Capturing emotion in photos is no easy task! It can be especially tricky when people know they are being photographed. You know how children have the "cheese!" face, well adults have it too. There are times when we all want something more from a photo... genuine emotion. As the photographer, it's your job to help people feel relaxed and comfortable! These five tips will help you get started...
1. Take Plenty Of Warm Up Shots
There are times when a person needs a little time to warm up in front of the camera. In these situations, I am thankful for taking that extra few minutes to get a great shot. Don't be afraid to take an assortment of photos as you get to know your subject. Everyone has a few extra flattering poses and as a photographer its our job to find them! Who wants an unflattering photo?! Not cool. So, take the time to find the beauty in your subject. This will give them the extra time to get comforatble in front of the camera. It's a win-win situation!
2. Ask Lots Of Questions
When I began to get to know my subjects, my photographs got better. I have always been moved by emotion and that is one thing that really connected me to photography. Having a conversation while taking photos is a great way to capture little moments and get photos that reflect the person's personality!
3. Experiment With A Full Range Of Emotion
Depending on the focus of the photoshoot, I like to experiment with a full range of emotion. I do this for various reasons, but most importantly it helps break the ice. Spending a few minutes being fun, silly, flirty, serious and sad....can loosen up your subject, while at the same time getting to know the comfort level of your subject. Everything I do and the way I interact with a subject goes back to "getting to know" my subject- spending this extra time to find the beauty rather than shoot and hope for the best- will really pay off. I promise.
4. Watch For The In-Between Moments
From the start of a photosession to the time it comes to an end...I am always ready. My camera is in hand and I am aware at all times, anticipating the unexpected and unplanned moments. Some of my favorite shots are the ones right after the shot that my subject was expecting. This is when they breathe out the breath they were holding in, relax the smile that could have been forced and the moment when their body falls into a more relaxed position. We can give our subjects direction all day long, but there's something wonderful about a natural pose...and sometimes you can find that in the "in between." So, my advice is to always anticipate the next move, before your subject gets there. Keep your camera to your eye and continue to look for the natural beauty. Everyone has it. It's there. Anticipate it!
5. Do The Research & Get To Know Your Subject
Elsie: When I take photos of my dear friends I always try to capture one of the qualities that I love most about them! In this photo of my pal, Leigh-Ann, I was trying to capture her adorable smile, one of her cutest qualities. I told cheesy inside jokes until I captured a genuine smile!
Kelli: My subjects can always expect to receive a Q&A from me, prior to a photoshoot. It's super important to me to capture who they are. What works for me is coming up with questions that will allow a peek into my subjects life, which helps me get to know them. If I am photographing a married couple I love getting to know what the husband adores about his wife....and what the wife appreciates about her husband. Whether it's the dimple on her left cheek or the way he holds her hand when they cross a busy street....I want to capture just that!
We hope you've picked up some tips for capturing emotion. Whether you are photographing your own family or someone you've never met you'll be able to create a comfotable, fun photo session! Have a great day! Kelli, Elsie + Emma