THIS IS A GUEST POST COURTESY OF ANGELICA PAGE THE PORTRAIT ARTIST
We have all been in situations where our families are looking stiff and boring or tall grass is causing our little ones to disappear within a field, Angelica Page has found a perfect solution… ladders! This article explores different ways to use ladders to pose clients, help contain wandering toddlers, and add a vintage timeless element to your photos! Learn how something as simple as a ladder can transform your photos!
#1 Vintage Feel: Ladders add a vintage feel to images; it gives you a unique yet beautiful prop to add some character to your portraiture. I love the rustic and vintage feel they add to my images.
#2 Level Subjects: Ladders are great to bring kids up to the parent’s height. This way parents don’t always have to pick up their kids. I have a back problem and holding my 35 lbs toddler for a whole session would end in horrible back pain. The ladder allows me to bring kids up to their parent’s level which is great for making beautiful portraits.
#3 Line Them Up: Not only do the ladders allow kids to come up to the parents level, but you can also use them to line up your subjects. This allows you to use a wide aperture while having everyone in focus and not having to sacrifice your beautiful Bokeh.
#4 Keep Your Subjects In One Place: Ladders are perfect to keep little wiggle worms still, allowing you to capture beautiful classic portraits or a simple close up headshot without worrying about someone taking off running. Safety tip: (Make sure you always have an adult near the ladder to prevent any unfortunate falls).
#5 Body Lines: Ladders are great for adults as well. Having an adult leaning on a taller ladder helps by changing their body shape giving you different body angles that can be great to photograph.
#6 Focus Point: They are great to make a specific subject of a group the focal point. You can see in the image below by using a smaller ladder and having Mom sitting on it with her sons at her side has made her the focus point and it shows that this image is about Mom and her relationship with her boys.
#7 Switch Roles: They are great to switch roles around. We are used to seeing Mom always doing things like hugging over her kids because naturally, kids are shorter than their parents. But if you use a smaller ladder placing the adult on a lower level, allows the child to be the one in a different position.
#8 Sibling Shots: Some siblings get awkward especially if you ask them to hug each other. I know we all love our siblings but showing affection toward them in front of the camera can be tricky with older kids. It shows that we do love each other and that is a “no-no” in sibling code, it may hurt their reputation LOL! Ladders allow the siblings to stand close to each other without the need of awkwardly hugging each other and again it’s a perfect opportunity to use that wide aperture.
#9 Achieve Greater Heights: Probably the most obvious reason, they are great for reaching higher things, like a beautiful branch with flowers that perhaps are out of your subject’s reach allowing you to incorporate them into your image.
#10 It Makes You Taller: If you are a short Photographer like me, they are great to help you get higher for shots from above. Especially if your lens is fixed and not wide enough to adjust to the subject, ladders can be a big help.
Having Ladders as props can serve so many different purposes and be incredibly helpful during your session. I own two ladders a small one and a medium one. But I am looking into adding a third to my collection. I have to admit I love them and I can’t get enough of them. If you think I forgot another reason why they are so great or if you use them for a different reason please leave your remarks in the comments. I hope this blog helps you decide why ladders are so amazing and make you go run to the nearest antique store and send you on a quest to find your dream ladder. For my local photographers, I found one of my ladders at the Bury Saint Edmund Saturday Market and the other at Risby Barns. Happy hunting!!!
About the Author: Angelica Page. Local Lakenheath, Mildenhall and Feltwell area Portrait Artist, specializing in fine art portraiture. “Fine art is such a broad category and a very subjective form of art. To me, it is portraiture that resembles a painting, one that has a classic and vintage feel to it. That is what I am all about.”
This article was featured in Summerana’s Magazine – September 2019 | The Styled Issue. See the full issue here.