The simple answer is simple: It needs to capture the subject’s expression.
To take a great stock photo, you’ll have to put your subject’s expression right in the frame. The key is to capture the moment the subject is about to let out a deep, powerful laugh, the moment the subject will let out a loud yell, or the moment the subject is going to stop breathing or raise their voice.
To capture these expressions, I first need to know where exactly my subject is. You’ll notice that I haven’t talked a lot about expression yet. When I’ve captured the subject’s face, I try to capture their expression. This doesn’t mean that I take every photo of the subject in a mirror or that I spend hours trying to “match face with face.” That doesn’t happen often. But when it does, I know I have a good model.
Now, you might ask: “How can I capture an expression when no one really is smiling yet?”
That’s because a great photo is a perfect expression, not a happy one. I have to know the moment my subject is about to let out an expression to get a good photo. If I don’t know why the person is smiling, or if I don’t understand how the expression relates to any one other part of their face, I have an imperfect photo.
In other words, we need to capture an expression about our subjects because we’re not sure how it relates to their expressions and we really want to capture that moment of expression. We need a good reason to put those little pictures out there.
What’s the best way to capture an expression? It’s best to capture them in the face. But it helps if the expression is different from that of the person in front of us. If a person has a nervous laugh, that might be a more interesting photograph than, for example, one that looks like an expression that’s a grin. I think every photographer learns that expression in the same time.
So we want to know why a photo shows us something in a certain way, as opposed to that photo that’s just shown us what we expect. An expression is a little too simple for that.
One good way to capture an expression in a photo is to use the camera flash. The light you can’t see on another person’s face with the flash is a great source of contrast between the camera flash and the face of the subject.
To find a good photo to
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