I find that sometimes candids are the only way to express the mood and real emotion in a given situation. So, when I am on the road photographing at an event, or on location with a client, I will often start my picture-taking process without anyone even knowing I have started. Or, I might end a session still photographing after I say "we are finished."
There are also times, when I will ask clients to set up a shot for me, that does not involve them smiling or looking at my camera.
Often, we forget that we have a whole body of language (YEP--BODY LANGUAGE can be key to grabbing an emotional photograph without a facial expression) to use in our arsenal.
Here are a few easy ways I use to showcase the mood/emotion in a scenario, without using typical face-to-the-camera alternatives.
More often than not you can get a good feeling for mood when you have people walk away, or when you simply photograph them walking away, without them knowing you are doing so.
2. The Touch Element
Besides our face, full body contact (as in lap dogs), or the use of hands may be the next most useful way to gain expression without...well...expressions! Two examples below showcase a little bit of doggy profile, but no owner face-front. In this particular photo, can you tell how relaxed each subject is? I took this particular photo at an event, and it was a moment of respite for both the man and his dog.
My husband demonstrated the use of a gentle hand on Billie to give an example of the element of touch, which can be used in photography to capture a moment between man and dog.
I find that if a dog is nervous about being photographed, the lap or touch process often allows calming and gives me the opportunity to grab that interaction as well.
If you have a dog with great, expressive ears, they often can be used to tell a story about how the dog is feeling. Without seeing our dog Luke's face, can you guess what might be happening at the moment I snapped this photo?
She is always on alert, and she has very unique fur and ears....definitely worth capturing as a great memory of her sight-hound characteristics. Below she is guarding two trees, but never losing her focus on the fence area across the yard.
When dogs are doing what they are bred to do, there really isn't any time for posing. There often aren't many face forward photos either.
Yet, there is something very enthralling about hunting dogs in action. From the tip of their noses, to their tails, they are working every moment to flush out whatever their hunting master is looking for. Often they are moving through dense brush and loads of distracting grasses, weeds, and wild flowers.
My theory: keep your finger on the button and just keep snapping away! Later you will find that you have indeed captured the pure focus and determination of whatever hunting breed you are following.
But, give it a try and see what comes out of it. Because there is more than one way to show exactly how your pet is feeling.
Our challenge this week was to concentrate on photos with no faces. Let's see what everyone else in the blog circle is sharing. Start here with Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching pet and family portraits in Coppell, Carrollton and the greater Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex.
Have a great weekend! Enjoy!