Wick Communications

Adding interest to snapshots

In Photography on 5 Jan 2012 at 3:56 pm

I noticed something interesting in a shot offered up by Half Moon Bay Review photographer Charlie Russo recently. It has to do with making your photography look more candid, less staged.

Above you will see a really nice news shot of several adorable kids who have been given a certificate by their schools noting their hard work to learn English as a second language. This is our bread and butter here at the Review. You can’t go wrong with real news about the achievement of kids in your area. (Here’s a story idea: How does having a child who is proficient in English change the lives of an entire immigrant family in your area? I imagine it’s huge.)

Anyway, Charlie also offered the photo you see here. I liked the first one better, because it is candid. It also sort of plays off of Lance Nixon’s earlier tip, to tilt the shoulders of your subject; here Charlie moves himself, which has the effect of adding depth and “tilting the shoulders.” …

Importantly, Charlie captures the kids mostly staring at someone else taking a picture. The photo above becomes about the pride of families and teachers taking pictures of the kids and not simply kids staring at the camera.

I also didn’t use the inset photo because it reminded me too much of those creepy twins from The Shining. But that’s another issue.

Bottom line – and you know it already: Try to get your subjects doing something other than staring at your camera. I don’t mean set something up. I mean wait around, look for an opportunity to get your subjects involved in something organic.


  1. The Shining! That’s exactly what I thought. I bet, though, had you posted the pic you would have generated a lot of fun interaction on your web page! Like in good photography, you need to consider all angles!
    Good tips, though.

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