A Beginners Guide to Taking Portraits of Elderly Clients: Part 2 – Lighting and Posing
Learn about lighting and posing techniques to enhance your photos of elderly subjects in part two of our series on photographing older clients. Lighting older clients uses most of the same lighting principles as lighting younger clients, but there are a few extra tricks that will ensure a stress-free and flattering shoot.
This means you won’t have access to a full studio setup and will have to make do with whatever space you have.
Lost in space
If you’re shooting in a nursing or retirement home, you’ll probably need permission from the village manager; there’s a lot of protection around older residents, so a stranger showing up unannounced and taking photos is unlikely to be welcomed.
Flash versus continuous lighting
Strobes are more portable and powerful than most affordable continuous lights, and they can be quite disorienting for older clients, especially those with dementia. Advances in chip-on-board LED technology also eliminate the need for heavy and expensive HMI lights.
Soft versus hard light
When photographing elderly people, contrast is your enemy because it accentuates their wrinkles; instead, use soft, highly diffused light sources like softboxes and umbrellas to create a flattering image of your client’s face.
We’ll look at two classic lighting setups that aim to create a flattering portrait in different lighting conditions. Portraits are one of the most popular mediums for portrait taking, but not all will work with older clients due to wrinkles, sagging, and posture issues.
Short lighting is more flattering for an elderly subject than broad lighting, which can add width to a skinnier face but emphasizes wrinkles.
The clamshell is a simple setup that can be accomplished with just one key light and a reflector for fill. Exposing correctly and positioning your client beautifully will create an0introspective0shot, which when combined with good posing can provide a great option for taking a square-on image of an older person.
Glasses and reflections
Managing glasses always requires a bit of compromise to bring your client’s eyes back into the image, and the three best options are: Tilt Down, Lensless Glasses, or Raising Your Lights.
Lowering your light height and removing your rim lights can help to reduce the shine on their head, as a bald head acts as a large reflective surface and creates a hot spot. Find alternate ways to separate your subject from the background.
The rim light is a bald head’s worst enemy, but it also wreaks havoc on grey hair, so be careful not to overexpose grey hair or you’ll blow out the highlights.
Posing older clients
People around 65 years of age will most likely be able to do many of your standard poses. Older clients require the back support of a chair and could fall off something as unstable as a stool. By moving the client forward, they will be less likely to slump in an unflattering image.
Safe and secured gear
Falling is one of the most common causes of injury in the elderly.
Flattering posing angles
To avoid having older clients tilt their heads, ask them to push their jaw forward to stretch their neck or angle their chin down. If a male client is concerned about baldness, lower their head for a flattering front-on shot.
Experimentation is always key when working with the physical limitations of your client’s age and the practical limitations of their home, as photography is a great way to combine all of your basic lighting and posing principles with a few extra challenges thrown in.
How do you light old people?
When it comes to older clients, fill light is your best friend.
- Short lighting (left) is more flattering for an elderly subject than broad lighting (right). Placing the lights higher, as you would with a younger client, can create shadows that highlight wrinkles and crow’s feet.
How do you photograph elderly?
6 Ways to Photograph an Elderly Person in a Stunning Way
- Allow them to speak for themselves. Include their loved ones in your photographs. Give them something to do.
- Use natural light.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Silliness.
- Don’t Photograph Their Faces All of the Time.
How do older men take pictures?
Photographing Men: Some Basic Guidelines
- Things closer to the camera appear larger
- if you want to emphasize something, keep it close to the camera.
- Things further away from the camera appear smaller.
- A longer lens flattens depth.
- Things pointed directly at the camera appear shorter.
How can a guy look more attractive in pictures?
How to Improve Your Photographic Appearance
- Step 1: Pull your shoulders back slightly to play up your masculine features without looking like you’re trying too hard.
- Keep Your Chin Down.
- Laugh Quietly to Yourself.
How do I teach my husband to take good pictures?
9 Proven Techniques for Taking Perfect Candid Photos of Your Partner
- Tip #1: Click Away.
- Tip #2: Natural Light.
- Tip #3: Never Put the Camera Down.
- Tip #4: Think About It.
- Tip #5. Location.
- Tip #6. Switch Roles.
- Tip #7. Hold the Pose.
- Tip #8. Be Patient.
How do you take flattering pictures?
5 Photographer Tips for Taking More Attractive Photos
- Wear bolder makeup because the camera washes out our features.
- Find a great light source.
- Shoulders back, elongate your neck, chin slightly forward but not up.
- Shoot from slightly above.