One of the ways to bring visual interest and tension into your imagery is the use of body language. It’s a way to communicate without the talking, and can disclose a person’s character or attitude without a word being said. this is very important in still photography for obvious reasons.
I teach an online class with the PPSOP, and I conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around the planet. One of the areas we work on is ways to create Visual Tension, and the use of body language is one of them. I shoot a lot of environmental portraits, so for me body language is an important part of the overall composition. Body language is one of the pieces that make up a good photo, and other pieces of the same puzzle will influence how we interpret non-verbal information by the subject.
The use of hands is so important in expressing thought and conveying the feeling of warmth or strength. If the way people use their hands wasn’t significant, and you doubt that it can help you take your imagery what I refer to as “up a level”, then one only needs to think about sign language and the way the hands are used in a way to send a message to others.
What about the face? A simple expression can send so many different meanings and can portray the range of emotions we all have; don’t we all occasionally carry our disposition, mood, and temperament on our faces.
When taking photos of just one person, the body language can be both compelling and enchanting, but when there’s two or more people, then the outcome can be extremely entertaining and thought-provoking when put in the right situation; especially when light plays a big part…as it always should.
The next time you’re taking pictures of people, try to incorporate some body language and see how much it helps in generating visual tension and interest.
Here’s are a few examples of both one and more than one subject. Can you tell by their body language what’s happening?
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. come shoot with me sometime. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.
The Los Angeles Center for photography has invited me to come out and conduct a three day intensive workshop over the July 15th weekend. I’ll be making a presentation of my work on Thursday July 14th and the public is invited. The full description can be see at the top of this blog, with a link to the site. I hope to spend the weekend with all of you.
I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.
Keep those photos and questions coming into: AskJoeB@gmail.com.