Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

24 Forced Perspective Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

Last Updated on

beach photography

Creative shots are always fun. A simple yet clever way to make them happen is to create something unexpected. It could be the angle, the subject, or the arrangement of what’s in the photo. Forced perspective is an excellent way to deliver the goods that rely on seeing the vision behind the subject. It can involve an odd size where small objects take on a life of their own. 

It could be placing objects in the same scene, which would never occur in real life. The only rule is that there are no rules. The wackier the elements, the more interesting the shot.

shutter camera divider 2

The 24 Forced Perspective Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

1. Beware the Robots


This photo illustrates one of the fun things that we love about forced perspective shots. The child staring up at the robot makes it come to life. You don’t even need to see his face. His posture says it all. It’s also a throwback to those sci-fi movies from the 1950s that gives it a retro vibe.

2. Climbing the Wall 

Yoga Fitness
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The funny thing about this shot is that dog owners probably can relate to a pup pulling at its leash to explore something else. We can hear you agreeing with us. This shot works because it takes something that we take for granted and upends it—literally! That’s creativity at its best.

3. A Different Perspective


This photo makes a statement with one friend looking down at the other, who is also looking to take some pics. As the caption says, it isn’t photo-editing trickery that makes it look more realistic. We love how it makes the photographer think out of the box to stage their shots.

4. Not the Shoe! 

cactus in the kitchen
Photo Credit: TheVirtualDenise, Pixabay

This photo made us laugh out loud. We guess now we know how that bug you find in the kitchen feels. The stark background makes this image pop. You’re focused on this very big shoe with its menacing shadow underneath it.

5. Balancing Act

stack of books on a person's hand
Photo Credit: Thought Catalog, Unsplash

Shots like this one are so easy to set up but still deliver a wow factor. It’s all about seeing the big picture beyond what’s in front of you. It opens the door to endless possibilities, too. We can’t help but smile when we see these photos.

6. A Little Squeeze

sunlight​ getting​ through​ the​ white​ clouds​ in​ the​ blue​ clear​ sky
Image Credit: Photos Mania 2018, Shutterstock

This image would be great on a motivational poster because its message is so powerful. We have to wonder what the cloud-obsessed English painter John Constable would have to say about photographs like this one. It’s a modern take on his aerial passion.

7. Testing the Waters

pencil in a glass of water, refraction of light
Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock


We were struck by the cleverness of this shot and the timing to get it right. It’s another one that is poster-worthy because of its creativity. The great thing about these compositions is their simplicity. The hand receives the full attention because nothing is detracting from it.

8. Passing It On 

beautiful vibrant flowers
Image Credit: Oldiefan, Pixabay

Again, simplicity rules with a well-staged shot. We liked that it took a classic setup and took it to the next level. Part of what makes it stand out is the posture of the subjects. It adds a layer of depth to the image. Kudos to the photographer who thought up this scene!

9. Weeding on a Grand Scale

YPhone reflection photo
Image Credit: Przemek Klos, Shutterstock


There’s so much going on with this shot. The subject is eye-catching, especially with the tree being bare instead of foliated. The reflection adds to the drama because it looks like roots, giving it more interest. Finally, the black and white color setting takes it over the top.

10. A Luminary Load 

man sitting watching the moon
Image Credit: zoff, Shutterstock

This image is another one that caught our attention big time. This one took some thought and planning to find the perfect setting where the photographer could capture the moon at that angle. The wheelbarrow brings a comic element to the composition that works so well in this photo.

11. When Life Hands You Lemons

Sliced lemon citrus fruit
Image Credit: stevepb, Pixabay

They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. This shot follows that adage and then some. The woman’s expression is priceless and makes the composition more entertaining. We’ll point out the simple background again. Many of these forced perspective images demand that the focus is on the subject for the greatest effect.

12. A Shoo-In of a Party


If this image doesn’t make you smile, we don’t know what will. This photo describes fun in the sun at its best. It has the feel of an impulse shot, which makes it even more enjoyable. It just goes to show that you have to keep your eyes open for opportunities to use forced perspective in imaginative ways.

13. Taking a Bite


What a funny picture! It just goes to show that you can find a composition anywhere. Who would have thought this urban setting could stand in with such a clever shot? We like it because it’s unexpected on so many levels.

14. Left to Dry

sneakers on top of shoe box
Image Credit: iha31, Pixabay

This photo is deep. The subject matter makes you think. There’s not a lot going on, but it’s not necessary. The shoes say it all. There are several ways to interpret it. We like to think that it’s a reminder to run because our sneakers are itching to go.

15. A Chip Shot


We love this picture! It’s so darn funny as an excellent example of capturing the moment in an unexpected way. Just seeing the potato chip can in that pristine background is enough to make you do a double-take, let alone the composition.

16. Getting a Cuppa


The black and white color scheme works so well with this shot because it gives it a 50s vintage look. We could see a picture like this one appearing in a sci-fi flick or a “Twilight Zone” episode. The planning is spot-on to make such an entertaining image.

17. Light as a Cloud


Sometimes the best photos aren’t ones with heavy meanings. It’s the whimsical ones like this one that we enjoy so much. It’s a refreshing pause in your day that serves as a reminder to enjoy the moment and the simple pleasures in life. Besides, who hasn’t seen a dollop of ice cream in the clouds?

18. A Hand Up

DJI Mavic Mini on a person's hand  

This shot shows one area where forced perspective works well in photography. Juxtaposing such different images together has a strong message for anyone who reads between the lines. We like pictures like this one because it makes us think.

19. Jurassic Park at the Farm


This one is interesting because it shows how the photographer got the shot. It’s kind of like looking behind the Oz curtain. However, it doesn’t take anything away from the final image. Instead, it’s a glimpse into the imagination of the photographer. Or should we say, more properly, the artist?

20. Rung by Rung


We’ve seen this composition several times, but it doesn’t get old. It’s a clever use of a setting that also makes a statement. The man reaching makes the image even more compelling because it shows the struggle that the photographer wants to portray.

21. Flow It! Show It!

woman with wings floating in the water
Image Credit: Piotr Wilk, Unsplash


This image is so eye-catching and fanciful that it almost looks like we’ve stumbled into a magical land and one of its inhabitants. The subject’s face adds to the beauty of this photo. The blue provides an attractive contrast, too, particularly with the tree’s shade of green.

22. Touch Ups


The subject is compelling and a pointed reminder of the genius behind innovations. It’s a modern spin on the classic artist wanting to touch up their painting up until the time it’s displayed in the gallery. We liked the riff on technology always advancing.

23. Big Shoes to Fill

two pairs of shoes on water
Image Credit: JumpStory


We enjoyed this picture that reminds us of the child that exists in all of us. It’s a reminder to play and not take things so seriously. Sometimes, we need to get in touch with our younger selves to put life in perspective.

24. Lifting

Image Credit: Kalliope Voutzali, Shutterstock


This image shows that anything is fair game when it comes to forced perspective. The more startling the picture, the more memorable it is. The photo editing adds a lot to the final product, making it even more amusing. It gives this shot a look that resembles the famous 1940s poster of Rosie the Riveter. It’s just as powerful of an image, too.

shutter camera divider 2 Conclusion

We, like many people, love forced perspective photography. The more unexpected, the better. Some just make us smile because they are so whimsical. Others have a message lurking below the surface of the subject matter. Nevertheless, these images take creativity to the next level with a powerful technique that anyone, no matter what their experience level, can use. It’s all about seeing the big picture behind the vision.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Song_about_summer,Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.