photography by merrilee » san diego area weddings and portraits

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Best Camera Tips & Tricks // Different Viewpoints

So if you’ve been following the Best Camera Tips and Tricks series, I’ve been talking a lot about composition and giving you some techniques for improving your photos. I’ve talked about the Rule of Thirds, Filling the Frame, and Negative Space.  This week, I want to talk about changing up the viewpoint in your images. Most often, we grab the camera, stand directly in front of subject, tell them to say the obligatory *cheese*, and snap a picture. Nothing wrong with that, but let’s kick it up a notch.

Go ahead and take the straight-on shot that you usually do and then step back. Look at the scene and think about what else is going on. What is the context and how can it tell the story? Can you take a photo from up high? Down low? From the side? Can you take one that shows the perspective of someone in the picture? The perspective of a bystander? Experiment and see if you can take a series of photos of the same scene that all tell something different. Let’s look at a few examples.

The first two below are in little Oliver’s living room. They were all reading together and they are sitting in the same place in both pictures. The first picture was taken from their upstairs loft and really shows what the whole room looks like. The second was taken from the rug downstairs and shows what they’re reading and how they’re feeling. They have since moved to a new house and have expanded their family by one more  🙂  Both of these pictures help them to remember what it was like to sit and read together as a family of three in their first house.

While on their engagement shoot, Emily and Hector decided to pop into the local record shop. We had a great time capturing them at one of their favorite spots and we did it from a variety of angles. Take a look at the four images below and you can see how each image tells a little something different…what the record store looked like, what albums they found, and the ring on her finger  🙂

In these next three images, you can get some glimpses into Baby Brynn’s nursery and crib. In the first one, we have the perspective of big sister, Brooke, peering into the crib. While I couldn’t climb in the crib with Brynn (don’t think I wouldn’t try), in the second one, I was able to get down low and capture what it might be like for Brynn looking through the slats in her crib. The last image gives some context and shows how tiny she is next to the ribbons on her pillow.

These last ones are just for fun and show my baby, Corbin, devouring his first birthday cake. I just kept moving and snapping and he gave me plenty to photograph. Fingers in the cake, crumbs on the highchair, and chocolate all over his face. My favorite is the one that shows big brother’s hand sneaking in. 

After you snap away, post a link to some of your photos in the comments below or share them on instagram with the following hashtags #bestcameratips #differentviewpoints. Try using a collage app to showcase a series of your images. I like diptic on my iPhone, but they’re a ton out there to try. Enjoy this exercise and seriously, just keep shooting. Okay am I the only who just thought of Dory from Finding Nemo …”Just keep swimming shooting. Just keep shooting. Just keep shooting.” I probably am, but that’s okay  🙂