Change Your Shooting Angle

Chang­ing your Shoot­ing Angle — Get Down On Your Knees (or Get Up On a Chair)

A sim­ple way to make your pho­tog­ra­phy more inter­est­ing is to change the position/and or angle of the cam­era. Most peo­ple take their shots fac­ing their sub­jects straight on. They, and their cam­eras are always at the same level as their sub­jects. Vary­ing the whole cam­era posi­tion pro­duces inter­est­ing results that are often unexpected.

One my favorite posi­tions is down on my knees, or bet­ter yet, lying on my back. The sub­ject of the photo doesn’t really mat­ter. It could be a per­son, a horse, or even a build­ing. Just get really low down and angle your cam­era way upward until the sub­ject (or part of the sub­ject) is nicely com­posed. This changes the entire per­spec­tive of the pho­to­graph, the main sub­ject tends to look larger and more impos­ing (See pic­ture A). Take a shot of a 6 year old in this way, and you’ll be sur­prised at the result. You can do the reverse as well; get up on a chair and shoot down at the sub­ject. Bet­ter yet, exper­i­ment and invent your own unique positions.

Another easy way to get an inter­est­ing effect is to take the pic­ture with the cam­era rotated from the nor­mal shoot­ing posi­tion. We are used to see­ing body posi­tions and back­grounds straight up and down. By tilt­ing the cam­era either slightly or extremely, the sub­ject gets tilted as well (see Pic­ture B). This adds inter­est to the photograph.


Pic A — This model is only 5 foot 1 but because I took this pic­ture while lying on my back, she looks larger.


Pic B– This is a straight on shot. The cam­era is not tilted so the main sub­ject remains vertical.


Pic B1– I rotated the cam­era before I shot this pic­ture. The sub­ject is there­fore rotated as well.

One of the keys to cre­ativ­ity is exper­i­men­ta­tion.
The next time you take a pho­to­graph, exper­i­ment by get­ting your­self and your cam­era into a dif­fer­ent position.