publisher.

Many of the designations in this book used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks of their respective companies. Where those designations appear in this book, and Rocky Nook was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initial caps. All product names and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. They are not intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book.

While reasonable care has been exercised in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein or from the use of the discs or programs that may accompany it.

Printed in Korea


For all of the beautiful women in my life. Mom, Grandma, Fallon, and Melissa—thank you infinitely for being such a positive influence in my life!

A special thank you to Ted, Scott, and the rest of the staff at Rocky Nook for making this book a reality! I couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans all these years!

Miguel, thank you for being the older brother I never had! Let’s keep hustling!

And lastly, thank you to each of you who’ve believed in me and continue to be such supportive individuals. It’s through that support that I find the motivation to continually move forward.

Thank you all,


JEFF ROJAS is a photographer based in New York City. His primary body of work includes portrait and fashion photography, although he has also directed fashion films and commercials. Additionally, Rojas is a photography instructor and educator who has taught on various photographic platforms, including CreativeLive, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), PhotoPlus Expo, Gulf Photo Plus, and American Photographic Artists (APA).





Face Shapes

Before We Begin: My Ethical Responsibility

Choosing a Lens

My Method

What I Learned from a Makeup Artist








Finding Your Subject’s Face Shape

Postproduction: Dodge and Burn


Body Types




Inverted Triangle



Perceived Flaws

Before We Begin

The Importance of Color and Matching Skin Tones

Color Spaces




Skin Blemishes

Eye Bags

Redness or Rosacea

The Ultimate Tool for Retouching: Frequency Separation

Retouching Tools in Adobe Photoshop

Acne, Scars, Wrinkles, and Stretch Marks

Large Forehead

Double Chin



White or Graying Hair



Understanding Body Language

Body Language Made Easy

Body Language of Women Versus Men

Making Her Feel Comfortable

Using Curves and Negative Space to Your Advantage

Taking Up Space

Analyzing the Subject in Her Environment

Forget What You Learned About Posing


Standing Poses

Finding Inspiration

Additional Inspiration


Sitting Poses

Beauty Poses

Sitting Poses

Additional Inspiration


Lying Poses


Styling 101

Fit over Finish

Styling for Portraits

Hair and Makeup for Photo Shoots

Styling Tools for Your Studio


Styling Difficult Features

Fuller Figures

Taller or Thinner Women

Shorter Women

Double Chins and Shorter or Wider Necks

Long or Skinny Necks



Introduction to Lighting Women

The Properties of Light Made Easy

Lighting Gear


Portrait Photography

Portrait Versus Beauty Photography


Classic Portrait

Boudoir Overhead

Boudoir Side Window Light


North or South Window Light

Dramatic Portrait


Commercial Photography

Hair Campaign I

Hair Campaign II

Beautiful Skin

Accessories and Shapes

Jewelry Ad

Commercial Portrait I

Commercial Portrait II


Fashion Photography



High Key

Lookbook I

Lookbook II

Jewelry Campaign

Fashion Editorial




I’m currently sitting in my apartment writing this introduction, less than a month after the release of my first book, Photographing Men. I’m proud to say that I’ve received endless positive feedback—regarding the book and also from the innumerable men and women who’ve applauded my feminist perspective on photographing men. While that sounds contradictory because it’s a book about photographing male subjects, it’s actually quite fitting. After all, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities—I just happened to apply that belief to photography. My stance is that both men and women should be able to look and feel their best.

As I’m writing this, the inquiries are pouring in; I get a handful of emails every day, requesting that I put together a book on photographing women. Because there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of books on photographing women, I couldn’t rationalize how my perspective would be any different from other authors. It wasn’t until a close friend reminded me of a very important fact: as artists and individuals, we all have unique circumstances that form our perspectives in life and in art. That’s the beauty of being an artist. We are all inherently unique.

So, what makes my perspective on photographing women different from anyone else’s?

I sincerely believe that my experience working alongside truly amazing people—on both sides of the camera—has directly influenced the way that I approach photographing anyone. I’ve had the pleasure of working with an eclectic mixture of subjects from all walks of life and also an amazing team of creatives, who’ve all spent decades working in the industry. All of our stories and experiences combine to create the work that you’ll find in this book.


Believe it or not, I never intended to become a photographer. On the contrary, my goals and endeavors were always aimed toward the corporate world. I truly never understood how artists sustained themselves without a guaranteed source of income—a paycheck every two weeks, if you will. That’s simply because the most creative and artistic people in my life all had full-time jobs in order to sustain themselves and their families. That disposition would later change, once I met my first photography mentor.

Before I committed to becoming a professional photographer, I worked in a corporate office, which afforded me the ability to purchase my first DSLR—a Canon EOS Rebel 450D/XSi. I originally purchased the camera as a way to document the restoration of a classic car that found its way into my garage. As time passed, my interests shifted from the restoration project to my DSLR. I quickly became obsessed with photography and was extremely eager to learn as much as I could about light and composition. It was time to invest in photography classes.

As you’d assume, finding workshops catering to photographing people was easier than it was for cars. Through a unique series of events, I eventually found myself assisting the event coordinator for a retail camera store in Fairfield, New Jersey, called Unique Photo—pun intended. In exchange for my time assisting her setup on workshop days, I had the opportunity to listen to various lectures by some great photographers, such as Lou Freeman and Robert Farber. Each of them had decades of experience photographing women for major brand-name companies. That was absolutely invigorating to see.

