How to Use Angles and Lighting for Portrait Photography

Are you wondering how professional photographers capture stunning and beautiful portrait photos? Have you tried taking portrait images but you still find that they are not as good as you want them to be? If you are not a professional photographer, you may experience lots of difficulties when capturing portrait photos with your camera. In this article, we will look at some of the best techniques you can use to manipulate angles and lighting to produce great photos. Don’t worry! You will be shooting amazingly dazzling photos in no time.

Camera Angles Matter in Portrait Photography


Do you know where should position yourself when shooting a portrait photograph? Which do you think is the best position in a certain position? For you to know all this, you need to learn the different camera angles in photography. There are basically three angles when it comes to portrait photography; the high angle, also known as bird’s eye view, normal angle also known as man’s eye view and low angle also known as worm’s eye view. The high angle is where you capture the photo with the camera above the subject’s face. This angle is used to diminish the subject for a sliming, feminizing, prettier shot. If you want to create a flattery image, then this is a great angle for head shot photography.

The next camera angle is the normal eye level angle. This angle is based on how we generally see things and gives us a natural feel to our subjects. This angle is mostly used in model photography or photo documentation or in situations where the photographer doesn’t want the subject to appear dwarfed or skewed. In this angle, you may also choose to shoot from the side just to add variety and art. Photographing from the side means that the camera sees only a part of the subject’s face, thus resulting in slimmer images.

The next angle is the worm’s angle(low angle). Shooting from below such that your camera points upwards to your subject enlarges the facial features and emphasizes their chin. This creates a masculine and more confident picture. The key here is capturing images in angles that best suit your situation. If the time allows, capture from as many angles as possible. This will help you choose the best angle, in case you are not sure which is the most suitable angle to take a perfect shot.

Manipulating Light and Choosing The Best Lens


Without proper lighting, your portrait photography is dead. Lighting is a very vital factor that determines whether your photos are flattery or not. First, you need to determine whether you will want to use artificial or natural lighting. If you choose to go with natural light, you need to determine the proper temperature or color of light. The day is divided into different color scales. For example, the morning brings out more blue color, while around noontime provides you more neutral colors. Even though neutral colors may be just perfect, they have a tendency of taking away any definition or statement you’re trying to convey in your photo. Another crucial aspect to consider when using natural light is learning how to use angles and directions of the light. For instance, the narrower the angle, the more shadows will be produced, and the broader the focused light, the softer your pictures will be since the shadows won’t be as defined.

What you may need to avoid in traditional photos are hard lines that come from harsh lights or direct sunlight. Strong lights that create shadows on the subject’s face may emphasize pimples, uneven skin, and blemishes. Practice and the understanding lighting techniques make the art of professional photography what it is. Using the light to your advantage, while at the same time keeping it from dominating your photos is the ultimate technique. Proper lighting is everything to shooting beautiful and delightful pictures.

When choosing your lens, it would be best to go for portrait lens rather than the wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens is perfect for full body shots or landscapes, but when it comes to portraits, it may enlarge the face and distort the image.

The above are just some of the tips which you can use to capture the best portrait photos. What you need to keep in mind is that practice makes perfect. Shoot from different angles and with different lighting. Be confident that you can shoot amazing images. Confidence and practice are two vehicles that will lead you to shooting fantastic images.