Human Element: Including People in your Photos to Evoke an Emotion

Dog & Human Camping In Tent














How do you differentiate yourself from other photographers? An agency looking for photos now has thousands of photos to choose from. Everyone out there has a DSLR or iPhone and finding a unique composition these days can be tough. Including people in your photos can be a way to to make your photography stand out. Here are a few reasons why you should include humanity in your photography:

To Tell a Story & Create a Mood

Not every photo evokes the emotion you are trying to convey. Adding a person to the scene can make the photo bleed with emotion. It can tell a story to the viewer and help lead their eye to specific areas of the photo. Someone hiking a trail adds more context than just a photo of the trail.

Add a Sense of Scale

Over and over again I have friends and family visit a waterfall I have photographed. They often say, “wow that was a lot bigger than what your photo looked like.” Adding a body to the image can show how big the landscape actually is. Try to place the person as far away from you as possible. It will make the object you are photographing have better contrast between the object and tree.

Consider Outfit Color Contrast

Some of the best photos including people I have seen have the best contrast between clothing and the environment. For waterfalls and outdoor activities bright vibrant colors work well. Brown earthy colors the person will blend in with the trees and shrub.

The Human Component

As a long time landscape photographer I often prefer to leave people out of my photos. I want to convey a sense of remoteness to the locations I am at. As I’ve ventured into stock photography I see the benefits to including a person when the time is right. It is fun to get out there with your friends or by yourself. I encourage you to try it out.

Side Note: Please be cautious of dedicated paths. Please don’t venture off the path and ruin the delicate surrounding nature just so you can include a person in your photo.

Dog & Backpacker Bend Oregon Nate Wyeth

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