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Posing Masterclass

Lesson 10 of 36

Camera Angles to Flatter

Bambi Cantrell

Posing Masterclass

Bambi Cantrell

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Lesson Info

10. Camera Angles to Flatter


  Class Trailer
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1 Introduction Duration:24:19
2 Location Challenges Duration:29:23
3 Defining Shape Duration:17:19
4 Group Photography Duration:09:59
5 Lifestyle Portraits Duration:20:46
6 Shoot: Clam Shell Lighting Duration:22:05
7 Lighting Tricks and Tips Duration:14:46
8 Posing a Bridal Party Duration:41:32
9 Bridal Party Q&A Duration:34:41
10 Camera Angles to Flatter Duration:17:21
11 Audience Q&A Duration:12:12
12 Posing a Family Duration:42:38
13 Posing Families Q&A Duration:12:04
14 Review Images Duration:12:40
15 Challenging Situations Duration:44:59
16 The Walk Off Duration:07:19
17 Plus Sized Brides Duration:17:05
18 Shoot: Plus Sized Bride Duration:53:07
19 Image Critiques Duration:33:56
20 Light is Light Duration:30:54
21 Receptions That Rock Duration:09:34
22 Shoot: Mismatched Couples Duration:36:34
23 Shoot: Indonesian Woman Duration:13:47
24 Shoot: Person in Wheelchair Duration:15:17
25 Understanding Your Subject Duration:13:16
26 Image Review Duration:24:33
27 Wedding Client Interview Duration:25:45
28 Tall and Short (Kenna + Nikko) Duration:06:49
29 Shoot: Indian Model (Simi) Duration:23:49
30 Shoot: Japanese Model (Akari) Duration:31:22
31 General Q&A Duration:20:34
32 Creativity in Photography Duration:18:54
33 Shoot: Newspaper Dress Duration:21:36
34 Creating a Garment: Tool Dress Duration:06:29
36 Shoot: Beige Tule Dress (Jen) Duration:27:15

Lesson Info

Camera Angles to Flatter

okay well this afternoon a cz you saw earlier we did a series of photographs for our bridal party well later on today we're going to also do portrait of a family and the same core concepts go into everything I do you see these air it's like salt pepper and a recipe it's like you know like milk when you're making pancakes or things of that nature there's like core ingredients that have to be there to make a good product and so one of the core concepts that I think is really important whether you're photographing a family or whether you're photographing a bride or whether you're photographing a couple or anything like that is to think about the camera angle that you used to generate those pictures don't take everything from eye level especially you're photographing mature women like myself camera angle makes a huge difference on the way that we look and I will tell you the second most important person at a wedding is the mom and the mother's rather the mother of the bride and the mother ...

