How to Make Your Photos More Creative Using Camera Angles

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A creative use of camera angles is one of the quickest ways to add interest and variety to your photos.

Even if you don’t know how to use your camera very well, angles are easy! All you have to do is move your camera higher or lower to dramatically change the angle of your photo. It doesn’t matter what camera or what lens you’re using (even your smartphone), you can always make more creative photos by changing the camera or shooting angle.

Five Different Camera Angles

You have five main camera angles to choose from. Each one will add a different perspective, giving your photo the mood or feeling that you want it to have.

#1 – Bird’s Eye View

The highest camera angle is “bird’s eye view.” This is when you get up above the scene and look straight down. This angle is great for looking down and seeing all the details of a scene from above.

A bird’s eye view is an unusual angle because you’re not normally up high looking down on a scene. Any angle that is beyond your usual daily experience will make your photo more interesting to look at.

Bird Eye View How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

I chose a bird’s eye view for this photo of our sleeping baby. By choosing this angle, I was able to look down and frame him with blueberry branches.

Bird Eye View - How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

A bird’s eye view is great for food photography, allowing you to see everything on the dish.

#2 – High Angle

A “high angle” is not quite as extreme as the bird’s eye view. You just need to be a little bit higher than the person or thing that you are photographing.

Think of a high angle as a very normal view of the world for most adults. This is especially true for parents who are always looking down toward their kids.

Even though you experience this angle or perspective a lot throughout the day, it can still be perfect for some of your photos. A high angle is useful for making your subject look smaller or more vulnerable and perhaps making the viewer seem more dominant.

High Angle How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

This high angle allowed me to look down at my son and also work in some interesting background elements.

How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

Since this is a photo of “little sister,” a high angle gives her a smaller more vulnerable appearance.

#3 – Face-to-Face

A face-to-face angle is taken at eye level to your subject. This is a very engaging angle and helps to establish a personal connection between the person in your photo and the person viewing it.

This is a great angle for portraits, though a slightly higher than eye level angle is great for portraits too.

Face to Face How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

When she came in from playtime covered in mud, I knew I had to use an engaging face to face angle.

Face to Face How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

I love this captivating perspective.

#4 – Low Angle

For a low angle, you need to be below eye level. As you get down lower, you make the subject of your photo appear a larger. This may add a larger than life feeling to your photos and is great for emphasizing toughn s, or making things look scary or epic.

Low Angle How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

A low angle is absolutely necessary when photographing sharks. It’s the only way to see their most frightening feature; teeth!

Low Angle 2

This moment was exploding with energy as the kids ran from the bus stop. Dropping down to a lower angle helps to emphasize the energy of the moment as well as bring the buses in the background in line with the kids.

#5 – Bug’s Eye View

Also known as “worm’s eye view,” this angle is just like it sounds. You get down as low as you can and look straight up toward your subject.

Again, this is a very unusual angle. You rarely experience this point of view, so it will add an interesting or creative perspective to your photo.

Bug Eye View How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

I had to lay down on the ground and look up for this photo. It seemed like the perfect angle to capture my son’s first major climb!

Bug Eye View How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

It’s easy to get a bug’s eye view at a playground. Just wait for your kids to start climbing and then look straight up at them.

One Scene – Three Angles

It’s a great idea to capture more than one angle every time you take photos of a moment. It will push your creativity, help you to explore new perspectives and provide you with more views to tell the story.

These next photos demonstrate how I captured one scene from three different angles.

How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

In this first photo a higher angle was used to look down on the scene and see the puddle.

Three 2

A face to face angle is perfect for a muddy faced portrait.

Three How to Make Your Photos More Creative With Angles

This lower angle perspective makes the moment feel a little bigger and emphasizes the excitement she felt after having fun in the mud puddle.

Beyond Everyday Perspectives

Knowing these five camera angles, and practicing them will help you get unstuck anytime you’re uninspired or find that your photos are turning out boring or predictable. To spice up your photos, simply choose the most unusual angle. Once you’ve done that try at least two more angles and figure out which one has best captured the moment.

As you experiment with angles you’ll boost your creativity by breaking out of everyday perspectives. Try capturing a few different angles right now. I would love to see your photos in the comment section below.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Mat Coker

is a family photographer from Ontario, Canada. He teaches photography to parents and families, showing them how to document their life and adventures. You can get his free photography ebook, and learn more about taking creative photos.

  • Jennifer Etter

    Hi Mat- Just wanted to say thank you for these tips! I am just starting out in the world of blogging and am quickly learning about the importance of great visuals. I know very little about photography however and this was a really beneficial read for me! Much appreciated!

  • Mat

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m so glad this was helpful for you! Angles were my big breakthrough, and the learning grew from there. You’ll find lots of great help here on DPS πŸ™‚
    Mat

  • Bishal

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  • Mat

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Bishal πŸ˜‰

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  • Mandi Lunt Burnham

    Thank you for this article! I have been practicing doing three angles for a few more than now and it has really elevated my work and storytelling. I need to remember “worm’s eye view” and use that one more with my kids. πŸ™‚ Wanted to let you know that the two puddle pictures seem to be switched. Hopefully not too late or too difficult to switch them up.

  • Mat

    Hi Mandi!
    Good eye on the three puddle pictures, there was a mix up there πŸ™‚
    Worm’s eye view is so fun! But caution, you may find yourself laying in a puddle or two to get the shot!

  • Mandi Lunt Burnham

    Haha! Thanks.

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