From Fat To Fit In 5 Minutes

From Fat To Fit In 5 Minutes

Apparently, someone once said the camera never lies. Whoever that was obviously didn't really think too much about the importance of very simple elements like lighting, posing and clothing. Melanie Ventura, an Australian fitness instructor (pictured above) has demonstrated very easily the importance of these elements that most of us as photographers are aware of but don't always consider. Simple, basic technique can absolutely transform the people you shoot. Read on to find out more.

I've just spent last week working with Lindsay Adler on some very interesting material for a Kelby lesson she was teaching on how to highlight and bring out the strongest side of the people we shoot. Whether you are dealing with a heavy set individual, someone with glasses (and issues of reflections in their lenses), someone with challenging (large or wide) or asymmetrical features, oily or shiny skin and so on, Lindsay is masterful to watch because she knows that the slightest fraction of movement (by either her camera or subject), her subject's posture, her lens choice and her lighting direction, intensity and quality can all bring about vastly different final images, and therefore perceptions in the people we see in the final shot. She also reminded me today of Melanie's picture and her rapid transformation from the result of very simple and basic actions we don't always think about but can all apply when we shoot portraits or images of people we want to make look their best.

Melanie's amazing transformation shot was the result of nothing more than a quick pose change (note the negative space when she moves her arm away from her body making her look slimmer), better posture (pulling the shoulders back and kicking the hip out really makes more of a pleasing 'S' curve), an outfit change (black slims the figure and isn't it amazing what proper fitting clothing can actually do!) and some simple hair and make up changes.

It makes you wonder how many of those "Before/After" shots we see everywhere, showing what the latest diet/exercise machine/slimming pill in action are really the effect of said remedy, or are actually just people making some small changes as Melanie did.

We all probably know this stuff makes a difference but often we forget just how powerful it is in how our final image is realized, or how to control these elements like those mentioned when shooting someone. Very simple, but very powerful stuff to apply on your next portrait session.

Via: MelVFitness

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71 Comments

The camera doesn't lie, but it can be lied to....

I think it's also important to point out that the pic of the girl on the left shouldn't be considered "fat" at all.

Thank you. I was just going to write this. She looks average on the left and pretty thin on the right.

WOW I think she has a perfect body and I photograph lots of women!

Aren't you special.

Who's going to sell more swimsuits? Relax. It's ok. No one is saying "UGH OMG THE IMAGE ON TH LEFT SHES FAT UGLY AND SHOULD DIE" - No, we're saying the majority of the population, on earth, find the image on the right more attractive. The white knights will chime in with "but the one on the left is beautiful, etc. etc" Of course she is, no one is saying that. That's not the point. Fat shaming is just as bad as shaming people for being attracted to certain body types.

fair enough, but I think the first image is more attractive.

Greg Tennyson's picture

Suuuuuure.

I didn't say anything is wrong with preferring thinner girls... Just saying, your headline "from fat to fit" implies she looks fat on the left which she does not. Have a good day.

It was somewhat a poor choice of words. Maybe frumpy or blah would have worked? I mean you can tell she's a nice looking girl in the first picture but she doesn't POP like she does in the second.

David Geffin's picture

Correct and to clarify, the headline is representative of the language used in miracle weightloss infomercials we see everywhere, it wasn't a view on these images

I got the reference, Dave. Some, it seems, watched it fly over their heads.

David Geffin's picture

Thanks Oellort, glad it didn't miss everyone!

Chunky then.

Well Dave Geffin if you consider girl on the right side "fat" then there something seriusly wrong with you. And I am not just talking about your sight but also your view on females. Now go get some help. I also hope you never get a dotter.

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm not sure anyone could ever call the girl on the left "fat". This wasn't something Dave was saying but rather the point Melanie was making....after all she is a girl and the one in the photos.

David Geffin's picture

Absolutely right, thanks for clarifying Patrick.

Abel Wilson's picture

They are both the same girl. Ignore the sensationalist headline and read the article.
It's talking about the importance of posture, color, negative space, active space.
It talks about how you can bring out your client's best side by adding a little bit of effort.

I am all for men and women changing the definition of beauty that society has, however I'm tired of people taking pictures of themselves, not putting any effort into it and expecting people to give compliments.

She's a beautiful girl, but her point was that in "Transformation" pictures, a lot of the time it's a photographer's direction that helps highlighting the change in the subjects.
I think thats a valid point that she made, I've seen a few people feeling depressed about their bodies even though they are healthy and fit. They think something is wrong with them and regardless of how healthy they get, they are unable to look more attractive than they did before, like the people you see in advertisements for gyms.
You should read her article.
http://melvfitness.blogspot.in/2013/08/transformation-or-few-simple-twee...

What's a "dotter?"

Take a look in the mirror and you'll get it or ask your disappointed father. English is not my native language but I at least speak 3 Bosnian, Swedish and English (so so). What about you ?

I asked what a "dotter" is. Why are you so hostile?

that guy's definitely abrasive but id say that in context it was probably "daughter".

He has 264 comments online. They're all abrasive, unfortunately.

Carl Brunberg's picture

Dotter is how daughter is spelled in Swedish.

David Geffin's picture

Bob i was also curious. A rather bizarre response to what i thought was a pretty straightforward, innocent question

I found it wasn't so bizarre when I saw all 264 of his online comments. He's a troll starting trouble.

he was asking a legit question, jackass

Work on your mannors lest you be judged a fool as you have confirmed.

David Geffin's picture

That headline for the article was meant to be representative of the "fat to thin miracle photos" we all see in weightloss infomercial type ads, not a comment on my personal subjective view on this image.

Wyatt Michalek's picture

Nothing new here....I've been doing this for years.

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