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Beyond the Faces

06th May 2011

Adding Action to Portraits

 

As a grandfather with a camera, I’m very often snapping away when the grandchildren are nearby. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos of these kids in my collection.

Yesterday, three of them were out playing in our backyard. Here’s a few snapshots that I took. I’m a big fan of trying to incorporate action into these portraits. You be the judge of whether the action helps to make the picture.


My favorites are the candids. These are shots where the subject is totally unaware. When they’re preoccupied with having a fun experience, they may not know that you’re “spying” with your camera.

 


Obviously this is not a candid. Eden
knows that I’m taking her photo

But here she is unaware that
I’m snapping away

When it’s not possible to be totally candid you can use a semi-posed action shot. The action helps to avoid a face that’s preoccupied with the picturetaker.

 


This full length portrait of Logan
shows little motion

Here the angle of the shot
emphasizes his action on the slide

With a little patience, you can turn a static shot into a live action photo. A few minutes after taking the photo on the left below, she was being doing calisthenics – making the photo on the right much more exciting.

 


Here Ezra is clutching the wooden
post that’s supporting the swing set

Here she’s showing me the
agility that I wish I could still muster.

 


While each of the left-hand photos are OK, I’ve learned that adding a little action to the mix can turn my snapshots into real “keepers”.

Do you agree?

 

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 


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