Emotion In Photography


“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” – Ansel Adams

For me, photography is all about emotions. I believe that photography is a glimpse of who we are inside. Certainly we express how we feel about a subject through our shots, but the real excitement begins when we are able to capture moments in such a way that the viewer recognizes and actually feels that emotion within them. Perhaps it triggers a memory that deeply touches them. It may be as simple as the warmth or coolness of the colors we choose or the facial expressions we patiently wait for before clicking the shutter that makes it all happen. When it does, well that is when it becomes magical.

As wonderful as the basic rules of composition are for photography, when it comes to expressing emotion I think we have to be willing to step outside the box a bit. We have to be willing to break the rules.

It isn’t something that can be posed or forced.

It is more something we have to just let happen. As an example, if you really want to get some incredible shots of children, just follow them around while they live and love life. Those are the truly priceless moments…

What things do you do to help express emotion in photography?

J. Cricket Walker


  1. Joyce CampJoyce Camp10-08-2012

    Some people are so good at photographing people but I really lack here! Either eyes are closed, mouths open or just not an appealing expression to the face!
    Seems I’m just not a people person when a camera is in my hands! It’s something I would love to be good at!

  2. CricketCricket10-08-2012

    We all get those shots! I bet I take more than 100 shots to get one that I am really crazy about.

  3. Craig MyranCraig Myran10-08-2012

    Sometimes, just the millisecond before I press the shutter button, I’ll make a loud noise. Opens eyes up pretty wide!!!

  4. Alison GrahamAlison Graham10-08-2012

    I like lurking on the fringes of events with my long lens and taking candid shots. You get the real faces then, not the ones people put on when they know the camera is aimed at them. When I get the “winners” I literally start bouncing in my seat! So much fun.

    • CricketCricket10-08-2012

      That is also my style of shooting. You can capture the most wonderful expressions this way!

  5. Becky Patlan-GarciaBecky Patlan-Garcia10-08-2012

    Cricket, I am like you. Sometimes I take 100 shots to get a good one. Occasionally I get lucky and happen to catch one on the first hit. I took some shots of my grand niece one day. I would catch her in a pose that I loved and would start to snap then she would look at me. I told her “Don’t look at me, just do what you were doing.” She fell right into it and I got some good shots. I don’t always get that lucky tho.Children are naturals and can usually recreate the look I want without looking forced.

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