of the groom and I've been the mother of the groom and let me tell you that old lady showed up again I don't know who she was but she showed up and it's amazing to see the difference that can happen when you use the correct camera angle on someone camera angle can make the difference whether somebody looks heavier under the chin it could also make someone who has small eyes look like there have larger eyes you could make someone look more powerful by photographing them from a lower camera angle s so there's a variety of things I'm not telling you never use a low camera angles just be selective when you do use them so when you look at this young lady's face I'm actually standing above her photographing her she sat down on the steps outside but notice the little shadow underneath her jaw line look what the catch lights are again in the eye there in the ten o'clock position in the eye so we want to get those catch lights in the proper place because it really does make those eyes look beautifully will make them look more iridescent the other thing though is that proper camera angle khun slim a face down it could make a face look wider if you need to look wider and then but you can also minimize and hide things that you want to there are not let flattering now let's look at fish on lady now I took this photograph to demonstrate what not to do um this is a beautiful young woman and I have completely made her look terrible why why does she not look her best what have I done what have I done to make it look betsy sometimes you have to analyze what you did wrong in orderto learn to do what you wanted you to know what to do right so what's wrong okay levi kind of scrunchy exactly she's hunching over so she's leaning forward now I made her do this to demonstrate this point but the point is I can look at that ok that doesn't look at what's another thing what is that one of the things that you notice a swell her mouth masses very awkward amount looks awkward okay would you agree that she looks heavy under here why does she look heavy under the jaw line it's because I'm photographing where there had tilted back like this you see when somebody has when they are heavier under here you need to get their head tilted this way so that you don't show this part of make it look larger and you see because even though I'm photographing her on the shadow side of her face you see I mean this is the shadow side of the face right but to see even if you photograph somebody on the shadow side you can still screw it up if you don't pay attention to their facial anatomy so that's again member was telling you earlier today how that I rehearse in my mind what I'm going to do with any of the time so whenever I'm standing around talking to people on look at the way the light falls across each of your faces I'm thinking in the other parts of my brain well what would happen if I chose to photograph right here and now and where do I need to place myself to get a better fit photograph so now let me take it from this and show you this okay first before we before we move on shut your eyes for a second I want you to squint and barely look at this picture what is the first thing you see all I see is this right here right yeah okay so now let's move on and let me show you what you do when you do it right is there a difference in these two pictures I mean can you imagine that first can you imagine this is the same girl showing her that I would be so mortified absolute mortified so what did I do differently will camera angle and camera position are hugely important they're very important first of all by tucking her arm behind that column a little bit it did two things it minimized her arms and made them appear small remember if if you can't see it it doesn't exist so if you have a subject's who's a larger person or you know who has any weight on them find the areas of their body that they're they're unhappy with and hide it I'm in mine you will never see me without a jacket on because I have little granny arms and I am I would can't stand showing my arms so if you want to hide the arm if you if you don't have a jacket to throw on or something to grow on hide it by tucking it behind something else and then it appears a lot less than size the second area is changing my camera position with her you see I needed to get a higher camera position on her to give her more definition here and also by photographing her with her head tilted this direction instead of shooting into that cheek I needed to photograph her into the front of her face and then tilt the head so that you couldn't see that part of her turn her neck and make which made her look heavier so you really think about and analyze it and you know one of the things that's really helped me to become a better photographer is I collect lots of books I collect lots and lots of books george orwell's hollywood book is one of my very favorite books and it's these this is the book that was written like the forties and such so and they're not necessarily perfect photographs but what you learnt by studying other pictures is you start seeing the way that they make the face look you start noticing what it is that makes a better picture and when someone has has a large nose or they have a rule there will heavy under the jaw line well what do you do well these are some techniques that you can learn if you pay very closely can't tension to people's faces and then when you're photographing take your time don't be in such a rush to get the job done now this that same like a contradiction to what I said earlier well not necessarily I want you to do the job quickly but I don't want you to become sloppy so I want you to think about what you're doing when you first look at someone look at their facial anatomy and look at the way that they do they have a round face do they have an oval face do they have a long narrow face because then that's going to tell you they have a long narrow face you better be photographing on the same side is that like cause you're gonna make your face broaden out a little bit and we'll be very pleasing to them if they have an oval face or a round face like mine I want to be on the shadow side for sure photograph that faces it'll make it look a lot thinner uh and then with someone like her by dropping that chin down you see tilting the head like this she had her chin down but you see because I was on the wrong side it's like right here by tilting they had the other direction and dropping that chin what do I do you see how I minimize that and I give more definition under the jaw line um so what I did to capture this image I literally backed away from her and went into the street she was photographed on the front porch of this house and I noticed that the road went kind of like a head of dip and then the house was about that much deeper and lower than the road west so I well I need to get a higher camera angle and I didn't have my ladder myself platter with me so I had to find a way to elevate myself or make her go down lower so one of the things that I do if I need to bring somebody a little lower I'll have them sit on the edges of the arm of a chair if I need to lower them and make them appear a bit shorter I'm only five foot one and always wear heels and as you can see these air by the greatest shoes that have been invented because I could give myself a good six inches and they're very very comfortable on top of that so by changing your camera position can make a huge difference in the way that your subject looks and this is what professional photography is all about it's about making the subjects look their very best and being proud of what you show them real quickly I'll just tell you a little bit about how I show clients their images and such for what for portrait clients I don't ever show them online I don't like that I don't want them to see their pictures online why because they're going to see them usually on a little tiny monitor that's that big so what I prefer to do is we bring them into our studio and they we have a slideshow presentation that they do my monitors at least as big as this if not larger than that and we set it to music it's we used that we have that beautiful triple scoop music that I mentioned to you earlier by the way triple scoop music I have two collections of music that I went hand pick music for slide shows that that go in and look at the bambi cantrow collection and it's awesome because there's music for all different kinds of types I didn't pick music that I liked a pic to music that I thought would fit a lot of different people and their taste because at the end of the day it's what they like it's not important what I like so in doing that so when they come in they convey you this beautiful slide show and then we use the pro select software for them to go in and edit the images that they like we pre design on album for them for portrait's always I love redesigning albums and it's dumb moronic easy I want to pick the best maybe ten or fifteen images and I will do it on album design because I want that client to see themselves I want them to see that in a book I want them to