Disorienting Portraits of People Walking About in a Tilted World


Brooklyn-based photographer Romain Laurent‘s “Tilt” project from 2009 is one that turns an oh-so-simple concept into unique photos that instant grab your attention. Each photograph shows a person standing, walking, or skateboarding in an urban environment, except the whole world is tilted around them.

The work reminds us of Paul Octavious’s Lean With It project, except instead of showing the world correctly and the subjects at an angle, Laurent does the exact opposite.







If you want to do photograph this same idea yourself, there are two ways you could go about it. If you’re against the idea of photomanipulation, you can try having your subject fall over slowly while holding their body and face in a natural position (perhaps at the price of having some rough landings).

The second way would be to have some rope or wires supporting your subjects as they lean at an angle. Snap two photos, one with the subject/wires and one without, and then ‘shop the supports out of the photos during post.

Image credit: Photographs by Romain Laurent

  • Redstart

    When you can’t create a good composition, just TILT and voila!

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Michael Jackson’s disciples, or I could wait for some friends to get sloshed after a few rounds of alcohol.

  • Jonathan Bloom


  • novo

    It looks like gravity still pulls in the same direction in this tilted world

  • cnavey

    I’m surprised this article wasn’t about every mom turned overnight wedding photographer! 95% of what they shoot is on a 45 degree angle!

  • Mansgame

    If that doesn’t make the picture interesting, add an instagram filter!

  • Samuel

    Couldnt you do the same with a composite and some puppet warping ?

  • Erik Mullinix

    I like the compositions. The use of stylized subjects is what makes this work for me. While the process seems common enough, I feel the photographer pulled it off very well.

  • Ivan

    The third way, likely used: a tripod mounted camera, first shot with a mattress they are falling on, second shot with no subject and no mattress in it. Stack them in Photoshop, add layer mask and carefully burn some holes in it. Done!

    Also good to shoot “accidentally” dropping expensive items on hard surfaces, catching them just before they hit “hard” and fall apart. Nice soft pillow does the trick.

  • Jeffrey Friedl

    It wasn’t done this way… the shadows are completely wrong in all but one of them. That no one else has mentioned it is perhaps a testament to Romain’s artistic/Photoshop skills, of knowing what will and won’t feel wrong to the viewer.

  • clamshell

    Amen! This happened at my son’s wedding. The single photo of the entire album of my wife’s parents is at a 45 degree angle and half of her mothers forehead is cut off. My wife was not impressed with how “artsy” it looked.

  • Jake

    Cue the Hans Zimmer soundtrack blasts: BUMMMM! BUMMMM! BUMMM!

  • Michael The Geek 

    Great work!!

  • John

    Looks like they’re leaning towards a pole or something, nice shots and edits!

  • cham

    For those trying to figure out how it was done I had seen a while back a little behind the scenes video of the shoot. And it was done with the camera on a tripod getting a clean plate shot and then with the talent leaning against an assistant. Simple clean and strait forward. I think what makes it work is that the retouching isn’t overly stylized and has a more natural feel to it. Just my 2 cents.