Cut and paste from Tally Ho: Not from mi...
Just wan to share to my fellow newbie like mi..
TWENTY FIVE RULES
FOR BETTER PORTRAITURE
I obtained these rules from "The Master Book of Portraiture and Studio Management" by Don Peterson, Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman. Published by Studio Press, Twain Harte, CA.
Correct Posing Stool Height- Knee high for normal subjects, two to three inches lower for thin subjects, full height for heavy set subjects.
Solid Pyramidal Base- The body should not be turned away from the camera any more than 45 degrees. Any further and the head has no solid foundation for support.
Sit Tall- No round shoulders or slumping over.
Lean Forward Slightly-"Over the belt buckle." This eliminates the static straight up and down look and will give a feeling of motion to the portrait.
Project The Chin-If your subject has a full or double chin, projecting the chin and a slightly higher camera position should remove it.
Proper Eye Direction-Generally speaking, the eyes should follow the direction of the nose.
Proper Head Tilt- Never tip a man’s head to the high (feminine) shoulder as he will look feminine. Women's heads can be tipped toward either shoulder, but the feminine shoulder is more appealing.
Proper Camera Height-Eye level for head and shoulders, chin level to chest level for ¾ length and chest level to waist level for full length portraits. An even lower camera height for heavy set brides will add height and dignity to the subject.
Avoid Football Shoulders-Shoulders should be turned 30 to 45 degrees away from the camera depending on the weight of the subject. The thinner the subject, the less you should turn the shoulders.
Watch the Nose and Cheek Line-The far eye should either been seen or not seen but never ½ of it. This will also prevent your subject’s nose from looking large and obtrusive.
Watch Recessed Cheek Line with Glasses. I usually have the subject obtain empty eyeglass frames which will solve the problem immediately. Otherwise you may have sacrifice good lighting and turn the head straight toward the camera.
Watch Main Light Shadow on Lip-A shadow across the serious face is OK, but a shadow across a smiling face will darken the front teeth.
Don’t Overuse Hair and Accent Lights-The hair light should skim the hair, not blast it. Same for the accent lights.
If It Bends, Bend It-Wherever there is a joint, "break" it.
Don’t Stack Hands-Either on top of one another or on top of the knees. Seperate them and place them between the joints.
Subdue the Near hand-The hand(s) nearest to the lens will appear larger than what they actually are. Make sure they are not projected toward the lens.
Keep Hands Within The Range of Focus-If the hands show in a portrait, they should be in focus.
Place the Weight on the Back Foot-(Standing poses.) This will put the hips and shoulders at a pleasing angle. (An addendum of the "If It Bends" rule.)
Watch Feet, Hip, and Shoulder Position-(Gals) The foot nearest the camera, should be pointed toward the camera, have no weight on it, and she should bend her knee and foot slightly toward the other leg. This will **** the foot up on its edge and give a pleasing "S" curve to her body.
Do Not Photograph Two Heads at the Same Height- Ideally the eyes of the shorter subject (usually the female) should be at the same height as the lips of the taller subject.
Have No Head Directly Above Another-All heads should not only be at different heights (rule 20) but also not directly above or below another subject.
Avoid Crotch Shots-Raising the leg closest leg to the camera in a standing pose (and putting it on a posing stool) or raising the closest leg in a seated pose will prevent shooting up the subject’s crotch.
Use The Right Key and Good Taste-Generally speaking a subject dressed in all white, looks best in a medium to high key background. Conversely, a subject dressed in dark clothing looks best on a medium to dark (low key) background.
If The Subject Has Two of Them, Try and Make Them Different. Hands, at different levels are more interesting than hands foldedor side by side. Same with feet, knees, hips, arms, shoulders and elbows.
Don’t Photograph The Back of Women's Hands. Always photograph the side of women's hands. Fists are masculine, open hands are feminine.
Another good book is "BODY PARTS-Don Blair’s Guide To Lighting and Posing."