Updated: Jul 17, 2018
When looking through all my work (personal and professional) in order to decide on the subject for today, I realised I quite like an unexpected vantage point.
Whether you like to get creative or happy to shoot 'from the hip', when aiming to go beyond capturing what you see and translating how it feels, producing imagery filled with a story, consider your position - can you improve the image by adjusting how you view the scene?
Shooting from below can be a bit tricky, unless you can guarantee complete safety for your subject, yourself and your equipment (I am thinking swings, jumps and all sorts of daredevil activities along those lines).
So I usually go above.
This works especially well with stationery children (newborns and through to sitter age), when you need to move yourself to make the image interesting, instead of relying on the little on to make it exciting for you.
Putting yourself above the subject and grabbing their attention can near-guarantee catch lights in the eyes (see Day 2 tutorial), it can also ensure you capture that gorgeous whole face and get it lit up brilliantly.
In the following example, I caught our son brushing his teeth, taking in the full scene and going down low to ensure I was at eye-level with him. I took a few shots and then decided to make the most of the diffused light coming through the matte window behind him.
Slide to the side to check the resulting images, which do you prefer?
Can you see the brighter light in his face and the gorgeous catch lights in the second image? But I like the scene I was able to capture in the first image better. Each image has something it delivers better and, in the end, it will be which matters the most for the viewer to choose a favourite.
Here's another example, where I took a classic pose picture and then went above (scroll to the right to see).
I actually struggle to decide which I like best out of these two!
Do you often think about maximising the potential of the image you are taking by changing up your vantage point?
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