Every now and then I will impart some of my photography wisdom to all of you. I have been doing this for a little over five years now (officially) so it's only fair that I pass on some of my knowledge. Who knows, it might actually help out some folks that are thinking about getting into the field themselves.
This first tip is about shooting perspective. Back in the day, they had those older cameras held about waist level then looked in from above to take pictures. Of course the quality was terrible because they didn't have near the technology we have today. However, the one thing they did manage to get right was the angle.
It's crucial that when you are shooting a subject that you always shoot level with their waist. What this does is assures that you will be maintaining equal proportions with their top half and their bottom half. It is especially effective when shooting shorter folks. Even moreso if they may already have insecurities about their height. That way the image won't come out appearing as though you are looking down on them. It may be a desired effect some may want to achieve when trying to be artsy, but you don't want that on a standard portrait.
The one drawback to this is that it is hard on the knees. I find myself constantly kneeling and squatting to get that perfect angle. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get that shot. At least you do if you're serious about your craft. It just means I need to get in better shape to maintain some longevity. Because I'll be doggone if I let the quality of my work suffer.