September 23, 2013


I have my mini-sessions coming up in two weeks and I’ve been brainstorming ideas as to how I want to set the scene. If we are friends on FB {as I am with many of my past clients}, you know that I recently moved to the country. LW will contest that it is NOT the country, but I wholeheartedly disagree. If I am driving within a mile of our house and I get slowed down because I’m stuck driving behind a combine tractor, or I see fields of corn and soybeans, or even cows the size of my Commander grazing five feet from the road, we live in the fricken country. But, I digress.

As it is a fall-themed mini-session, on Sunday my love and I decided to drive to a local {eh hem … get it? It’s local cause we’re in the country} apple orchard to see what props we could get our mitts on. We arrived at Blake’s Big Apple in Armada on a search for apple crates, but instead I got distracted by the U-Pick apple orchards that were at the back of the mill. We drove through and I was in HEAVEN. The light streaming in between the rows of trees was truly breathtaking and my first thought was, ‘why the heck hasn’t anyone hired me for an orchard session yet??’ {direct hint there, folks.}

So, we pull over and I ask Larry to stand in between the rows of trees so I could take a test shot. It was cloudy, so just imagine when it isn’t and sunlight is streaming in between these trees during the golden hour … gah! I originally took these images not only as a test for future sessions {HINT}, but also because Larry is now learning to shoot manually with my Mark III {I’d eventually like to be IN some pictures!}.  As you can see, he looks thrilled to be standing there, but this was an easy way for me to show him the differences between shooting males and females.
Let me set the stage here: Larry is 6’3 and I am 5’8. We are both relatively tall people for our own sex so bear this in mind when you continue reading. For the photogs out there, these are all shot with my 35mm 1.4L and are all set to ISO 200, f/2.0 at 1/1500.
Essentially, my rule of thumb when shooting guys is that I want to make them look as masculine as possible in the image; meaning, I want them to take up the whole frame. In this first shot I am just standing straight up and took this picture. It’s a nice enough shot, as I am naturally lower than eye-level for Larry. I would not really think too much about it, until I crouched down for the 2nd shot.

Look at the difference! He looks much more imposing in the 2nd image, which is exactly what I am trying to achieve.

I then stood up, handed him the camera and asked him to do the same for me. The below image is taken with him crouched down and shooting up at me, just the way I did in the above picture. I think it’s nice, but as a female, the first thing I notice is how it accentuates my hips, which is typically a part of woman’s body that she wishes to conceal.

Now this is Larry standing up, but bending over so that the camera lens is at eye-level with me. This is a much better angle from a woman’s perspective. Here the focus is more so on my face and upper torso, plus, my double chin disappeared {always a good thing}.

Taking this a step further, here Larry held up the camera over his head and took the shot with the camera so that it was at a distinctively downward angle. As you can see, this is the most flattering angle on a female. However, it is also extreme. The take-away here is that the best camera angle for a female is either slightly downward or at eye-level.
008_kgP_Greenwald_130922__J4A2733Then we placed the camera onto a steady tree branch, set the proper exposure and set the timer. 🙂 When choosing my branch, I was looking for it to be placed at eye-level for me, so it would be slightly lower than eye-level for Larry. As you can see, this is a slight downward angle for me and almost eye-level for LW.
Overall, it is flattering on both of us and I superHEART this image. So much so that I have purchased a 16×24 vivid metal print of this portrait for our home. Btw, vivid metal prints are all the rage so be sure to let me know if you would like one for your home. It’s a great modern alternative to the traditional canvas.
I’d be happy to answer any questions, so if you have one … don’t be shy! It’s probably a question that others are thinking, as well, and you may just help someone — which was the entire point of this post to begin with. 🙂 Just leave it as a comment on this blog post below and it may even generate a new blogpost. 🙂 Happy Monday! xo

Guys vs Girls: it’s all about the angles | Michigan Lifestyle Photographer

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