Shoot Up

NEVER Shoot UP on People


You’ve decided to take up photography as a hobby, and you’re looking for tips on how to take the best photos. You’ve come to the right place! 

When you start taking pictures, you may be tempted to try all sorts of angles to get an artistic shot. However, there is one that you should avoid using on people at all costs: a low angle. 

This article will discuss why you should never shoot up on people and a few different shots you can try instead.


Why You Should Avoid Shooting up on People

Shooting up on people, also known as taking a low-angle shot, isn’t typically recommended. The problem with low-angle pictures is that you can take photos that look like the viewer is looking up the subject’s nose. If you ask the subject to look down at you to avoid the nostril picture, you’ll end up with a photo where the subject has a double (or triple) chin.

Of course, shots up the nose or a showcase of chins aren’t the types of pictures most people want photographers to take of them. Since people know how low-angle shots may look, even shooting from that angle may make your subject uncomfortable.

Low-angle shots aren’t the perspective that people are used to seeing things in. Taking a picture of a person from a low angle can leave the viewer feeling that something supernatural, unnatural, or unusual is happening in the photo.


Tips and Tricks on Photographing People

Since we’ve told you that taking pictures that look like you’re photographing up on people isn’t the best angle, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips and tricks to make your pictures or individuals or groups of people look their best.

Try a Different Angle

When envisioning a photoshoot, a low-angle shot may look incredible in your mind, but these following angles might turn out better. 

Eye-Level Photos

Eye-level photos are the most common perspective when photographing people. You can get more intimate photos when you ask them to stare into the camera lens or look at the camera’s logo. Taking a photo from an eye-level angle gives the viewer of the picture a more intimate perspective.

High Angle Shots

High-angle shots include more background than pictures taken at eye level. These types of photos make the subject look smaller than they are. This view psychologically affects the image’s viewer, making the picture’s subject look less powerful.

Higher angle shots can give the viewer a feeling of freedom since taking a picture high up can make people feel like they’re flying.

As a photographer, you can evoke childlike innocence in the subject of your photo by having them stare up into the lens.

Bird’s Eye View

A bird’s eye view is a higher angle shot that a drone can take these days. It’s a high-angle shot from the sky. A bird’s eye view is the perfect angle to highlight architecture and landscapes.

Use a Longer Lens

Using a telephoto lens helps you take single and small group photos in two different ways. First, longer lenses are commonly known to give subjects a more thinning look. Instead of potentially giving people double chins with a low-angle shot, chose a different angle and a longer lens to create flattering photographs.

Additionally, a lens’ focal length is one of the critical determinants of the depth of field. When you use a longer lens, you can achieve more background blur, giving a great artistic touch.

Use a Wide Angle Lens to Incorporate Environment

If you’re taking pictures with a beautiful landscape of impressive architecture, you’ll want to use a wide-angle lens to capture the environment. The best lenses to use to incorporate landscapes are the following sizes: 24 mm, 35 mm, or 50 mm.

You can even play with the placement of your subject in front of the background. While a centralized subject may be expected, try putting the person to the right or left of the frame, or even some creative cropping. 

Talk to Your Photography Subjects

Talking to your subjects is a must whether you’re naturally a people person or more introverted. If the person you’re photographing isn’t comfortable, you’ll be able to tell in the pictures. 

Keep the session fun, relaxed, and personal. You’ll want to be reassuring and let the people know verbally how good the photos are looking. 

As you talk and photograph, ask them what they like and what they may be self-conscious about so you can give them the best images. You can even give them a quick sneak peek of the photos during the session to make sure they are happy with the angle and setup.

Avoid Extreme Angles

As we discussed at the start of this article, not all angles are flattering. If the angle is creative but doesn’t do anything for the subject or makes them look weird, you should avoid it. Remember, photographing people is a unique niche. Creating engaging, distorted photos at harsh angles may work fantastically well with other subjects, but often not with people. 

Take Lots of Candid Shots

Candid shots can capture the spirit of the session naturally. You can do this by taking pictures as you casually chat with the subject or subjects. Another way that you can take candid shots is by being the observer. You can get excellent photos by being a silent observer, and if you can avoid using flash, they won’t even know you did it until they see the photo proofs!



There’s a place for low-angle photographs, and that’s when you want to photograph people unusually. Having a picture that has a supernatural feel might be what some subjects are looking for. Still, when it comes to traditional headshots of family portraits, you never want to shoot up on the people you’re photographing.

Instead, try out some of the tips above and explore other angles. You can get incredible photographs without going to extreme angles. Keep this list with you on your next photo shoot, and enjoy your stunning portraits!

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