Mar 23, 2010

All in the Angle

Filed under: Photography,shooting tips — Tags: , , — Kay @ 12:05 pm


One of the things that has always drawn me to photography is the power it gives you to let people look through your eyes. You can tell your story the exact way you see it, feel it and experience it. A picture really is worth a thousand words. But like in a conversation, you have to know how to get and keep someone’s attention.

A good photographer captures that one special moment in time, a great photographer turns it into quiet truth. And this rings especially true in food photography. I don’t want you to show me those things I can see for myself. I need for you to let me look through your eyes from a new and fresh perspective. A unique view. Your view.

How do you do that? Well, it’s all in the angle.

When you’re photographing a product, food or children, make sure you shoot from a fresh angle. Angles are so important. Even when that means getting down on your knees or even flat on your back in a flower-field to shoot flowers against the sky.

When you look down on subjects from a standing position, it will often be much harder to find that one perfect, captivating angle. This rings especially true in food and children’s photography. What you want to do is avoid shooting from an angle that will make people see things in a way they see it every single day. It’s why I keep a gardening knee mat and blanket in the trunk of my car.

It’s probably best to show you a few examples.

This is the subject from a standing position. Kinda boring angle, isn’t it? Why would you want to shoot a photo like this? It doesn’t show your audience anything they can’t see for themselves when they look down on the Buddha statue. So we have to give them a different view. Best way to do that is by getting down to the level of your subject.


A frontal shot at the subjects level makes a huge difference. Especially in food photography. Fill the frame, make it all about the subject.


Do not be afraid to tilt your camera to get an even more interesting perspective. You’d be amazed what a slight tilt can do for certain photos.


Just some random decorating stuff from a standing position.


Stuff that looks very different and way more interesting as soon as you play with the angle. Full frontal shot with a slight camera tilt to the right.


A simple bowl with matching plate shot from a standing position. Something food bloggers see nearly every day.


Now see how kneeling down to get on the same level as your subject doesn’t just make for an aesthetically better photo, but also note how it affects the feeling of size of the bowl.


It’s all about the angle. Play with it. Let people see through your eyes in a way they can’t see it themselves.

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    1. 1

      That really is a big difference. Thanks for taking the time to show us!

      Cindy on Mar 23, 2010 @ 1:56 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Great tips I am going to try this… Thank you for sharing

      sue on Mar 23, 2010 @ 2:25 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Excellent post. I don’t think I’ve taken a straight photo in three years. ;)

      Karohemd on Mar 23, 2010 @ 3:03 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Great information, Kay. I’m still in the baby steps stages with learning photography and angles are one of the things I struggle with. Oh, and lighting….always the lighting.

      Lana from Never Enough Thyme on Mar 23, 2010 @ 3:27 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Thanks for sharing. Great tips.

      Che-Cheh on Mar 23, 2010 @ 5:08 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Love ANY and all camera tips – thanks for taking the time to share!

      elizabethk on Mar 23, 2010 @ 8:33 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Thank you!  I am about to take some new photos of my soap (a beautiful, but small subject) and these tips are a big help!

      Shannon on Mar 24, 2010 @ 2:03 am Reply
    8. 8

      I had one of those “ah-ha” moments when reading this.  It clarifies and puts some perspective on stuff I’ve been thinking about recently.  Trying to work out why some photos are better than others.  Thanks for this, I shall go off and have a play.

      kathryn on Mar 24, 2010 @ 3:00 am Reply
    9. 9

      Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I especially love that second Buddha photo.

      Marisa on Mar 24, 2010 @ 2:26 pm Reply
    10. 10

      You have no idea what a “light bulb” moment this post was for me.  The sad part is, I KNOW angles make a difference but something here finally soaked into my thick head.  I can’t wait to try it out with my newest grandson this afternoon.  Now, if only I knew how to work all the adjustments on my Nikon D70s.

      Janie on Mar 24, 2010 @ 7:57 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Thanks Kay, I really appreciate all your tips. I am so useless with photography. In one post you have opened my eyes, the examples are very enlightening!
      Food must be about the most difficult subject there is, and yours is always so beautifully done.  Just like lana, lighting is my downfall.

      Vanessa on Mar 24, 2010 @ 9:00 pm Reply
    12. 12

      This is very helpful, especially to a photography novice like me.  Thanks, Kay!

      Jean on Mar 24, 2010 @ 9:22 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Very helpful hints. I never used to take photographs before i started blogging which is only a few months ago so it’s all new to me. Thank you fot his, appreciate it!

      my little expat kitchen on Mar 25, 2010 @ 4:10 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Thanks for sharing!

      PeachRainbow on Mar 26, 2010 @ 12:58 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Kay your explanations are perfect as well as your examples.  Well done!!

      doodles on Mar 29, 2010 @ 4:58 am Reply
    16. 16

      Your tips are so wide angle, really like the tips which you have explained in simple steps

      expatrecipe on Nov 13, 2010 @ 11:48 am Reply

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