Creativity: Week 4
Last week, in our ongoing discussion about overcoming creative slumps, we discussed experimenting with new techniques. So, once you have those tried and tested, what next? Well, next, it’s time to talk about perspective.
One of the easiest ways to alter your normal photographic routine is to change your point of view. So, if I’m generally a straight shooter who most often sees my subjects from the front & at eye level, I need to think of ways that I can make that same image feel different.
I need to consider where I am in relation to my subjects and how that position (my point of view) impacts the overall outcome. Shooting straight on at eye level is beautiful for true portraiture, and (I would argue) necessary for documentary photography. But, when it comes to adding personality to an image? Not so much. This is where I think lifestyle photographers truly excel. Because they are constantly trying to find new perspectives from which to view their subject and frame the scene. So, let’s examine some of the ways we can try to view a scene differently.
Viewing from Above or Below
Look, one of these easiest ways to convey our subject’s size in relationship to his surroundings is by shooting from above or below. Think about it. If I’m viewing my small son from the top of his treehouse, looking down at him on the ground, I’m emphasizing his littleness with respect to his immediate environment. This also has the added impact of highlighting any sort of vulnerability or innocence. It heightens our awareness that even though this little person is getting bigger, the need for a cuddle still exists.
Similarly, shooting from below can emphasize a sense of power or strength, or importance with respect to the space.
This, however, is not limited to childhood. Think of urban architectural images. Shooting from below puts the viewer in the photographer’s place and emphasizes the sheer immensity of the building. Anytime you want to heighten a size differential to give more weight to a particular element within your frame, shooting from above or below is a perfect way to play up that significance.
Viewing from Within or Without
There is a certain voyeuristic quality attached to images wherein the photographer is viewing from within or without. It has a bit of a secretive feel, which sets a different tone. I love using this perspective to enhance the feeling of quiet, loving moments.
Admittedly, I don’t find myself employing this particular perspective often. Usually because I don’t find myself in environments with the space to do so. But, being able to shoot through allows us to isolate our subject while also conveying the sense of space. More often than not, I utilize this technique when photographing flowers…it helps to add some visual interest to the foreground while also beautifully isolating my subject in the background.
Viewing from the Side
Now, this might seem a little strange that I’m including this particular “angle” in the mix, but hear me out. When shooting from the side, the photographer is a part of whatever is taking place…as opposed to simply observing it. This particular perspective also lends itself nicely to incorporating leading lines in the frame.
Honest & Joyful Westchester NY Family Photographer
Gina specializes in colorful & modern storytelling images. Using carefully chosen outdoor locations to provide a backdrop for each family’s story, she is able to create an adventurous and fun-filled session atmosphere. Visit the Session Info page for more details.