As I have honed my craft, I have come to appreciate interesting angles to shoot from. I always try to start with the “safe” shots, the images that are the same creatively for every family, where everyone is looking at the camera, the image is straight, and the subjects fill the frame in the relative center or a specified third of the frame. These are important images to capture, they are what most clients are looking for when booking a photographer for their Christmas cards or wall portrait.
As the session goes on though, my clients and I become more relaxed. Sometimes I will have them stay in the same location, but I will move around just a bit. I’ll see if I can get higher or lower. I will use my 18-200mm lens to its full capacity and zoom all the way in, as well as out. I will try to capture the landscape while the clients talk and smile at each other.
Recently I have been really valuing the concept of getting down low. Good photographers are willing to crouch, great photographers are willing to get incredibly dirty. I have always been taught to “shoot from above,” or to make sure my camera is slightly above my subjects. While this often creates a flattering angle, I have been getting down low, pretty much laying on the ground, to get some of my favorite images. I have been using weeds and grass as a foreground element, while still keeping my subjects in focus. I have photographed through trees and bushes, around buildings, and through window and door frames. The 200mm lens zoomed in so closely makes it so I really have to be creative in where I position myself, but it has made for some really exciting images.