4 Eye-Catching Ways To Create Emotion In Photographs

photography is a very powerful medium in that we can create so much emotion with a single image.  there are so many ways to create emotion in photographs and it’s important that you do so, not only to photograph the moment accurately but to elicit a reaction from your audience.  sometimes you will want your audience to feel happy, sad, excited, or confused.  these are all some sort of emotion, and it’s up to you to decide what type of emotion you would like to create.  check out what 4 things you should keep in mind to help portray more emotion within your images.

are you intimidated by shadows?  read why you should embrace shadows in your photography.

4 Eye-Catching Ways To Create Emotion In Photographs

4 Eye-Catching Ways To Create Emotion In Photographs | Bethadilly Photography

Consider Negative Space

using negative space within your image is a wonderful way to keep your viewer’s eye on your subject.  and when their eye is on your subject, they are more likely to recognize and feel the emotion of the subject sooner.  in the photo above, i used negative space to fill the frame with empty space as a way of encouraging my viewer to look at the baby.  i also created an emotion of curiosity in the viewer, as they are intrigued to know what the baby is looking to.  the subtle hint of the curtain on the top camera left paired with the light leads the viewer to believe that the baby is looking towards a window, even though i don’t offer that information clearly.

4 Eye-Catching Ways To Create Emotion In Photographs | Bethadilly Photography

Consider Light

light doesn’t mean standing next to a window, it could mean playing with where the light falls within a room.  with your goal to create emotion in photographs, look to light to inspire you.  in the image above, i was intrigued with how the light was so bright, paired with a dark room.  i loved the way the baby was looking to the light in amazement, allowing me to create a sense of wonderment with this image.  think of how different this image would be if it had a brighter exposure.  it would create an entirely different look and, therefore, created a different emotion.

4 Eye-Catching Ways To Create Emotion In Photographs | Bethadilly Photography

Consider A Contrast Between Light and Dark

there is something so eye-catching about an image that contains a deep contrast between light and dark.  in the image above, the darkness frames the subjects in the middle of the frame just as powerfully as the light frames them.  you could argue that this image is framed twice, once with the dark shadows and a second time within the doorframe.  creating a contrast between light and dark can create the emotion of interest and curiosity in the viewer.

4 Eye-Catching Ways To Create Emotion In Photographs | Bethadilly Photography

Consider Your Edit

not all images have to be moody or dark to contain emotion.  to create emotion in photographs, it is very important to consider your edit and your exposure.  commonly, brighter exposures can mean happiness and being carefree.  in the image above of me and my daughter, i chose a lighter edit to portray a soft emotion.  it’s not to say that moodier edits can’t contain happiness, they certainly can.  to experiment with this thought more, play with your exposure and see how it can drastically change the emotion of an image.

emotion is a very powerful part of a photograph.  it is what encourages your audience to look at your photo longer and it is also what makes your photograph memorable.  photos that contain emotion are very impactful because they leave a lasting impression on your audience, as you encourage them to feel something.  and isn’t that one of our biggest goals with photography?  to make someone feel something?

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