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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Is this pose feminine?
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Showing posts 1 - 15 of 15, (reverse)
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11/29/2006 05:38:37 PM · #1
Hi DPC critiquers. I hope you can help. This is the grandson of a friend of mine. She didn't like this shot because it was a "feminine" pose. Actually, she said the pose was fine but the camera angle I chose to shoot with, was not appropriate for shooting a man. Do you see what she sees?

433061.jpg

Thank you all for your honest opinions. I can only learn from them.

Jo Ann
11/29/2006 05:40:27 PM · #2
I don't know that I'd call it feminine, but it is certainly an inferior/ not dominant way to shoot someone. Tends to be you want to shoot from below to make someone seem more important/ imposing and shoot from above to make them look more submissive, approachable, friendly, less strong/forthright, meek etc.

It also happens to be a good way to thin someone down if that's needed.

To put it another way, we are looking down on him rather than looking up to him with all the connotations those phrases have. I think it is a fine portrait, but it doesn't make him look strong and dominant. That doesn't necessarily mean 'feminine' to me though.

Message edited by author 2006-11-29 17:42:38.
11/29/2006 05:41:35 PM · #3
I have to disagree. The old "rules" said you shot a man from a lower POV and a woman from a higher POV - but those old "rules" are from the beginning of time when women still changed into a fresh dress before her hubby got home from work. These days artists/photographers are free to shake things up. I think its a fine portrait.

Edit - What Gordon said is true as well, even if its okay to shoot any POV, you still have to think about the impression it makes.

Message edited by author 2006-11-29 17:42:59.
11/29/2006 05:41:35 PM · #4
I think it's fine. The shirt/sweater combo, well . . . .

;-)
11/29/2006 05:43:50 PM · #5
I don't see this as feminine.
I don't like the crop I'd cut off the right sleeve area.
The argyle, the stripes, it's a lot going on.
11/29/2006 05:44:26 PM · #6
Originally posted by idnic:

I have to disagree. The old "rules" said you shot a man from a lower POV and a woman from a higher POV - but those old "rules" are from the beginning of time when women still changed into a fresh dress before her hubby got home from work. These days artists/photographers are free to shake things up. I think its a fine portrait.


But those 'rules' have an underlying point to them. When you shoot upwards to someone, they tend to tower over you and feel more dominant. If that should or shouldn't be for man or woman, is a different issue though :)

Judges, presidents, CEOs, all look more important when shot from just below. Throwing the rules out of the window is all fine and good, but it is better to understand what they are about and use it when appropriate to communicate what you want to communicate.

Shooting from above is also an angle a lot of people associate with children, immaturity etc.

Message edited by author 2006-11-29 17:54:41.
11/29/2006 05:50:28 PM · #7
So in a matriarchal society, this is a masculine pose, in an androgynous society, it's neither.

The important point is, the grandma thinks it makes her grandson look like a wuss, which she apparently doesn't like. If she's paying, who cares what we think? If she's not, who cares what she thinks?
11/29/2006 05:52:38 PM · #8
I think that it's fine, with the possible exception of the fact that he looks uncertain. I would imagine that if you have a client that doesn't like the photo, it wouldn't hurt to either find a shot that they like or re shoot if you have to.
11/29/2006 05:56:22 PM · #9
Gordon, you helped me see what grandma is concerned about.

Justine...I also don't like the outfit. I'll take a look at the crop though, I think I might be able to work on that.

Idnic, I was thinking it was an artistic choice but I also shoot way more women than men so I might have to concede that my friend has a legitimate criticism.

scarbrd...thanks and agree about the clothes.

I have him in a couple of other poses so hopefully they'll find one they like.

Jo Ann

11/29/2006 06:00:48 PM · #10
I agree with Gordon. I see what Cindi is saying but the client appears to be asking for a more traditional male pose in this case. Generally speaking the POV is fine just not for the client. The thing I don't like is how the arms exist the frame. Makes him look like amputee. I think a tighter crop or a longer one would work better but if the client is happy than so be it.
11/29/2006 06:02:41 PM · #11
Originally posted by wavelength:

So in a matriarchal society, this is a masculine pose, in an androgynous society, it's neither.

And in a patriarcal society? :)

The important point is, the grandma thinks it makes her grandson look like a wuss, which she apparently doesn't like. If she's paying, who cares what we think? If she's not, who cares what she thinks?


You're absolutely right. If she doesn't like the pose that's what matters however, it's nice to know I didn't commit a huge faux paux by shooting from the high angle.
11/29/2006 06:06:06 PM · #12
Point of view and positioning always has an impact in portraits...
There are strength positions and submissive. This is a great pose for a female but I would not shoot a guy from that POV

11/29/2006 06:07:31 PM · #13
The PoV and pose are ok... but that sweater has got to go :-)

BTW, the cropping of the arm right at the elbow makes me hurt...

Message edited by author 2006-11-29 18:08:26.
11/29/2006 06:17:55 PM · #14
Nothing wrong with this composition. Or the sweater-shirt combo which is young and fun like he probably is! His eyebrows are a bit tense, but that's it.

Everything is relative so what a grandmother would see is not what I would see. But it's comments like these that make me glad I don't do portraits or family photos...too many opinions.


Message edited by author 2006-11-29 18:20:00.
11/29/2006 06:35:10 PM · #15
Well, the POV does nothing to accentuate his "power/masculinity" as other have pointed out. I don't know that it makes him look feminine, but it does place him in an inferior position to the viewer.

When I look at it, the thing that pops into my mind is "What is he doing with his hands? Where are they?"
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