When shooting portraits, shooting at a high or low angle is a good way to convey a message. But, the angle can also make a big difference when it comes to composition and the lighting, helping you make the best out of your shots. In this video from Adorama TV, Gavin Hoey demonstrates how a simple change of shooting heights can make a dramatic difference in your portraits.
When photographing people, we usually take photos at the eye-level, which seems the most natural. But we can get creative and get plenty of different shots even while staying at the same location. Gavin demonstrates this perfectly in the video, where he shoots portraits on location, in a beautiful tulip field.
When shooting at the eye level, you can see the sky and the trees in the background, which definitely works for some shots. But shooting from a low angle creates more dramatic images, and it changes the background so only the blue sky is visible. While staying at the same spot, changing the angle to shoot from above turns colorful tulips into the background. All three angles give a completely different vibe to the images. Note that it’s handy to bring a small step-ladder to the location with you so you can have more options when it comes to the shooting angles.
Which angle is the best? Well, there’s no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what you want to achieve and what mood you want to give to your shots. It also depends on the lighting. For example, shooting directly into the sun will make the sky burnt out if you shoot from a low angle. On the other hand, the background will look much better when shot from the eye level or a high angle, with the sun acting as a beautiful backlight to the model. But as Gavin notes, try all angles while you’re at the location. This way you’ll make the most out of the location and end up with more interesting shots.