see themselves in that book and if they just think an abstract terms and there's there thinking well to do a book and they have no idea what it would look like then you know what are they going to do the other thing that's really important to me that I'm very passionate about is that I always do my retouching first a client is never ever ever ever going to see my pictures unedited and unretouched ever I'm really strong about that you know why because you never get a chance to make a first impression and I want them ball in their eyeballs out I want them screaming in the aisles oh my god I never looked at good in my life but you see and this is why because if you have a client and you show them there before you oh whoa look at this picture and they see themselves in the normal way that we all look and we all know our own imperfections and our blemishes and everything else if they see that then and then you retouch it afterwards and guess what beautiful photography equals great photoshopped tricks I hate that I really hate that book's a crap on me so what I want to do is when they see that picture for the first time I want them to think that there but actually looks that good I want them to see themselves oh oh oh my goodness that is amazing I look I look amazing and then they equate what you've done to not some cheap photoshopped trick but to your skill as a photographer oh my god the best photographer in the world all by god zeder stuff is amazing and it is I can't even tell you how a powerful tool it is yes it takes work to do it I'm not going to show them every single picture I took for a family portrait session I generally show them may be the best fifty photographs that I took that day I don't want to and I don't give them more than like maybe two pictures of the same scene I'm not going to show them like five pictures of the same scene because then the magic is gone okay okay let me see this one again and it just it's like a waste of time pick out the best two and then make them perfect to make them look beautiful I do my head switches ahead of time so that when they see that picture they see really beautiful imagery and that way they equate it with my skill as a photographer and not some stupid trick to trick questions do we have any on this cause I can go on on this topic yes we talked about the album design is that in pro select that you show that actually print out a book no way of showing in pro select we said well you know we got so and this is exactly what we say is that we say hey you know we got so crazy I loved your picture so much we decided we had to design a book for you here's the book and so and it's a very clean and simple book I don't do cute cheap tricks I don't put the little swirly things and not another faded backgrounds it's beautiful clean simple pictures all the borders are equal you know if there's if there's three pictures on the page is never more than four pictures on a double page spread I don't want it to look like a yearbook I wanted to look I want each photograph to breathe I want to have its own space and we'll do a twenty page album ten insert book very very beautiful very clean and they said no more than four page pictures on a double page spread and all of the pictures that are on a double page spread we'll be in the same family in other words there would be all in the same key wouldn't be like like a light high key light picture of kids running down the hallway and a real dark heavy picture on the left hand side it would be everything is gonna be the same intensity and in the same shot in the same environment on that double page spread so that they all blend together and they work well as a double page spread I tried to shoot in story said that story's matter and so I start with the big family groups and then I'll break it up and then I'll photograph each each child by themselves and then the mom and dad together and I think it's really important for sons to have pictures with their moms and from mothers fathers have pictures with their daughters and their sons and you know to break it up and do lots of different kinds of stories you know one of my one of my best clients was a young couple and I don't mean to back up the hearse but sometimes people do die and I had a young couple that I have photographs since the day they got married and every year we had our family ritual was that we photographed them and their children and this one time I let them say the bomb and dad did not want to be in the pictures because she didn't clean herself up and she she didn't look good like she thought she did and and dad was like well you know no and so I made him go I said you know let's just do a couple of you just playing with your children know hy mom's a shot of him with his his little daughters and then about six months later there's a hey baby want to do another session I said okay great so I scheduled a session for a saturday the friday night before their session I got a phone call and the dad the father of this family was in a car accident with his children was killed and the last photographs were taken of him with his children were the ones that I took six months earlier and it really really made me appreciate how valuable it is for us that this isn't just a picture that it's important for all of us to take the time to photograph each of them with their family groups of stuff and I think it's I don't mean to back up the hearst but but it really is an important thing and I think family pictures sometimes get you know people don't realise how important there until somebody dies and then all of a sudden you know we really want to have pictures of them um mothers I can't even tell you getting that higher camera angle sometimes it takes a little bit of effort to do it but pre plan in your mind what you're going to do on a wedding day when you're photographing the mom and you know she's gonna walk in that room in five minutes and see her daughter in her beautiful wedding gown where you need to be to get the best shot not just the picture don't think about just the picture oh I'm going to take a picture where do I need to be to get the best photograph I could possibly get well hey if it's a mom I'm gonna tell you right now you need to get your butt up on a chair or you need to get up on a stool and that's exactly what I did to capture this so that as the mother walked in the room to see her beautiful daughter and her wedding gown in real time I didn't have to stage it I could sit on the terrace I know I want that bride's shoulder and her face I want the she's the support I don't need to be seeing her it's about that woman right there and the best angle for her is going to be from a higher camera angle because it's going to get rid of this under here but also we frame her by the bride's face and so think about that when you're when you're taking pictures to think about where is the best shot where's jordan to stand to get the best photograph on one of the things that I do is no matter what I'm doing as I mentioned to you earlier I always try to pre plan in my mind what would I do if I had this scenario or this scenario and that way I'm kind of prepared on dh that way I could always get what I need to get and it's not done at my client's expense mature people more couples in such when I do family groupings you saw this family in the family grouping I did earlier whenever I photograph a family I always photographed the moms and dads together but again it has to be done at the right angle now I shot this in a bar and this gentleman loves horses his name is peter cardillo and him and his wife absolutely loved horses and so I went to the bar in that afternoon and photographed him with his horses and then afterwards I don't want to do each family grouping so I grabbed a chair because I was he did have a ladder out there and stood on a chair to capture this notice where I'm standing in relation to them my assistant is actually standing off camera behind this wall right here and using a video light to fill in this background a bit behind them so that it didn't look completely black so I don't want to have just white faces on a dark background you need to have dimensionality and so then I stood on that camera on that chair to capture this image and look at how beautiful that looks that fills in both of their faces a bit gives them about the really nice appearance and was a really nice angle on both of their faces but you can also change with young couples it may be a lower camera angle is better in this case I chose to photograph from a lower camera angle because I wanted to have energy were her face no where you could see the energy everything flows into her face so you can even shoot from a lower camera angle and get some really really beautiful beautiful things just make sure where the light is at in relation to that see the light is not coming in under here it's coming from over here that's why I can get away with photographing her from a lower camera angle because it's not showing up under here because if it was then you start seeing that first before you see that beautiful mask of the face

