Personality

Have you ever been around people who always make you feel welcome and valuable? They just seem to exude an appreciation for your company, a genuine interest in your thoughts and statements.

Some people would call them a “Type A” personality.

There are times that I see the personality of the subject perfectly captured in a photo. I take a long, hard look at those pictures while asking myself questions similar to the following:

  1. What element say “personality” to me?
  2. Why do these elements communicate “personality” to me?
  3. How can I re-create the element?
  4. How can I distinguish between elements and the personalities they portray?
  5. What color tones were used?
  6. How do the color tones in this photo add to the subject’s personality?
  7. What clothing colors bring out subject personality?

As you can see there are a lot of things that can add to or take away from personality. In the blog post “Simplifying The Message” I mention that it is important to keep the message uncluttered and intentional. It is possible the only thing that shouts “personality” is the pose they assume as the shutter opens. Sometimes the simplest things are what makes the shot rather than the complicated set-up or costuming.

There are a lot of options at your disposal when displaying personality and be free to explore them!

“Beef-ing” it up.

As a photographer there are many moments when a prospective contractor is looking through my portfolio and I see each photo they inspect wishing that they would move on to  the photos which in my opinion are better. Yet they linger over the photos that I consider “the worst” of the lot and they still ask me to participate in their events as a photographer. Why is this the case?

I have found in many cases (not all cases, by any stretch of the imagination) that capturing only the intended object perfectly is not the desire of the event coordinator.

So what do they and other viewers see in my worst photos? That is a good question to ask when people comment on a photo. For instance, you can ask “What drew you to the photo”, or “Why do you like this photo the best out of the rest of them?” Of course it is always polite to ask them permission to ask these questions so as not to embarrass them or imply the wrong message by your question.

Let me use an example from personal experience to make the point a little bit more clear. 

The photo inserted on the left was a quick snap shot taken while I was on vacation. As I began to focus and was once again reminded of my camera’s perspective of the world I readjusted my imagination to fit what the camera could see.

By readjusting I was adding interest to the photo by allowing some “white space” and an un-harvested field to contrast the cut fields seen in the vehicle’s side view mirror. This is very important to remember, when photographing; keep a natural amount of interest in the photo (whether that means taking a different perspective to leave things out of the shot, or to bring things into the shot, being posed or candid).

This is not to say that all photos do not have some inherited interest, but some may need more or less interest than others. I hope you have fun playing with interest and it serves you well in your next photo opportunities!