Byrd photographer: Jesper Villadsen
March 2020

How to capture emotions in a photo

Capturing people’s true emotions may be one of the biggest challenges a photographer can have. For your convenience - we have ruled out some good practices to make your photos feel less set up and instead more genuine. 

Get them to drop their mask
Despite the years of photographers saying “cheese” and look into the camera and whatnot - fewer instructions will mean more authenticity. Often you will find people have a certain photomask on, a certain pose or smile that they put on when being placed in front of the camera. Give them some time and eventually, that mask will drop. 

Focus on the eyes
A person can smile despite not actually feeling happy - however, it is harder to fake it through their eyes. So, therefore, if you want to convey what the person is actually feeling, you should focus on their eyes. 

… But other details may also tell a story

There are other cues than just the eyes though. Take body language, for example, the way that someone holds onto something or perhaps have their posture might tell the full story too.

More is better
Don’t settle for a single shot - take multiple! You will quickly find that a lot of the times the best shots happen between the photos, so needless to say make sure you capture those. On Byrd, we have the album function - which means that the days of having to choose only one photo are gone.

To sum it up
Capturing true emotions might sometimes be tricky. However, with lots of patience, focusing on the key points for our emotional cues and shooting many times - you have a better chance of getting that really genuine photo!