Class Description

Do you have problems diverse groups of clients? Are you unsure if your lighting and posing are on point? Join award-winning and Nikon Ambassador Bambi Cantrell in this comprehensive class covering all aspects of posing, lighting and developing a successful portrait studio.

In this class, Bambi will:

  • Show you the best lighting for different scenarios
  • Camera angles that flatter
  • How to add creativity to your portrait shoots

You will learn ​Bambi​'s​ secrets of how she continues to innovate in her photography and business​.​


a Creativelive Student

I almost didn't bought this course due to low rating and what other reviewers were saying about her, but because it was on sale at incredibly low price that i decided to bite the bullet. And I am so glad I did. First of, for those reviewer that find her offensive, because she talks loud or make some jokes to her models or her audience, i don't think that it is offensive at all and neither did her audience or everyone in the studio. As a matter of fact, they were enjoying it. And I did too, was laughing while watching them laugh and having a good time. There was nothing wrong with the audio. I heard her just fine. I found her class to be the best class ever because she only not answers questions by theory, she demonstrate them live with the participation of her audience and the creative live crew and that's what made her class very interesting and not boring. She also uses real people and not models with perfect sizes or figures and it really helped me a lot because i have a challenge when it comes to posing plus sized people. I love her sense of bluntness, humor and at the same time, all the wonderful nuggets of wisdom she shared to her audience. I had purchased tons of creative class about photography and to tell you honestly, i haven even watched the full content on some of these classes because i get sleepy and bored but with Bambi's class, i watched her class in just 2 days without even feeling bored. I don't write reviews and in fact this is my first time to write a review here on creative live because i just feel the need to say that it's very unfair for her to be criticized liked that. I love you Bambi, I love your personality, I love your style and the information you taught were very invaluable. Thank you.

Melissa Baker Griffin

Loved the invaluable lessons! I can't wait to go through them all again. They are jam packed with valuable and tactical information that creatives on every level can take from. Her energy and personal style creates a great experience! I can only imagine how cool it would be to take a class from her in person! She is such a treat and so inspiring! I LOVE how enthusiastic Bambi is about the questions she receives and encourages phototgraphers to continue to grow, learn, and think out of the box. Thank you creative live! I feel like there should've been something like fire works at the end because she did outstanding!

Anne Dougherty

I’ll be honest. Ms Cantrell moves very fast, but her experience, humor and confidence are infectious. I thought I would check out a lesson or two and ended up watching and listening to her entire program. She is clear about her process and why it works so well. Her portraits are beautiful, whether individual or group situations. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations, and I am a landscape and pet photographer. But I feel like I learned a lot about seeing, and was reminded of approaches to running your own creative business that are valuable for anyone. I have been very impressed by the professional instructors in every one of the CreativeLive courses I’ve watched or bought. It’s not every professional who can teach! I know. I am one who could not handle classroom situations. So happy I was able to join in on these classes. Thank you, Bambi, for all of your energy, and for sharing your knowledge with all of us. This was quite a ride!