The Face-ism Ratio is the ratio of face to body in an image that influences the way the person in the image is perceived. I think the face-ism ratio is very, very important to photographers. The term generated from research on gender bias. Shots of women featured more of their bodies and shots of men featured more face. When an artist draws a man, they draw facial features – when they draw a woman they draw bodies and minimal detail in the faces.

The way we perceive pictures is important. Seeing just a face shows intellectual and personality attributes. As the crop comes out and more body comes into the picture, we tend to think more physically and sensually.

You would not crop the face of an athlete; you show the body because it shows a more physical and less intellectual side in the image. Even if the pictures were not in action and they were wearing a suit. On the other hand, do you know of many full body shots of Einstein? Not really, we see the face.

So, keeping face-ism in mind we can achieve better photos. Do you want to translate more physical or sexy pictures? Drop back more, get full body shots and pay attention to how much face is in the picture. If you want to show more intellect or strength of personality, close in on your subject. The more personality and/or intellect you want to show, the more you fill the shot with a face.



The center image lacks the sexiness and physical characteristics of the images on either side but it shows more personality and intelligence.