Flattering Camera Angles for Portrait Photography
Let’s be honest. Most of us have had times when we head out to a photo shoot and our head isn’t really there. We’re just there to shoot, be done and go home. Sometimes we forget some of the basic skills needed to make our subjects look their best, or, perhaps we haven’t even learned those skills yet.
One of those basic skills is knowing about angles. Knowing which angles to shoot from is a huge asset to your business. Why? Because it means that when your clients see their photos, they will be thrilled with them and part of that will be because you helped position them and photograph them at angles that were flattering.
Nobody wants to be photographed from below. Nobody! You don’t ever want to be looking up someone’s chin or nose when taking photos! It sounds wrong and it looks even worse!
I took this first photo below as an example of how NOT to photography your portrait subjects. Its a terribly unflattering camera angle. This shot was taken directly in front of the couple and it makes her look too wide. Nobody wants to look wide!
What did I do to correct this problem?
All I did was simply take a few steps to my left and had them look over at me. They didn’t move their bodies, they only had to move their head. Bam! Much better photo and both of them loved the second image. (They never saw the first image).
And this is a photo of that same couple, 2 years later. She lost a lot of weight and wanted to be able to update their photos. Now even though she weighed less, that doesn’t mean how she was standing or the angle I shoot at doesn’t matter.
By having your subjects turn just a bit, it flatters both of them and creates a nicer image to look at. If they were both standing so that their bodies were straight and not angled, any extra weight would be more noticeable.
I have found that some of my best shots come when I am at the same level as my clients. If I have children or a family that is sitting down on my quilt, I am known for kicking off my shoes and laying down to get that shot.
When you get down to their level, and shooting from that perspective, it can change everything.
You will notice in all of my photos of seniors and women, they are not standing straight on looking at the camera (and yes, I just did a long scroll through my fanpage to check)!
Because it isn’t flattering! The shoulders are the widest part of our body, so when a woman faces the camera without turning her body at all, it draws attention to that area. Personally, I wouldn’t want that.
So have your ladies stand at a 45 degree angle and bend one knee. Or have them turn towards you, drop the shoulder thats closest to you, arch their back a bit and raise up the other shoulder. They can put their hands on their waist, put their thumbs in their pocket, grab their jean jacket…so many options.
It may sound like a lot, but it’s not. It looks great and it’s easy to do!
I do a lot of shots involving hands when I have senior sessions. When you use the arms and hands towards the face, that will naturally draw the eye exactly where I want it to go – straight to the subject’s face.
There are so many different set ups you can do so it’s great to see what different angles you can use and learn which are the most flattering.
But be careful. I’ve learned through trial and error that in my market, clients are not interested in purchasing senior images where the girls are posed like super models with their arms doing unnatural bends over their head. So I keep it natural and fun!
I had a recent Saturday full of mini sessions and one thing I noticed several times was moms doing something strange with their chin. Somewhere in time, in some land, a rumor was spread that we should all raise our chin very high and it would eliminate any sort of double chin.
Nope. Doesn’t work!
Instead, have your clients lower their chin just a bit and bring it forward. I promise, this makes a huge difference.
I hope you’ve been inspired and are ready to go out and remember that angles really do matter! It’s up to you to make your client look their best.
You can’t make someone lose weight overnight, but you can position them in a way that flatters their body type and helps them feel good about themselves in photos!
Do you have any questions or comments about Flattering Camera Angles for Portrait Photography? Leave us a comment below – we would love to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!