The most important element in photography to master is capturing emotion and feeling. Capturing this is one of the most difficult, yet important aspects of photography. A great image is one that tells a story and identifies the mood. If a photo evokes emotion in others, then it is a successful photograph.
You can capture emotion through different elements of photography. Lighting, location, the weather, colors, movement, composition and subject matter all makes a difference when it comes to creating an extraordinary photograph that tells a story. One thing to remember when creating your image is that emotions are subjective. Depending on the person your final product may cause different emotions in people. Knowing this will help you create more engaging pictures that will cause your audience to react.
Create Feeling with Candid Portraits
When attempting to create an emotional photograph using people in a picture is the obvious choice. People naturally display different moods and feelings through their facial expressions, hair style, clothing, and body language. All of this can contribute to the story you want to tell. Candid portraits are great at creating emotion in photography because the subject matter isn't forced to pose. The facial expressions and movement of your subject are natural and more likely to create feeling in the viewer.
Create Feeling with Posed Portraits
Even though posed pictures are unlikely to generate as much emotion as a candid shot, this does not mean that they are unable to create emotion at all. The first step in creating emotion in a posed portrait is to make your subject feel at ease. Engage them in conversation, get them to laugh, and draw out their raw emotions. Getting them to move around and try different poses and positions is a good way to convey a vision as well. Most importantly, make it fun. You can try to use props as well to bring your vision to life.
As the photographer, you may want to anticipate your subjects next move so that you are ready with your camera to get that perfect shot that captures the personality of the person you are photographing. Anticipating the next move will give you the advantage you need to get that perfect shot that evokes an emotion in the viewer. The general rule of thumb is that a photograph needs to look natural to create emotion, even if it is a posed shot.
Conveying the Mood
Overall, getting the mood right in your photos will take a bit of practice. There is a lot to think about and to consider when doing this. By trying out a few of these techniques, you will be able to develop your photography skills to become a better photographer. When photographing your subject matter, try to be aware of the elements you need to tell the story that you're trying to tell. Recognize that others will react differently to your photograph and be aware of the elements you are using to create different emotions in a candid or posed shot.
Other things to consider include the location, weather, light, and color in the photograph. What can you do to change the mood? Maybe it would help to change your composition or perhaps a different shooting angle will make all the difference in your photography. I t just takes some time to play with the various aspects of it until you get the mood and feeling you want.
Most importantly, be creative and imaginative. Have fun with what you are doing. Use all your photography knowledge and skills together to create a scene that is picture perfect.