People sometimes ask how master photographers take portraits, and when you ask them they often do such a lousy job explaining how it works. Thankfully, there is Franz Fiedler’s Portrait Photography (1934, I just bought the English language version, published in 1936) that tells you how it all works. Here are some excerpts.
First of all, you need to find the right side of the head. Apparently, one side seems to work better than the other, even though I still don’t understand it (click on the image for a slightly larger version - same for all following images).
Having light sources in excess of 1,000 Watts is a plus. That will keep your model cozily warm. Also note if you take photos of Pinocchio - as indicated in the diagram - proper placement of the nose will ensure it doesn’t show that badly in the photo.
But seriously, it’s a great book, even though the chapter of the forms of heads and what they supposedly mean is a bit disconcerting. I found my copy for $4.50 at The Strand, I’m sure there are lots of copies to be had online somewhere.