This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1918" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1918.
The point of view has such an important bearing on the general appearance of portraits that it should be given as much attention as expression or posing. The camera is often too high for no other reason than the convenience afforded to the photographer.
The effect produced when the camera is too high gives one the idea that the sitter is short and squatty. The camera on a level with the sitter, or even lower, gives an idea of dignity and stateliness that is more characteristic of the bearing of a soldier and especially an officer.
Many photographers do not give the point of view proper thought and then wonder why it is that regardless of the way the figure is spaced in the print, it seems inclined to drop out of the bottom.
The same applies to standing figures as to a sitting position, though the fault is not quite so bad. All that is needed to see the effect in exaggerated form is to observe a speaker from a front seat below the platform and then from the balcony.
It isn't necessary to place your sitter on a platform when your camera can be lowered, but it is better to have a platform for the sitter and secure good results than not to lower your camera when you should.If you don't believe point of view has an important bearing on the general effectiveness of the portrait, try it out for yourself and see.
The man or woman who sits for a portrait will not tell you how it must be made - will not suggest the point of view and will not know why the picture does not please if the point of view is bad.
The painter and photographer both choose their point of view and the difference in choice accounts for very much of the difference in the portraits.
In most painters' studios the subject is placed upon a platform and the artist sits at his easel a foot or two lower. The subject is not only a foot or more higher but the artist's eye is considerably below the height of the ordinary studio camera.
The low point of view undoubtedly gives height and dignity and should be used by the photographer to the best possible advantage without over-doing. It is not always the best point of view, but it could be used more often in portraits of soldiers and in almost every case where the sitter is rather short.Your customer will not know why such pictures are more pleasing to them, but they will come to you to have them made, and that is the all-important thing.
Make the soldiers happy with pictures of home folks cloudy or bright days are equally good for sittings. Make the appointment to-day.
THE PYRO STUDIO
Line cut No. 248. Price, 50 cents.