100 Steps to IYP – Lesson 5 – People

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Next on our list of common and popular subjects are people… of all cultures, all religions, all colours, of one humanity. People make great subjects for their expressions are priceless. But to be priceless in a picture, they need to be captured right, and that is what we aim at helping you achieve with this lesson… 4 tips to capture the expressions of the face, of the body, of the people…

TIP 1: Capture the emotion of the face…
The human face is capable of innumerable expressions… of joy, of sadness, of fear, of anger, and countless others… and the textures of the skin, the wrinkles, all add to every expression. And capturing these textures gives life to the picture. Also, the eyes are actually like windows to the soul, so expressive they are… Try and capture the expressions and the depth in a  person’s eyes and face.


Photo by hiro008


TIP 2: The face is just one part of the body… capture others as well…
Every part of the body conveys some message or the other. A dancer’s feet, a guitarist’s hands, an athlete’s muscles, all make wonderful subjects. Such shots can be used to say many things about the individual… like what they do for a living, for instance; or simply highlight the contours of the human body.


Photo by madabandon


TIP 3: Use body language to narrate…
The body language of a person, along with expressions, conveys a lot. Try and capture the body language of people in ways such that it narrates a story, tells about the relation between the people in the picture, or tells about the person only. The way he/she stands, the way he/she holds something, the tilt of their neck… little things like these can make a dramatic impact.


Photo by lulazzo


TIP 4: Go candid…
When people are aware of the fact that they are being photographed, consciously or subconsciously, their behaviour changes. It becomes artificial at times. Candid photos, captured without the knowledge of the subject, often turn out great because then there is no artificiality about the behaviour, and you end up capturing them in positions/times that would never happen if they were aware that you were taking a picture. However, it is always good to interact with the subject later, and take their consent to keep/use the picture.



Photo by nubui


The last tip alone can lead to some very exciting shots. Go ahead, give it a try. We would love to know your experience. Your comments and suggestions are valuable, so keep them coming!

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