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How to Find the Best Angle to Photograph People
Portrait photography can be one of the most challenging types of photography. When doing portrait photography it is important to capture a memorable image that captures the subjects personality and essence.
A portrait gives a photographer the opportunity to capture a subject as they are in that moment and forever freeze it in time. The camera angle can make or break an image and change it from an ordinary portrait to a photograph that will be cherished for years to come.
You don't want to emphasize the parts of a person which they dislike as they will never like the image. Instead you want to emphasize their best features and take away from what they feel are their flaws.
Pay attention to body type
For thin or underweight people: shoot straight on to make them appear toned and emphasize any curves they may have.
For overweight or large builds: shoot them at a slanted angle to minimize their body shape.
Be mindful of height
For tall people: photograph from above so they do not seem elongated and their height is not the focus of the image
For short people: shoot from below to give them the illusion of height and a longer body
When photographing faces
Zoom in to flatter your subjects face. For people with thin faces, having them directly into the camera will make their faces appear fuller. For people with fuller faces, have them look up at the camera or turn their face at an angle to the camera to be sure you do not make them appear larger.
Pay attention to lighting
If you shoot with the lighting source behind the subject, their face will be in shadows so to properly light your subject shoot with the light towards them.
To highlight the subjects features: angle the light to the side of your subject
To equally light the subject: distribute the light evenly towards your subject
Watch for reflections
If your subject wears glasses, be sure to shoot slightly above the subject and at a slight angle to avoid glare from the glasses. This technique will also work if you are shooting your subject in front of a window or anything else prone to glare.
Never use overhead lighting
Overhead lighting is almost always unflattering when used in portrait photography - regardless of the shape or size of your subject.
Try different angles
You never know what features your subject will prefer and what they despise, so be sure to play around with different angles to ensure there's at least some shots that they will love! Trying something different may just give you the best shot of the day!
Practice makes perfect!
These tips will help you to take a fantastic image, but practice really does make perfect when it comes to photography. Don't feel discouraged if your first couple of images don't come out the way you want - keep on trying and you will keep on learning!
Also know that most photographers take hundreds of shots at each shoot in order to capture the perfect one and with digital cameras it means you can!