How you feel about something depends on your perspective of the situation. That is true for photography as well as life. I’m deep, huh?!!
To give you an example of the power of perspective, I took a bunch of shots with the same camera, lens, and lighting. In these shots, the only thing I changed was where I stood and my camera angle.
(Note: I chose a lamp instead of a person because subtle changes in a person’s face and body can influence how you feel about a photo, and I didn’t want that to be a factor. However, imagine the lamp as a person to get a better vision of this exercise.)
What you’ll find is PERSPECTIVE influences PERCEPTION.
When I want things to look as-is, I’ll shoot it straight on.
Shrink Your Subject
To make my subject look smaller, I backed up a little to show the entire painting and shot at a slight downward angle.
Highlighting Specific Features
When I angle my camera even more, I highlight my subject’s upper features and minimize her lower features.
Another way to highlight a specific feature is by getting a tight shot of what you want to enhance and using a large aperture (I used f/1.4) to blur out the other features. This gives you an intimate feel.
Some examples of what I’d do this for: the wrinkled hands of a senior, the tears of a happy newlywed, or the eyelashes of a newborn.
Shake Things Up
Sometimes you have to step outside the norm and do something funky. Something fun. Something that makes you want to get down and funky. (It’s like we’re back in the ’70s!)
By shooting from a lower angle, I essentially changed my background from a white wall to a painting.
Some photographers think it’s a no-no to shoot a portrait in a lower angle than their subject, but I like to shake things up.
Photography is Art, and with Art, there aren’t any rules, in my opinion. Don’t be afraid to change your perspective and see what happens.
1. Take a moment to think about how you want your subject to be perceived in the image before you take a shot. Is there anything you wanted to highlight? A story you want to tell?
2. You don’t need fancy camera equipment or a bunch of lenses to create different perspectives. You just need creativity and the ability to move around…and BAM! You have it all.