Shooting from Different Angles for Better Photos

Man Throwing Rock, Clouds and Blue Sky

Learn how composing your shot from a slightly different angle can turn a photo from drab to fab.

It doesn’t matter if you’re photographing animals, people, or nature; the next time you find yourself taking photos, rather than simply pointing and shooting, try composing your shot down on one knee or standing on a chair. Why? Photographing your subject from a different angle can have a huge impact on the overall result of an image, making it much more interesting than the standard “head on” approach.

Here are some tips and techniques for photographing from different angles.

Help Illustrate the Size of an Object

Sometimes shooting from different angles simply adds interest to a photo, but it can also help portray the size of your subject or even exaggerate it. Take the two images below for example. The first image is rather boring and doesn’t really do a good job at demonstrating the size of the trees. In the second photo, however, you feel smaller and get a better sense of how tall the trees really are. This was done by simply crouching down and positioning my camera at a slightly different angle. Photographing people from this angle can help portray the subject as being powerful and dominant.

Trees in the Forest Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada Tall Trees in the Forest Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada

If you haven’t guessed already, shooting from above your subject will have the opposite effect; the subject will appear smaller. This is a great technique if you’re trying your hand at photographing emotions and you want your subject to appear to be weak or vulnerable.

Sometimes You Just Need to Shoot Blind

Don’t think that you need to look through your digital camera’s viewfinder to compose your images all the time. Sometimes “shooting blind” will allow you to get that perfect angle and capture what otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Take the image of the mushrooms below for example. To get this shot, I either needed to lie right down on the ground so I would be able to put my eye up to the viewfinder, or I needed to crouch down and simply take a guess at where my camera should go. The ground was wet and I really didn’t feel like getting soaked, so I decided to shoot blind. Of course, because you can’t see what you’re doing, you’ll probably get some, what I call, deleters – photos that aren’t worth keeping. But that’s the beauty of the digital era; no film wasted and you can view your images from your camera’s LCD screen to help you decide where you need to recompose your shot to get a better photo.

Two Mushrooms and Moss on Forest Floor Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada

Try Various Angles of the Same Subject

Get creative and try shooting the same thing from several different angles for entirely new looks of the same subject. Here are some ideas:

  • Stand on a chair or table (carefully!)
  • Shoot from on your belly or crouching down
  • Lay down on your back and have your subject stand over you
  • Shoot blind to get angles that aren’t otherwise possible

Eliminate Distractions

In addition to the above benefits, composing a photo from a different angle can help eliminate distracting backgrounds. For example, a streetlamp or tree branch that appears to be protruding from your subject’s head can be avoiding simply by stepping to the left or right before taking the photo.

So the next time you find yourself photographing family members, animals, buildings, or really anything for that matter, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try positioning your camera every which way to add interest to your images to get that perfect photo.

Share Your Perspective

Do you have a photo you captured from an interesting angle? We’d love to see it! Follow Posterjack on Instagram and tag us in your photo so we can check it out!

11 comments

    1. Happy (belated) Canada Day, Cassandra! Thanks for sharing your photos! I especially like the first one you show in your blog post. What a beautiful day to celebrate! 🙂

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