How to Find the Best Angle to Photograph People


Portrait photography is one of the most challenging styles of photography. The portrait is a memorable image created to capture the individual. The classic portrait gives the photographer the chance to generate a memory, forever frozen in time. The right camera angle can make the difference between a mediocre portrait photograph and an impeccable portrait photograph. Photographing people may sound overwhelming, but there are a few things you can do that will guarantee good results.

  • Size up your subject. Taller people will look best if photographed from above. This makes them seem shorter. Shoot from below if you are photographing a short adult or child to give the illusion of a longer body and added height.

  • Photograph your subject according to their body type. Thin or underweight people should be photographed straight on to make them appear toned or curvy (for women). Minimize large or overweight people by shooting them at a slanted angle.

  • Zoom in to flatter your subject's face in a photograph. People with thin faces should look directly at the camera to give the illusion of fullness. People with full faces or double chins should be photographed from above and at a slanted angle.

  • Examine the lighting before photographing your subject. If you want the subject's features to stand out, angle your camera so the light source is on the side of your subject. If you would like a flat appearance, angle your camera so that light is distributed equally.

  • Angle your camera to improve the quality of the photo by refracting light away from anything that will cause a glare. Position your camera slightly above and at an angle to your subject to diminish reflections from eyeglasses. This will also be helpful when photographing your subjects in front of cars or windows.

Tips & Warnings

  • Different angles can also portray different emotions. Create drama by doing a close-up photo and have your subject stare into the lens.
  • Do not inform your subjects why you are shooting from different angles unless they ask. Stay professional and do not offend anyone.
  • Overhead lighting is unflattering for any shape or size.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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