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| Re: Portrait critique |
Here by comparison with the first ones you should see how the face looks slimmer and more naturally 3D due to the way the change in camera angle reveals the far side profile and how the lighting strategy only highlights the front "mask" area of the face keeping attention there.
To refine it further:
Light position: Note how on the near side the key light is spilling past the near eye around to the side of the face? That make the face look wider than if the light doesn't "wrap" around to the side.
Facial angle: When moving the camera to select the angle you need to visually balance how symmetrical the two sides in front look to the camera. Here the camera angle is making the eye area and overall face look slimmer, but if you look down at the chin that angle that's ideal for the eyes is making the chin on the far side look smaller. That's a function of the shape of the face that varies a lot from face to face. So when adjusting the camera look at eyes, chin and the illusion of overall right-left balance and symmetry the combined angle / lighting pattern creates in the playback. There no "right" angle, just let your brain tell you by comparison as you move the camera slightly which looks most balanced. That's usually the most flattering angle.
Eye position: A subject looking straight ahead sends a "look but don't bother me" message with the eyes. Try "cheating" the eyes more to towards, but not staring directly at the camera for more of a "come meet me" vibe without it becoming "shifty-eyed".
Lighting ratio: Shadows are darker than I'd typically use for a "flattering" portrait of a woman. What you used here is better suited for a man or a woman in a business suit trying to project a more aggressive vs. passive body language message. Here the pose and look to the side expression read "passive" but the lighting ratio is too "aggressive" and dark to match those body language clues.
The tone of the shadows, all other things being equal in the photo, are a clue the brain uses to interpret and infer mood of the subject and whether the environment they are in, even when none is seen, is "normal" or not. So when you get the pose and lighting refined try different ratios:
key = fill (1+1:1) = 2:1 What I use for women, young kids
key 1 stop over fill: (2+1:1) = 3:1 Men, tween and teens when I want them to look serious/mature. What looks "normal" in candid shots with most cameras (the look of a ratio varies somewhat with sensor range)
4:1 and greater key < fill ratios? Save those for the character studies of grandpa...
What you have here is what I typically see with a 3:1 ratio (key a stop stronger than fill). As you try different ratios note how as you adjust overall power/exposure to keep the highlight tone similar the darker shadows change the impression the photo creates. Often you can't judge that objectively on a very familiar subject so make prints of the identical pose/pattern with the various ratios and show them to friends. Ask which ratio they find the most "normal" looking and how the others changed their reaction.