I would eventually meet my first photography mentor, Lindsay Adler, a portrait and women’s fashion photographer. Lindsay was by far one of the most hardworking and dedicated individuals that I had ever met. By 27 she was the author of two books, and she was already working on her third. She balanced shooting full-time, writing, editing, teaching, and running her business on her own. It was the first time in my life that I’d met anyone with that level of work ethic. About a week after meeting Lindsay, I was laid off from my full-time, salaried job.

Needless to say, that was quite unexpected. Lindsay was kind enough to hire me as her full-time studio manager and assistant. We spent countless hours in the studio, primarily photographing independent labels, fashion editorials, and female athletes. About six months later, Lindsay and Lou Freeman would partner to teach photography around the United States, and I went along for the ride. Two and a half months and fifteen thousand miles later, you could say that I’d learned a thing or two.

After that tour, I could literally replicate every single lighting setup and pose that they used. After all, I’d listened to their presentations dozens of times. This would eventually lead to creating my own stylistic approach to photography and my work being published in magazines across the globe. As of right now, you can find my work featured in publications from the United States all the way to the United Arab Emirates, like the cover for Velvet Magazine (Dubai) in Figure I.1. In fact, most of my notable credits, such as images appearing in Elle and Esquire, were featured overseas—and they’re mostly of women.

FIGURE I.1 Cover of Velvet Magazine (Dubai), May 2014


Open up any fashion magazine from the last 70-plus years (Vogue didn’t start using photographs until the late 1930s), and you’ll see amazing images produced by full production teams. Notice that I didn’t say photographers—that was intentional. In the commercial portrait photography industry, images are created by teams of creatives. Whether it’s fashion photography or beauty photography, these images are created through a combined effort of photographers, makeup artists, hairstylists, wardrobe stylists, art directors, and so on.

As a fashion photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing subjects who have worked with prestigious names in photography—including Steve McCurry, Bruce Weber, Mark Seliger, Mario Testino, and Terry Richardson, to name a few. Being the inquisitive (nosey) person that I am, I’m deeply fascinated by what being photographed by one of those photographers is like. What makes their artist perspective unique? What makes their direction different? Most, if not all, of my subjects have the same answer: they spend more time interacting with their subjects and less time worrying about production.

I think that’s a very reasonable conclusion. Realistically, if you had a dedicated team to set up your lights, set up your camera, set up your background, produce the shoot—and even interns to run out and grab lunch for everyone—you’d probably have more time to spend with your clients. You’d have more time to focus on capturing energy and emotion and need less time for fiddling with lights—not to mention that those photographers aren’t in charge of selling their prints and licensing rights to clients at this stage in their careers. They’re literally hired to produce their vision, and they have the manpower to handle the rest. Must be nice, huh? Well, they’ve all earned it, in their own right.

For the rest of us photographers, that’s not likely the case. Most of us are in charge of everything from producing the shoot to lighting and retouching our own images. Add that to accounting, marketing, business development, and professional development, and we have a ton of work on our plate. This is why I wholeheartedly believe in simplicity. The simpler the process, the more time you’ll have for the important things in life—like having fun.


As you’ve probably gathered by now, minimalism is extremely important to me, and I believe that simplicity is thoroughly underrated. Simplicity has made my life as a photographer more manageable and has been the key factor in why I wake up in a great mood most mornings. Let me be clear and note that I’m specifically saying that I focus on what’s important in life and get rid of the rest. Photography isn’t any different.

For instance, I often find that I can accomplish more with one light than I can with three lights on set. For every light that I add on set, I’m equally attentive about controlling the quality, power, and direction of each additional light and how it illuminates my subject. Each light that you add detracts from the time that you’re allocating to working with your subject. Even if it’s not possible to set up the lights before a subject arrives, most photographers will inevitably make micro-adjustments to each of those lights in order to complement their subject’s features.

Remember that as photographers, we’re balancing many different jobs at once. By eliminating excess, we can focus on the most important aspects of our shoots: working with the talent. After all, there’s a person on the other side of that lens—not a mannequin with infinite patience.

This book is written as a compilation of practical and replicable techniques to make your life photographing women easier. The concepts presented in this book are intended to broaden your expertise in the realm of women’s portrait, commercial, and fashion photography.

I will explain how to best define every subject’s features, including face shapes and body types, and how to compensate for perceived flaws. I’ll then dive into the art of posing women so that your clients feel natural, feminine, and confident. I’ll discuss topics like body language and the impact that it can have on your audience. Finally, I’ll cover a variety of lighting techniques for portraits, commercial, and fashion images.

Using the concepts presented in this book, you’ll develop the skills necessary to confidently approach the art of photographing women.


Defining Features

Women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Although they’re all equal, each woman is unique in her own way. Given that fact, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine that there is really no one cookie-cutter way to photograph every single woman. You’ll have taller clients, shorter clients, clients who are broader than others, and clients who are thinner than others. You’ll be introduced to athletic

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  • (4/5)
    Very usefull info for every photography style in portrait and fashion worlds. Besides, it offers always a not expensive alternative to archieve great quality images.