Angles Matter


Posing, Styling and Lighting for Beauty Photography


Lesson Info

Angles Matter

Number three. The fact that your angles matter in beauty photography. Even when I'm taking that close-up headshot, the difference between me standing up straight and bending my knees. Completely, in every way changes what that shot looks like. So, you have to pay attention to your angles. And so, I will demo this with my subject, we'll take a look at this. But it affects, what features you're drawing attention to. If I am at eye level, I'm drawing more attention to the subjects eyes and making the eyes look bigger. If I am lower, I'm drawing more attention to the lips. I'm also communicating something different about the shot. Usually, from a little bit higher up, it's a little softer. If I'm lower, like below lip level, it's something called the "Hero" angle. I'm shooting up at them, it makes them look extremely tall, extremely powerful. As if it's like, I'm so beautiful I'm looking down at you. It communicates something different. Whereas if you're looking up, it's a little softer. S...

o, I'm choosing those angles. But also, if I shoot at a higher angle down, the neck looks shorter. So as part of my beauty shop, that I want the neck to be epically long? Or is it more about the eyes, it doesn't matter I'll shoot higher up? So I'm balancing all of these things and I can show you examples of what this looks like. In the first shot, I am even with her lips. The second shot, I'm even with her about her eyes, in between the eyes and the nose. And the second one I'm a little bit above eye level. And so notice, I feel like in this one, you look a little bit more left one, you look a little more at the lips. Whereas in in the right one, the eyes look a little bit bigger. But the big difference I see is your neck. I'm seeing a huge difference in the neck, and literally, from that shot the difference was this. That's it. So you have to be really careful and not just be shooting from your standing level. It all makes a difference. So for example, this is the "Hero" angle. I was always told that you don't want to shoot up on somebody. You don't want to shoot up on them, cause all you see is nostrils. But in this picture I don't only see nostrils. I'm shooting below her lip level on the left hand side. But her nose is in shadow, so I'm not drawing attention to the nostrils. I'm looking right at her eye, but it gives that powerful like she's leading into the future, kind of feel. So if that's the angle that's appropriate, you choose that angle. I never liked hard-and-fast rules, because then people don't break them. Same thing, picture on the right. I am looking up her nose a little bit, but it's just like a crazy powerful shot where she looks epically tall, and I think the pink on her eyes and on her lips is more what's drawing you, than "oh, her nostrils look big." So yeah, those rules are there for a reason, but you definitely have to break them, especially, in beauty photography. So here's an example, going the other extreme. Shooting more from a little bit above eye level. So in this case, I'm shooting from her eyes, a little bit above her eyes and draws attention there. Here, I'm shooting also eye level, and so it emphasizes different things than long neck and powerful. Still powerful, but different way, it's more, my eyes are what's drawing you in, not the angle that I'm shooting at. Alright, so one question that had come in was from Mark Egaric. Who says, "When shooting beauty from magazine, how much is specifically planned and how much is experiment on the go?" Sure! Alright, So if your shooting beauty photography for, and I don't see it as an insult but a real magazine. Like a magazine that's going to go to print, has a name or a brand, its a mix. Because you can't just shoot whatever you want. It usually has to be reflective of the magazine, kind of their look or feel, or who they're targeting. But also, seasons. Because when I'm shooting an editorial for the winter, I'm thinking of totally different colors and textures than spring. Did anyone see, The Devil Wears Prada? And she goes, "Oh, floral's for spring, groundbreaking." Yeah it's totally true though. Like every spring it's like, look it's floral colors and pastels and lighter tones. Those are perennial in their usage. But also, you're considering things like, this is on the higher end magazines, but crediting some of the higher end makeup brands. So in a makeup editorial you actually list the products used. Instead of just being the drug store, you would say, nails by Chanel, like the Chanel nails, they actually come seasonally, and they're limited editions. And they sell for 75 dollars a bottle. But then because they're limited edition the next season they're 500 dollars. If you want to go back and buy them, stuff's crazy, but knowing that stuff exists is super useful and I didn't know that stuff. And this is why it's important to work with a good professional. A makeup artist that can let you know about these things. If you're serious about doing it actually for a publication. So when I'm shooting for a big publication, what I do is I put together a mood board. And I've taught a bunch of classes on this, actually if you go to There's a free tutorial, and in the tutorial a talk about mood boards. Collection of images based on a theme, that show the direction of your shoot. So what we'll do, is if we're shooting an editorial, and it's going to be spring pastels whatever. We put together examples of others people's work, or it could be my own but usually it's other people's. Four to six images that we put together. We say, this is the type of makeup, and then this is the type of lighting. And then maybe if it's a shot that's closest to what we're going for. And then we submit that to the magazine, and they say yes that fits our spring theme, that fits whatever. And then that's how we kind of get the go ahead. You can technically shoot it beforehand and then just submit it and cross your fingers. But at the level I'm currently at, you pass it by the magazine first, and say, how's thing look to you? And they say, great! So there's planning, but we don't do like it'll be this lip with this eye. It's more like it's glossy lips and it's pastels.

Class Description

In this live shooting demonstration, fashion and beauty photographer Lindsay Adler will show you how to create three drastically different beauty shots with a few simple changes! She'll talk about considerations for styling choices, lighting setups, modifiers, camera angle, lens choice and poses.