I know I said I would start posting windmill pictures, but I came across a curious thought yesterday when i was looking for pictures for my blog buddy Elchico. I was looking at two photos, both pictures are of people interacting but one is clearly more personal than the other. This made me ponder, how exactly do you make the subject of your photograph have a personal connection with the viewer (first person, as if the viewer were actually there and not an onlooker, a stranger peering into the lives of the subject). So, here are two ways to make your viewers feel more included:
1. Eye Contact
If your subject is looking directly at the lens, the subject will make eye contact with the viewer. Just like in a conversation, people feel more included when there is eye contact and since a photographic subject cannot step off the print to pat you on the hand or high five you, eye contact is the best a photographer can do. In comparison to the first one, the boy in the second one is not looking at the camera and instantly the first person connection between subject and viewer is gone.
2. Be at the same level as the subject
No one is going to kneel down in front of their standing friends to talk to them, unless your friends were children, then you would go down to their level to talk to them
because that’s the polite thing to do. However, if you actually don’t know your subjects (like in street photography and this picture), you can still create the same illusion by taking pictures of your subject from above their hips because if we are standing close to people, we don’t see their legs in our line of vision. So, with the picture of the three people, I cropped it above their hips and with less background and just like that the viewer seems more included.
Of course, a good picture does not have to include the viewer, sometimes there can be a disconnection depending on what you want to depict in your photograph. Like this last one below, I want viewers to be onlookers because this group is in their little bubble and the distance and full body shot creates an intimacy within the subjects themselves (like in engagement/wedding photographs).
ps. I just realized how annoying having three columns in your home page is because if it looks nicely aligned on my home page it looks like crap on the blog post’s page…gahhh. not fixing this.