The body speaks, communicates, expresses, and much more than we think. Surely you have heard many times of body language. Well, today I’m going to talk about this tool that you can use in your portraits to print the emotion, feeling or state you want to convey. It is true that there are many studies on this subject, that each gesture can mean something specific and that this can also vary depending on the culture or situation. But it is also true that there are certain gestures, postures or bodily expressions that convey feelings without being any expert in the field. Surely you’ve ever known that someone close was not in the mood no matter how much I told you otherwise, and surely it was without the need to analyze if he had his arms in a certain position or put his hands in a certain area of the face, it was something more intuitive. Imagine now that you also know certain gestures and postures that you can easily use in your portraits, do you want to take advantage of that opportunity? Then read on, I will show you some examples.
PROFILES SPEAK …
I will start with the types of portraits, because depending on the type of profile we use the image will tell us different things:
- Front profile: is the profile in which the shoulders are aligned perpendicularly to the photographer and the look of the model is directed the other way. With it evasion, peace, tranquility is transmitted …
- Three-quarter front: with the gaze fixed on the photographer and the shoulders not aligned, but one directed at the camera expresses a point of aggressiveness. The model may seem more sensual, mischievous or direct.
- Front: with the shoulders aligned and the head in front is a simple portrait that does not contribute anything special unless you accompany it with a gesture, look or position of the hands. Look at these two images, doesn’t the second tell you much more than the first? The challenging look and the stage, give the portrait a more direct and aggressive attitude.
… AND THE GESTURES TOO
In a photograph we cannot capture the tone of the voice but if we can transmit that tone with a gesture or with several, we will see what some of them mean or convey to us.
- The smile: the first thing we can think about is that a smile will always convey joy, but it is not always the case. A slight, forced smile will indicate more insecurity than anything else, lack of confidence or even shyness. You can also indicate that you hide something you don’t want to share with the rest. A broader and natural smile will show joy and pleasure. Oh, and watch out for crooked smiles, they serve to show sarcasm … Look at the following two images, what do they convey to you?
- Laughter: because laughter is not the same as smile, right? Laughter can indicate much more than joy, it can also tell us about fun and greater happiness. It is the one that almost certainly infects the viewer and also ends up smiling.
- The hands on the waist or “in jugs”: indicate security, confidence and willingness to achieve what you want.
- Boredom: a yawn, the face resting on the hands and the lost look are unmistakable signs that the person in the picture is bored.
- Shyness: hiding behind an object, covering your face with your hands or not looking directly at the camera shows shyness, insecurity.
- You can achieve a defensive attitude with your arms crossed and looking down.
- If what you want is to show aggressiveness , ask your model to frown, show teeth, tense his body and / or clench his fists. Any of these gestures indicate aggressiveness.
- Sensuality: a fixed look, biting your lower lip, touching your hair, lips or some part of the body, are some of the gestures that your model can make to be sensual without needing to stay in underwear.
- Nervousness: you can represent it with the model by biting your nails or with your fingers in your mouth and looking away from the camera.
- Domain and security: legs apart and body straight, hands tucked in pockets but with thumbs out or hands entwined in the back and looking forward, they are gestures that transmit dominance and even superiority.
- Concentration: with one hand on the chin and the gaze centered on a specific point, the model will seem most concentrated, even more if you frown a little.
- Self-confidence and superiority: if this is what you want your model to convey, ask him to sit with his arms raised and his hands on the back of his neck. And if you raise your feet on the table, the feeling is multiplied by 10 !!
On the street you can do observation exercises, observe the postures and gestures of passersby, the position and attitude of a person with respect to those around him. Let’s see two examples:
1. What do you think of this photo? At least I get the feeling that the two gentlemen on the right are questioning very much what the one on the left is telling them. Does it give you the same feeling?
2. And what about these two young people? It is evident that they are two strangers, but it is more evident that they do not wish to have the minimum visual or verbal contact …
Now a small gallery of portraits to reflect on what they transmit to you:
Has this article been useful for you? So before I ask you to take your camera and start practicing, I will ask you to share it on social networks, I will be very grateful … Until next time!
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