How to identify your best angles for photos and film

Around 14 years ago I decided to help out on a feature film, it was the first time I had ever been on a film set and I took my little note book and sat on set and watched what the actors did to prepare, how the lighting team set up the lights and how the DOP decided on the correct angle.

I had no experience of film before this time, all of my training and understanding was in theatre, which is a very very different medium.

After taking lots of notes and coming back to the notebook several years later I understood why the actor stood in a particular place and why she turned her head at certain times to catch the light.

You need to understand your body and your face. Which side of your face is your favourite.. but most importantly know your light.

I cannot express enough how important it is to know how your face looks on screen.

The best way top discover this and your light is to either go into a professional photographic studio and explain to the photographer what it is you are wanting to achieve..

'I want to know my light' - then he/she will allow you to work with them to get the best angle and light for your face.

Your face need to come alive on screen, if you have a big nose and want to hide it, don't be lit from above.

If you have a double chin, don't be lit from the side..

All these things will come with practice.

Get the photographer to take pictures of you with different light set ups and every time he/she snaps away, go over to the monitor and see exactly what the lighting differences are.

Don't get frustrated, it takes time.

If you don't have the money for a photographer, get a friend to help you. use lamps, light bouncers, kitchen foil, whatever you have in the house to bounce that light off your eyes and take note of the angle.

I found in photos I am best when the photographer is slightly higher than me.

I always manage to find my light on set.. and I make the most of it.

It takes time and experience. But you will find it.