Altering your subject’s height after a shoot is possible with the technical capabilities of Photoshop, but what if you want to do it naturally, without spending ages post-processing? From changing your shooting angle to a few carefully-placed props and selected outfits, here are 5 insider tips and tricks to help you make your subject look taller WITHOUT using Photoshop.
One of the easiest ways to instantaneously make your subject look much taller is by positioning yourself down low and shooting upwards using a wide angle lens. The low perspective gives a sense of your subject towering above and wide angle lenses are great at accentuating perspectives, meaning your subject’s legs will appear much longer than they really are.
It goes without saying that a pair of high heels will add height to your subject, but stilettos will enhance this far more than chunky heels. The thinness of stilettos gives the illusion of length, particularly if you are shooting from a low angle that highlights them.
What your subject wears can have a significant impact on how tall or short they appear, with all-over, blocky outfits hiding their form, decreasing the sense of height. Fitted clothes which enhance your subject’s shape create the illusion of height much better (such as high-waisted outfits which accentuate the hips) and the same can be said for “skinny” jeans or pants that “flare” at the bottom.
If you don’t have a lot of control over what your subject is wearing and want to shoot from a normal perspective, you can still create the illusion of height using leg-lengthening poses. Wider stances and crossed legs will generally draw the viewer’s eye to the legs, adding length to your subject, while turning to the side can have the same desired effect. In addition to lengthening the legs, stretched poses will also give the illusion of height, with the subject’s length continuing right up to the finger tips!
As soon as your viewer has a frame of reference, it alters their perspective on the subject’s height. If you position your model next to an object that illustrates their short stature, it will only enhance it. While if you include small props, it will give the illusion they are taller than in reality. The same applies when you have other people in the shot, and positioning a short model next to a group of average-sized or tall people is only going to accentuate it!
So next time you’re shooting, try out a few of these simple methods to give instant length and height to your subject. You can experiment with different outfits, shooting angles and poses until you get the look that is right for you.
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