Quick Photo Tip: Get to the level of your subject!

Quick Photo Tip: Get to the level of your subject!

One thing I learned many years ago is that when taking a photo of someone or something, the image is usually better when taken at the level of your subject. The majority of you here know this, but some will not and it can greatly improve your photos. I see so may shots of parents who take photos of their children and the child is dead center of the frame, and shot from a high angle as the parents do not crouch down to get to the child’s level.

A quick way to improve those shots of your kids crouch down to their level and take the shot unless you are going for a unique angle. Getting closer and to the level of your subject will make the photo more interesting, intimate and will be more powerful most of the time. I remembered this yesterday when I was being lazy taking a picture of my dog Olive. I just pointed my camera down to her and snapped. Then I said to myself…”stop being lazy” and I crouched down to her level and snapped again. I much prefer the 2nd shot where I was to her level.

While  this is a pleasant image with great quality and snap, I am looking down to my subject. While I like this shot, I prefer the next one after I crouched down to her level. 


Here we see more character in her face..her curiosity as to why I am in front of her with this black box in her face…it’s more personal and revealing I think. Works the same way with human subjects 😉 


While I am not a guy who follows all the rules of photography (as I feel we should sometimes break the rules as this is how we can get out or ruts or even come up with an amazing shot) I do feel this one is a good one. Still, there may be some who prefer shot #1 to shot #2, which goes to show, we all are unique and like what we like 😉

Hope you are all having a great Tuesday! Later this week, the Sony 90 Macro lens review, A look at the Samsung NX1, a look at the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM on the new Monochrom and much more!


    • Steve pointed out correctly that we get lazy and tend to shoot down at subjects below us. But, if our subject is at eye level to us we don’t normally consider standing on a chair and shoot downward. So, why not consider shooting at eye level, those subjects below us? The first photo of Olive is good, but by comparison the second image was preferred by Steve. We don’t know if Peter alternately crouched down and decided that looking down was preferred. Steve, however, offered us both views for consideration.

  1. Hey steve. Great tip! I never heard of this but its something i already do without thinking about! Hope you post some more quick tip!

  2. This is by far the most important advice when it comes to photographing children. Especially when they are “in action”, which is most of the time.

  3. Those of us shooting with waist level finders; Rolleiflex, etc..,would tend to shoot at the lower level. Or, more likely, tend to frame vertically, as well as horizontally. Those shooting with an eye level finder tend to shoot from their height. That is, line up a dozen people with cameras, of various heights, shooting the same subject and they will mostly all shoot according to their height. I think someone mentioned this on your site awhile back, but good to get repeated. More importantly, the viewer is blocked from getting past the subjects in the picture. Not good, but Olive looks friendly.

  4. My knee jerk reaction would be to shoot looking down on Olive. I do like the second shot more.

  5. Thanks for the tip, Steve. I’m sure folks would really appreciate any tips you can give in addition to your reviews as you’re quite an accomplished photographer. It might also be nice to make this an addition to your site and ask other enthusiasts to contribute.

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