Look for the unusual

If I am at my portrait studio near Swindon, or on a location portrait shoot, as well as taking great classically-composed images, I try and capture portraits from an unusual angle, or ones that have a more unusual look.

"Behind the subject 1" by Derek Gale

Here’s an example from a family portrait shoot.  Mum was waving a brightly coloured toy to attract her son’s attention so I got behind him and took an image from his point of view.  I made sure there was a separation of focus to make the bright colour less dominant in the composition.

"Behind the subject 2" by Derek Gale

This image from another family portrait shoot is the same idea but a bit more extreme.  I’ve concentrated on the couple’s teenage son’s hair.  It was gelled into spikes and made a fabulous foreground to the very out of focus parents.

"Split image" by Derek Gale

This image is more conventional in its viewpoint, but is made unusual by the split from left to right.  There was some white muslin hanging from the ceiling and I framed the subject so that one half of her face was behind the muslin.  I kept the focus on her so the muslin was completely out of focus.  It gave a real sense of mystery to the image.

"Viewpoint 2" by Derek Gale

This “low flying children” image is from a location portrait shoot.  They had a trampoline in the garden and loved bouncing around on it.  I got down nice and low and shot them looking up.  Their expressions are great because they were concentrating on having fun, not on being photographed.  I like the way her hair is changing direction as she starts to come down.

Looking for these unusual viewpoints is great fun and really develops your “seeing eye”.  If you would like to learn this, and lots of other photographic tips, then come along to my Photo Trek at Buscot Park this weekend.  It’s photography training, but “al fresco”.

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