How to Take Photographic Character Shifts

In photography, character of the subjects is very important. You need to have the skill in showcasing the personality of your model without exactly overdoing the character portrayal. But in here, we will talk about an important skill off photographing character shifts.

Most character shifts are being done in highly skilled photography. It’s about showcasing a new version of an existing art and unleashing its other potentials. A perfect example of which is capturing the feminine side of masculinity. We all know that masculinity is a heavily portrayed character in sexy magazines. There’s so much character in the model alone, making the intervention from the photographer very minimal. It’s up to the angst and swag of the model already.


But if one showcases the femininity of a man, the story becomes different. It becomes an affectionate portrayal of the other side of an entity that our culture has portrayed as strong, firm and resolutely composed. And this is being done with talent not just from the model but also from the photographer himself.

Here are some of the guidelines that you have to follow to effectively capture photographic character shifts as your theme.

  • Study the Character

Studying the character that you wanted to portray is the first parameter in knowing how to get away from that specific personality. Obviously, the only way you can shift from a certain character is when you already have enough knowledge of that character. That way, you can measure how much of a twist you can do to unleash another character born from the original one.

  • Capture Closer Body Shots

In order to effectively capture a photographic character shift, take closer body shots to zoom in essential turning points for character portrayal. For example, one can notice that a child being portrayed as a mature man has a little body figure that gives a greater impact on the disparity of the ages. A masculine man, despite being portrayed as a feminine one, still doesn’t have a chest to show, making that contrast of character shift being fleshed out further.

Moreover, you can take the zooming to your advantage by redirecting audience’s attention to the character shift and not to the surroundings.

  • Show Inherent Emotions to the Character Portrayed

There are inherent emotions that you can show for the character being portrayed. And there are different ways of doing this. For example, a man crying in tears shows a certain side of femininity. Tears, in this instance, was elemental in showcasing the soft side of men.

You need to figure out those elements that you can take and use them to your advantage.

  • Don’t Over-Portray

Remember that we’re not talking about those people who are already living under that character. It’s not a character shift to a man if a woman is already living as a lesbian, neither it is for a gay man cross-dressing to a woman. We’re trying to unleash a character that doesn’t seem so natural in our culture’s portrayal. It’s an exploration that we wanted to dig further in account of the different empowerment movements that we have now.

Over-portrayal happens when you totally got away from the original character. Make sure that you are able to strike a balance in portraying the characters that you wanted to show. If you wanted to showcase the femininity out of masculine men, don’t go overboard in portraying them as natural gay men. There’s an art in balancing the two characters and that’s where you have to intercede.

Showing the different components of a certain character gives you the comparative advantage of learning the skill of photography in its different extents. It’s about constantly challenging yourself and pushing yourself to your limits. Take inspiration from that in order to master your craft.

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