Many people don’t know this, but most portraits of people call for the proper spacing above and below a person’s eyes. While we say “head” when using the phrase headroom, what we really mean is “eye” spacing. There needs to be an appropriate space above the person’s eyes in the photo and an appropriate space below. While there’s no hard and fast rule for the spacing, things tend to look a bit strange if the spacing is off.
The proper spacing will depend on the scene and what’s going on. Also, it’ll depend on how large the person is in regards to how much they fill the frame. In general though, a good rule of thumb to use is that the eyes should be positioned one third of the way down the frame and two thirds up, which is the same thing. As you shoot, you’ll get the feel for what looks good, so don’t go nuts trying to make this an exact science. Also, when you’re out shooting, it’s much more important to get the right shot as opposed to hunting around for the spacing above someone’s head. You can always crop later on to make the photo look as good as possible.
I’ve got some example photos to show you so you know what I’m talking about. Take a look at these.
Do you see how natural these portraits look? They’re easy to look at and don’t strike the viewer as being odd at all. To further demonstrate this point, I went ahead and placed a line through the area that’s two thirds of the way up the photo and one third of the way down. Take a look at what the line runs through.
That’s pretty cool. That line is exact too, so you know this positioning theory works.
Go ahead and grab your camera to practice some people photos. Again, don’t worry so much about getting it right while you’re taking the shot. Fix your photos up in Photoshop or your favorite photo editor and then come back here to share.
When you complete this challenge, be sure to link to your images here for review and critique. Include your specs as well, such as your camera make and model, lens used, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. Include your distance from or scale of your scene as well. We want to know it all so we can get a grasp of what went on while you were shooting and how you managed to take your photos. Good luck.