How To Photograph Angel Statues

A beautiful example of street art, this female angel in suburban Melbourne.

Angel statues are beautiful. I’m not sure why but, since I was a very young child, I’ve been drawn to angel statues.

Over the years I’ve really enjoyed making photos of all manner of religious subjects, including statues and other images of angels.

What Do Angels Really Look Like?

Are angels purely fictions?

I know not, but I believe photography is an act of creation and the process of making photos allows me to bring to life objects like those depicted in this post.

While it’s hardly angel photography in its own way I like to think that these photos, like all of my best images, explore the sublime.

I photographed the above image of an angel on the side of a wall at the Brunswick Street Oval.

It’s the former home of the now defunct Fitzroy Football Club from the days of the former Victorian Football League (VFL) in Melbourne, Australia.

St Michael the Archangel

I remember being really impressed by this statue of St Michael the Archangel in the Melbourne General Cemetery.

In the western art tradition angels often appear as enlightened beings bearing messages from heaven.

Angels are also represented as intermediaries between heaven and earth. The angel Michael is one such being.

By photographing from a low angle of view I hoped to emphasize the sense of power and authority I felt was imbued in this statue of St Michael the Archangel.

Beautiful Angel Images

I find the concept of angels fascinating and really love making beautiful angel photos.

Whether real or fiction angels are wondrous creations that have long appeared in myth and legend and in various religions, including the following:

  • Christianity

  • Judism

  • Islam

  • Buddhism

  • Zorastrianism

  • Sikhism

They may be depicted as guardian angels or, in the Zoroastrian religion, as patron angels protecting and helping to guide us along a righteous path.

Angels likely trumpeting resurrection, or the day of judgement, in a niche in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Bruges in Belgium.

Photographing Angel Statues

Since my childhood I’ve been drawn to angels and have photographed their representations in stained glass windows and statues, particularly in cemeteries around the world.

This photo of a niche in the lovely city of Bruges in Belgium caught my attention. These particular angel statues are so well preserved and the scene is so full of information.

I loved the way the scene was depicted, much like a stage play, framed within the boundaries of the niche.

I saw the scene in much the same way as we see photographs: as a moment in time.

I've worked hard to expand the subtle tonal variations within the image and also to enhance the sense of light that brings out the shapes and textures within the scene.

It's a photo of a group of statues that are depicting an event in Christian mythology.

But it's also a study, a homage to the art of the fine print traditional in photography.


Light beautifully illuminates this statue of an angel holding an hour glass at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Angel Photography in La Recoleta Cemetery

Likewise this statue of an angel holding an hourglass at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina drew my attention.

I knew at the time I exposed this image that a black and white print would result.

It was a compelling sight, framed by the columns surrounding it and illuminated by the light raking across it. 

Did you know that the hourglass is symbolic of time passing death and also of father time?

Angels are great fun to photograph, at least in their earthly manifestations.

I love photographing statues and stained glass windows depicting angels and other religious figures.

In fact I often look out for opportunities to photograph angel statues and stained glass windows in churches and cemeteries when I'm travelling the world.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru