Complete Guide to Camera Shots & Angles of Photography


It isn’t rare for expert photographers to invest a lot of time and effort in setting their cameras just right before they start clicking. Professional photographers know and understand how impactful their shot type and angle usually are when trying to capture the perfect shot.

We bring you the knowledge of the professionals, simplified for beginners in our complete guide to camera shots and angles of photography.

Understanding Camera Shot types in Photography

Regardless of experience, most photographers are expected to know the various types of shots. If you know a few terms such as a selfie, headshot, and full body shot, you can pat yourself on the back for understanding a few core elements of beginner photography. Shots are basically how you’re viewing the subject from your lens, and this goes a long way in cementing the true nature of each click.

Understanding Camera Angles in Photography

Camera angles are quite self-explanatory as it simply means what angle the subject is from the lens. An angle determines not just the proximity, but also the perspective of the lens. Their effects on the final output are quite clear, highlighting and focusing on certain parts of the subject. Once you gain a piece of basic knowledge of camera angles, your photography is bound to speak to the viewers on a whole new level.

Contrasting the Difference Between Camera Shots & Angles

Curious minds are bound to ask, What’s the difference between a camera shot and a camera angle?

A camera shot depends on where you position the camera, its proximity to the subject, and the focus you set on your camera. This plays a role in setting up the entire theme of the shot.

Meanwhile, camera angles determine the perspective from the lens, such as low-angle shots and high-angle shots. Camera angles are used to convey the image to the viewers in a way that shows the story of the image.

The difference will stand more clear once you study the various shots and angles professionals apply to their photography practices. It is usually the combination of these two that make a great shot.

Shot types

Arm yourself with the knowledge of various camera shots, and enhance your photography skills to place your subject and theme perfectly…

Full Body Shot

Full Body Shot

The most basic shot is what photographers refer to as a “Full-Body Shot” that puts the entire subject into focus. Shots such as these tend to cover the entirety of the subject from head to toe and are widely used for the modeling of dresses commercially.

Point-of-View (POV)

Point-of-View (POV)

A POV shot is used when the subject’s point of view is supposed to be in focus. It often includes most types of product photography and is most often used by influencers to showcase their daily activities.

Close-up – Portrait

Close-up - Portrait

A close-up shot is exactly what it says, a very close shot of the subject, and in this face, a portrait shot focuses directly on the subject’s face. It allows the camera to focus on each and every detail about the facial features, which, when coupled with the right lighting could bring about artistic results.

Close-up – headshot

Close-up - headshot

Another well-known variety of the close-up shot is the headshot. Often used for corporate purposes, and other vaguely known venues, this shot highlights a person from the chest up to the head, including the shoulders. Using this shot puts the subject in the center, accompanied by facial expressions that usually tell the story of the image.

Close-up – Extreme

Close-up – Extreme

An extreme close-up shot focuses deep into the subject’s face. This feature allows you to bring out the minute details of the face, which is usually more zoomed in to allow that effect to take place. It is used as an artistic alternative to headshots in many cases.

Medium Shot

Being somewhere between a zoomed-out, and zoomed-in shot is what photographers refer to as a medium shot. Covering the entire torso and the head, a medium shot is simply a general shot of the subject that tends to make a bigger impact when coupled with lighting effects.

Long Shot

Long Shot

To put it simply, a long shot is similar to a body shot but taken from a distance that also covers much of the background. You can expect long shots to comprise one or more subjects, and it may need a considerable amount of contemplation on lighting. Since the shot is also zoomed out, covering a much larger area, the highlight or focus is usually undermined.

Angle Types

medium shot

Learn about the various angles involved in photography and equip yourself with the knowledge that is bound to improve your photographic skills tremendously.

Low Angle

Low angle

To explain what angles are, you need to understand where the camera points, in relation to the subject. For low-angle shots, it is recommended to keep your camera slightly below the mid-level of your subject and tilt the camera up towards an upward angle. The name is contrary to the name as you turn the camera focus to a higher angle, making the view come from a lower angle.

High Angle

High angle

Inversely, a high-angle shot is when you place your camera slightly above the subject, pointing the camera at a downward angle. This however has a special purpose that seems to focus the lens down on the subject, highlighting and focusing on the head.

Level Angle

level angle

The default angle of photography is when the camera is positioned on the midway level to the subject, covering everything from top to bottom. It is the most widely used angle for those that have not yet mastered the art of using camera angles and their impact on the overall outcome. This is not to say that this angle is basic, it simply means, in some cases, this is the ideal angle for photography.



A bird’s eye view angle refers to a shot taken from a higher elevation with the camera lens pointed at a more extreme downward angle. The subject is usually even lower than the camera, providing an overall view of the subject(s). Bird’s eye view provides a very clear shot of the subject, putting more focus on what’s closest to the lens.

Aerial Angle

Aerial Angle

If you’re thinking of maps or satellite imagery, they are all proper examples of aerial angles. Photographers rarely use this angle, only reserved for clicks that specifically require it. The subjects are directly under the lens, obscuring much of the entire body, or in some cases, scaling down the subjects entirely.

Bug’s View

Bug’s View

Shots that are taken from the ground level, focusing the lens upwards towards the subject. It is a more extreme form of a low angle, but in this case, the area of focus is usually slightly closer, providing a more focused view of the subject. Artistic photography usually includes the bug’s view angle for a more classic rendition of images that tells a story that viewers are able to understand.


Through professional insights on camera angles and types of shots, we aim to allow beginners, and mid-level photographers a clear view of how you could implement these into their practices, and allow your viewers a better view of your art. The combination of these, along with specialized lighting techniques in the application is sure to make every click impactful.

Picture of Tazim Ul Mulk

Tazim Ul Mulk

As a fervent writer and an enthusiast in the beauty of imagery, I wish to show the world the true meaning behind each image.