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All the feels; creating portraits filled with emotions

I always look forward to meeting clients and spending time with their family. For a brief moment, I get to learn more about them and capture a glimpse of their lives. To me, a succesful photograph is one that draws you in and makes you feel something. Here are 4 tips to help you create images filled with emotion and connection.

1. Physical contact

Whether it's by holding hands, an embrace, or a kiss, physical contact plays a large role in establishing the connection between people. Touch is the 1st sense we develop as infants; it helps us to connect to the world around us and those who are dear to us. Just like when watching good TV shows, or movies, your audience will connect more with images that show genuine human contact. Learn to read body language, and keep in mind the emotion that you are trying to convey.

2. Laughter

Laughter is a universal language. You can't help but to feel connected to laughing people in pictures. Sometimes the laughter is genuine. Sometimes being in front of the the camera makes people feel self-conscious and unsettled, to the point of giggles! Even if it is a nervous laughter, don't discourage it - encourage it! During big events like weddings, picture-time forces people together for a second, giving them a chance to connect and take it all in. Ask interesting questions and use some of your more popular jokes! Once nervous laughter is out of the way, your subjects will relax and more organic scenes will emerge.

3. Eye contact

Windows to the soul. By looking straight at the camera, the subject draws you in by letting you know them. Eyes can show a multitude of emotion such as joy, strength, sadness. Let those moments happen organically when you can. If you position your subject facing the light, the highlight of a light source that reflects off the eyes will create what is called catchlights. This light in the eyes adds depth and life to your portrait.