5 tips for capturing feeling in your photography

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Ready to take on Untitled’s new challenge? Show and Tell has tasked you with taking a photo that represents how you're feeling, with 20 photos chosen by the judges for a UK-wide billboard campaign. Sounds simple, right? Perhaps you are wondering about one thing. How exactly do you photograph a feeling?

Writers can craft a sense of mood with words. Musicians can convey different emotions by their choice of chords. For visual artists, creating images that evoke feelings is not as straightforward but no less important. Sharing feelings through photography without needing words to explain is a powerful skill all artists strive towards. The easiest way to achieve this sense of feeling is by being aware of the elements that stir our senses in everyday life.

For those looking to dig a little deeper, here we have shared five helpful tips for capturing feeling in your photography.

Use light to your advantage 

Be conscious of the nature of light you are shooting in. Morning light may bring a sense of serenity or adventure to your image. Cool light may bring feelings of contemplation or melancholy. Flash may increase the intensity or dynamism of your composition. Experiment and see how different types of light affect the feeling of a scene. 


Be aware of color and tone

Color has an important relationship with feeling. Remember, light will take on different tones at certain times of the day. Take advantage of your natural surroundings to help evoke feeling and perhaps try using golden light to bring feelings of hope and positivity to your image. If you are looking to create less pleasant emotions, try oversaturated colors and high contrast to create a feeling of tension. Remember, even keeping things simple with black and white can still pack a punch. 

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Use texture

Textures are also key when capturing the mood of a scene. Look around your room and try to match the different textures you see with different emotions. Generally, soft and smooth textures will evoke a pleasant emotional response. Rough or hard counterparts can be used to convey a negative feeling. Play around and try to think outside the box. 

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Test different compositions

The first composition you try may not always be the right one. Playing around with composition is all part of the fun. Try shooting your subject from the side or looking down at it. Try shooting it up close and then from 100 yards away. Challenge yourself with creative compositions and figure out what feels right to you.

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Keep things simple

The busier your composition, the higher chance your feeling will get lost in all the noise. While this isn't a hard and fast rule, if you are finding it difficult to bring your feeling to center stage, try simplifying the shot. Cut out certain elements and try a perspective that highlights one area rather than the whole scene and see what difference it makes. 

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 Think you're ready to capture the feels? Hop over to our Show & Tell photography brief to get started.

RELATED: How to be a live music and portrait photographer, with Oscar Blair

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