Have you ever admired a fun photo collection and wondered how the photographer can possibly have so much excitement in their lives? Generally speaking, they’re not having as much fun as you might think! They’re just really good at capturing the fleeting fun moments that make up their day, and perhaps even manufacturing a few as well. In this tutorial you’ll discover nine great ways to add a sense of fun, excitement and happiness to your iPhone photos!
The Importance Of Emotion In Photography
The most impactful images are those that evoke emotion in the viewer. If the person looking at your photo develops an emotional connection with the subject, your image is a success.
While a landscape photo may be beautiful, capturing an emotional moment within that landscape will make it stunning and much more memorable for the viewer.
There are many different emotions that you can capture in your photos, but fun, humor and enjoyment are my favorite. Not only does it make the viewer smile, but you get to have a lot of fun in the process!
So let’s take a look at nine techniques that are guaranteed to add a sense of fun and excitement to your iPhone photography.
1. Capture A Humorous Scene
The most obvious way to create a sense of fun in your photos is to actually experience humor while taking the photo.
If something makes you laugh out loud, it will probably do the same for others. So if you see something funny, photograph it with your iPhone.
Don’t forget to increase your odds of catching funny moments by keeping your iPhone with you at all times. Keep your eyes peeled for funny interactions, humorous street signs and variations of daily life, and shoot them before the moment is gone.
2. Make Sure You’re In A Good Mood
Shooting while you’re in a good mood will shine through in your photos. If you’re dripping with sweat, your arms laden with grocery bags, crying children at your side, and mentally exhausted, then the mood conveyed in your photos probably won’t seem fun either.
However, if you’re laughing hysterically while chasing the world’s cutest superhero through the grocery store, your photos will ooze with positivity.
If you want to shoot something “fun” or “funny” but can’t get out of the ho-hum mood you’re in, try taking a walk or jog for twenty minutes.
Getting that heart pumping and having some time to treat your body well will usually jar you into a lighter mood!
3. Make Your Subject Laugh In Portraits
When photographing people, it’s important to capture genuine emotion rather than a forced smile. When photographing children, saying something funny or acting silly while you’re behind the camera usually works.
Or simply catch photos of your kids as they play. Children almost always have faces filled with joy and bodies expressing the same emotion when they’re playing.
For adults it can be a bit more challenging. One of my favorite tricks is to get the person into position and tell them to smile, then I take a few shots as they expect me to. Then I say, “Okay, all set” and that’s when I really start to fire off the shots.
More often than not, the subject will smile in relief that they’re done with their session and you’ll catch a genuine relaxed look of joy. To me, capturing those candid moments is more important than the staged ones.
4. Shoot With Plenty Of Light
Light and airy photos tend to convey happiness more than dark photos. So if you want to create a sense of fun in your iPhone photos, avoid shooting in low light or indoors on a dull day.
If you’re wishing to create a sense of fun in your photo, perhaps move your subject into a space where there are a lot of windows, or ideally go outdoors where you can have a beautiful blue sky as the backdrop.
Before you take the shot, tap to set focus where you want it. If the photo looks too dark after setting focus, increase the exposure by swiping up on the screen. The aim is to make the picture nice and bright, but without over-exposing the highlights.
And don’t forget to add light to your photos in post-processing. I usually turn up the exposure a lot in my editing process. Try making your photo as light as it can go without losing any of your color saturation or contrast.
5. Use Vibrant Colors
The addition of color almost always adds a positive aspect to a photo. People often say, “the more colorful the photo, the more cheerful it is.”
If you’re in an area that happens to be lacking in color, such as a snowy or urban scene, you could add a cheerful pop of color with a prop.
Be creative – anything will do. A hat, umbrella, shirt, flag, toy, plant, vintage accessory, food item, etc. can all add great pops of color to your photo.
You can also use the colors available in nature. Blue sky, vibrant green grass, turquoise waters, red berries, etc. can all portray happiness in a photo.
6. Capture Motion
Catching your subject in the perfect stride or with their body in a position that conveys a certain emotion is often critical to setting the mood of the photo.
The easiest way to capture just the right moment when your subject is moving is to use the burst mode feature in your iPhone’s camera app. Nearly every time I shoot motion I use burst mode to capture a sequence of images in quick succession.
After shooting in burst mode you can select the perfect image from the sequence. I chose the photo above simply because I liked the slack in the balloon string.
Be very critical of which image you select from the burst sequence. Small details like that can have a really big impact on the mood of your photo.
Catching a person who’s active can really lead to a sense of fun in your photos. Rarely do I take a photo of a person just standing there.
Instead, I ask them to do all sorts of different actions like jumping in the air, running around, kicking a ball or flying a kite. You can’t help but smile when you see a person in action.
7. Use Props & Outfits
Don’t be afraid to do something ridiculous and completely different than what you normally do! Using props can help with this.
Lug a piece of your living room furniture to the local park. Have a friend wear a costume. Buy balloons for no reason.
Once you’ve chosen an unusual element, try to photograph it in a way that tells a story. Be imaginative and have fun in the process!
Use your prop in an unconventional way. Throw the umbrella into the air, put an apple pie on hot asphalt, swim in your clothes, or bring a huge stuffed animal into the forest.
Photography is considered an art. Art is all about being creative and challenging yourself, so go ahead and do something different. After all, you’re an artist!
8. Be Creative With Traditional Elements
Play with traditional photography techniques like scale, shadows, light, and composition. Make something appear unusually large by using forced perspective, or make the subject look tiny by positioning them next to a large object.
Another technique is to include only part of the subject in your scene, such as their hand, arm, foot, leg, etc. Again, this creates a more intriguing image for the viewer.
Compose your shot in unusual ways and shoot from different angles. You could also try flipping your photo upside down in post-processing to create an alternative version of reality.
9. Have Fun With Photo Editing
Sometimes you’re in a great mood, ready to run out and catch a fun image, but the rest of the world doesn’t seem willing to participate.
If you can’t find anything cheerful to photograph, perhaps stepping out of your comfort zone and adding some humorous or fun elements through editing would be a neat thing to try.
Once you know how to use a few simple editing apps, the possibilities are limitless to what you can create!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas on how to add some humorous and exciting elements to your photos. Now go out with your iPhone and have some fun!