Do you want your images to be different? To stand out?
One of the easiest ways to create dynamic images that will catch someone’s eye is to take the image from a perspective that people aren’t usually in. We’re so used to seeing the world from 5-6 feet from the ground, so when we see a picture from that same height we tend to see it as normal and don’t think twice about the image.
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that every image taken from a standing position is BORING… in fact, a huge majority of images taken throughout a wedding day will be from standing height typically, and that’s fine. But, if you really want to capture something different and have an image stand out, here are a few things you can try.
Get Low…REALLY Low
Have you ever heard the term “Worm’s eye view” before? Shooting from an extremely low angle, like “camera-on-the-ground” for example, is a great way to make the world look different through your lens. Buildings look taller, you can see more sky or ceiling, people’s shapes are different. When you shoot from an extremely low angle, you get a distorted aspect of the subject, which isn’t always flattering, so be careful with this one!
A great time to use this angle is during dancing at the reception, in front of large buildings or interesting architectural features, and when capturing silhouettes at sunset.
Get High…REALLY High
This may be one of the aspects I’m most known for right now in my shooting and it’s in part for the image and part for shock factor. Wedding photography really is a performance sport, so sometimes I take on the act of performer and I put on a bit of a show for my clients (Oh, and of course share it on Facebook and Instagram! Marketing is Marketing!). I’ll climb trees, buildings, fences, heck even people! Capturing an image from 9 feet and higher provides a different perspective that people aren’t used to seeing as well. In fact, if you can get really high up and match that with an interesting composition, you can make someone say “WOW” and really take notice of your work and dedication. Do anything for the shot, even if that means doing more than you need to sometimes.
A great time to use this angle is during portraits, during the ceremony if there is a balcony, and during dancing at the reception.
Work Your Glutes
The squat should be a mandatory wedding photographer workout! We find ourselves bending, squatting, crouching, leaning, doing anything to get our camera just a bit lower than standing height. Most photographers do this without even thinking. There have even been Tumblr pages dedicated to showing how people crouch and lean for the best angle with their iPhones. Compositionally, it’s one of the most pleasing angles to shoot from when shooting people in interesting locations. You can get the subject’s torso above the horizon line, and make the scene really stand out. If you really want the vertical lines in your image to be vertical, squat down a bit so your subject can be further up in the image, but your doors and building lines won’t be skewed too much.
A great time to use this angle is during wedding party photos when using symmetry in your composition, and during the ceremony shooting from the center aisle.
Meet Julio the Stool-i-o
If you’ve followed Amy & Jordan for any length of time, you may be aware of their assistant on wedding days. Julio. The stool-i-o. Amy isn’t a particularly tall individual, but what she lacks in height she makes up for in determination and preparation (and spunk…right?!?!). Shooting from a perspective that has people slightly looking up at you does WONDERS for their figure and jawline! There’s a reason people smile more when you simply say “Ok, now let’s get one from the Selfie Angle!” They know that you’re looking out for them and that they look better when they’re looking up. No more double chins!! YAY!
A great time to use this angle is portraits with the couple and wedding party, group photos including family formals, and in the getting ready room.
Very rarely do people ever look straight down at something. In order to do that you have to lean over and not fall over! As a photographer, this angle can lead to some really great compositions and artistic layouts of detail items. Lay flats have become hugely popular in the online and magazine world, and for good reason. Shooting straight down is a great way to take all other elements of the room or area out of consideration and make the image ONLY about the subject you place in it. Standing directly over items, and especially people, can be a little awkward at times, but once you figure out your balance and what settings to use so you nail focus every time, you’ll really start to create some amazing images!
A great time to use this angle is during engagement photos with your clients on the ground, shooting details, and anytime you have a balcony, staircase or architectural feature to allow it!
So get out there and try something new! Look at your own work and see where you are getting lazy, and where you could be getting stronger images simply by changing your angle. Get a fresh perspective!