As a photographer, I’m always asked for tips and advice on how to take better photos – it happens mostly at wedding receptions where there is always a budding photographer or two. The funny thing is, most of these conversations revolve around the camera equipment I’m using. Funny because cameras and equipment make little difference to getting great images for the average photographer.
Everyone “into” photography is into getting new gear and is always eyeing off something that will take their photography to the next level. That “just gotta have” lens, filter, software, flash or whatever, that will make a big difference to their images.
Truth is, a new kit isn’t the holy grail if you are simply looking to take better portraits.What ever you have now is probably fine.
I’ll let you in on a little secret that won’t cost you a cent and it really will improve your photography.
When I think of the one single thing that separates an amateur from a professional portrait photographer, it’s simply getting the lens down to eye level (or below) of the subject – especially when photographing children.
Often you can get away without getting lower when photographing adults because they will be at a similar height to you – this isn’t the case with kids.
Simply, get down to their level. It’s really that easy.
If you shoot at or below your subjects eye level, the whole perspective changes and your images will come alive. Try it – you’ll be surprised!
Oh yeah, when I say get down to eye level – I often find myself laying flat on the ground with smaller children to get the perspective I’m after.
When photographing adults it’s the same thing – shoot from below their eye level to make them appear taller, slimmer and they won’t have an oversized head in your photos 🙂
For me and my “average height” I don’t have to work too hard to get the perspective I’m after but if you are tall, you may have to crouch, squat, lay or sit down to get the look you are after.
The beauty of getting real low is the whole look of your images will change, especially when photographing amongst long grass. Beware though, you may need to use a longer lens to keep the right perspective when filling your frame – close up with a wide angle lens from shoe level will result in a subject with…. you guessed it… big feet!
Good luck and have fun shooting.
If you really are interested in taking a big step forward with your photography, check out these two tutorials:
Want to see more portrait examples, jump over to the Impact Images portrait gallery.
If you’re interested in learning about all the controls of your camera, what settings to use when and moving beyond auto, I’ll have a FREE video training course on the blog soon.
Lastly, if you have any questions about improving your photography, feel free to post a question in the comments below or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d be happy to help.