Photographing Love: 5 Ways To Portray Emotion
photographing is such a powerful thing because it can portray so much emotion, without words or sound. with one photograph we can make someone feel happy, angry, scared, sad, joyful…the list is endless. as photographers we create emotion through our photographs. of all the emotions that a photograph can hold, love is one that is always so rich. the art of photographing love is both simple and complex. it’s simple to think of what love means to us, but sometimes showing that in a photograph is difficult. as you think about photographing love, think about how you can portray emotion. here are 5 ways i portray emotion, to get you started.
don’t forget the power of depth as you are photographing and keep the importance of creating depth in photographs in mind.
Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion
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1. Think of Your Honest Moments
when i think about love, i think about honesty. there is nothing more honest than love. when i think about some of the most honest moments i have with my daughter, it’s during the time when it is just me and her. no cell phones, no distractions. at least once a day, we cuddle up together nose to nose and just lay there. she babbles and i kiss her cheeks. i talk and sing to her, she lovingly pulls my hair and grabs my nose. those moments are honest and all about love. when you think about photographing love, make a list of your honest moments and use that as your inspiration. focus on photographing moments, not portraits.
2. Love Is In The Details
sometimes it isn’t the subjects, but the details of a photograph that contain the most love. in the photo above, i love how she is holding onto my hand. it’s a simple gesture but it holds so much emotion. as you pick up your camera with the goal of photographing love, don’t forget the little details. love doesn’t have to mean photographing faces, it can be in the simple gestures that the emotion is most powerful.
3. Focus on Reactions
how someone reacts to something is so honest and true. reactions happen in a split second, so you have to be ready to photograph it. whether someone is reacting to a whispered secret, a kiss on the cheek, or the sound of baby laughter as they tickle their little one, be sure focus on how the person is reacting just as much as you are focusing on what they are reacting to. photographing love is easy when you give prompts such as “kiss your child” or “whisper in your wife’s ear.” but remember, it’s not the prompt you want to photograph, but the reaction is creates.
4. Love Doesn’t Have To Be A Person, It Can Be An Action
photographing love doesn’t have to mean photographing a person, it can be an act of love. think of the ways in which you show love to another person. it could mean writing a handwritten note, sending flowers, packing a lunch, or bringing one a cup of coffee in bed. photographing love can mean tickling baby toes as you feed your little one or making someone their favorite cookies. remember that photographing love doesn’t necessarily mean your photograph has to contain a human subject, it can contain an action or a gesture that shows love. gestures of love can change over time, so be sure to take the opportunity to photograph what loves means to you today. while 5 years ago love looks like a bouquet of flowers from my hubby, today it looks like getting up early with the baby so i can sleep or making me dinner after a long day. we all view love differently and it beautifully changes with life.
5. Encourage Interaction And Touch
photographing love comes naturally when your subjects touch in some way. whether it is a husband wrapping his arm around his wife, siblings holding hands, or a baby reaching up to hold her mamas face, there is so much love held in that touch. gently prompt your subjects to interact with one another in a way that includes touch like holding hands, giving eskimo kisses, or cuddling close. close interactions encourage honest emotion and relaxation.
photographing love can be done in a variety of ways, with a variety of subjects. again, it’s important to note that photographing love doesn’t have to include a person, but an act of love. as you go about your everyday, look for things that symbolize love. look for ways that you or others show love. keep note of these gestures, big or small, and make plans to photograph those moments that you really want to cherish.
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