Tips for Creating Emotional Imagery

Tips for Creating Emotional Imagery

2048 1367 Twyla Jones

Do you find yourself drawn to photographs focusing on more intimate, quiet moments?

Are you struggling to capture authentic emotive images amongst the chaos that is family sessions?

I want to share a few tips with you on how to make sure you can add moments like this to every gallery you deliver!

Points of connection
Instead of always relying on a subject’s face to tell the story I really focus on following the connection. I find beauty in all human interaction and find there is always a story to tell when you follow the hands. There are more obvious types of touch such as holding hands, and hugging but be sure to look for the more subtle types of interaction as well.

Watch closely as a mother brushes the hair from her child’s face.

Emphasize the smallness of a toddlers outstretched arms reaching for her father.

Get in close as the groom nudges his bride’s chin in for a kiss.

Size comparison
One of my favorite ways to tell a story is by really emphasizing the fragility and smallness of a child. There are countless opportunities to do this during a session while also using symmetry to create some really interesting compositions. Moments like this are especially useful during family sessions if you have children throwing a fit. You can still focus in on these small moments and never guess they are screaming for their batman toy at the same time. Take advantage of every second you are with your clients there is always something beautiful happening.

Crop in tightly as a father wraps his large hands around his child.

Fall in love with little fingers grasping tightly to a parent’s hand.

Fight back tears as you watch tiny arms embracing the neck of a parent while planting a sloppy kiss on their cheek.

Layering senses
My absolute favorite thing to look for is combining the sense of touch with an appreciation for the environment around you. One of my favorite sensations in this life is holding my child close to me while also basking in a gorgeous sunset with the wind blowing through my hair.

Photograph this.

Create these sensations for your clients.

Help guide them and make them aware of the beauty surrounding them.

Curl those fading baby curls around your finger while closing your eyes and taking in a deep breath of salty sea air.

Pay close attention to the small moments in your life that make you pause in awe at their beauty. This is your new shot list. You’ve found your voice and I can’t wait for you to share your images with us.

Twyla Jones
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45 comments
  • Beautifully written Twyla!

  • I would love to hear your thoughts and favorite tips as well! Sit with us and share the love 🙂

  • Love this. I will take that with me to every session.

  • Twyla, these are great tips-I love that you pointed out the struggle, as well as a solution, to dealing with children that can be difficult.

  • Love this! Such great tips Twyla! Thanks!

  • Twyla, thank you for sharing these.. I see that also, the light you choose emphatises all those emotions and makes this connections even more intense. And the editing of course! Makes me feel drawn to them…almost hearing the touch of the skin. Love your work!
    Love, Marta

  • kimjansenvanrensburg September 12, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Thank you I am definitely gonna give it a try 😉

  • Share your results with us Kim, I would love to see!

  • Hi Twyla 🙂 What aperture do you like to use when doing these shots? do you set your focus on their hands?

    • Hey Tarrin! I personally love the dreaminess shooting up close with and wide open creates! I am shooting at 1.4 almost all of the time. I focus on whatever is most captivating to me in the frame. If their face is in the shot, it’s almost always going to be their eyes, otherwise hands, hair, feet, etc…..whatever the most important element is.

  • Love your work Twyla!!! totally inspiring and emotive images, I will take everything with me to the next session 🙂 Greetings from Chile

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