I’ve been thinking about taking out a contract on the agony aunt who invented what I have come to call “The Turtle” pose!
In these un-retouched photographs, fellow photographer Melanie Dixson kindly demonstrates “The Turtle” while goofing off before a shoot. To perform The Turtle, simply push your head and neck up and forward in an attempt to stretch out unwanted chins or neck skin. Warning! This will make you look weird!
The problem is that The Turtle tends to make the subject look a bit silly, and once you spot somebody doing The Turtle in a photograph, then you will never be able to un-see it!
A modified version of The Turtle is the raised chin, same goal, similar technique, but leaving the subject looking a little like a cross between blue-steel and a white supremacist.
What then to do?
For my part, as a red blooded Kiwi male, I think that Melanie looks pretty darn cute with or without the chins, so personally I’d say embrace them and enjoy your humanity! (I think that we, humankind, have far more important matters to spend our short lives worrying about, but don’t get me started … ) But we live in a world where women, and increasingly men, have been indoctrinated to the extent that they believe they need to look a certain way.
If you are concerned about chins or necks in your photographs, then employ an experienced pro photographer and tell him or her your concerns. From there, just be yourself, and let the photographer lead you. It will all work out fine if you simply hand over the control. Yup, let go of the control. Say an emphatic ‘NO’ to The Turtle. By just being yourself you will allow your skilled and experienced photographer to capture you at your best!
Compare and contrast the 100% turtle free images of Melanie below, some with chins, and some without, all lovely in my opinion. Mel isn’t wearing any makeup, the Wellington wind has been real in her hair, and the photographs have not been retouched. This captures a real day at work for Melanie, and for me, it harks back to how life was back when we were shooting film a decade and a half ago…
… then while setting up the lights …