One problem (amongst many) in portrait photography is where to shoot from. Do you shoot at the subject’s eye level? Below? Above? Unfortunately, there’s no one single answer to this question. Your subject’s appearance will change drastically based on which angle you choose, and no one angle is good for every subject. If you’re not convinced that your angle will make much of an impact on your final images, take a look at this short, but surprising, viral video:
Now the first thing I’m sure you noticed was that the girl was purposefully scrunching her face up in the first half of the video. It’s true that this adds to the dramatic change in the two perspectives. Her cheeks are pushed up and her chin is pulled back. But even so, you can see the changes that the different angles make on her:
- Her eyes go from small and partially closed to large and open.
- Her chin and lower jaw appear smaller making her look more feminine.
- The top of her head is more prominent which makes her face look smaller.
- The lighting on her face is more attractive from the high angle than from the low.
If you find that this video is biased, try doing some experimental shots of your own at home. Find a friend or family member and shoot them at various angles under the same lighting (and having them keep the same expression). You’ll be surprised at the differences.
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