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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Superhero's Muscles

When a superhero with a great facial expression asks you to take his picture, don't pass up the opportunity.

Junior superhero shows off his muscles in Tewksbury, Ma. (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo: 
I was walking to my car, and this young boy was pleading with me to take his picture and put it in the newspaper, but I struggled to come up with an interesting photograph of him. I noticed his t-shirt and asked if he was playing any superhero games. He responded, “Yeah, I was playing Spiderman. Want to see my muscles?” As he flexed his muscles, he gave me this great personality pose with a smile that showed off his missing teeth, and I shot a few outstanding pictures. He got his wish, as his personality picture ran big in the newspaper the next day.

3 Tips: 
1) When the subject looks at your camera, it communicates that this is a portrait, and more effectively conveys their personality to the viewer.
2) Find a unique physical feature, expression, gesture, or prop that illustrates the person’s unique character. 3) Often the subject will display what makes him/her unique for you, so be ready to shoot.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hats Off To Us

Sometimes a seemingly unimportant role like 3rd base coaches can give you the best pictures. 

Little League third base coach has his hat knocked off as he celebrates heartily with a fellow coach during his team’s 10th inning rally to win 15-14 in Dracut, Ma. Little League action (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun). 

The Photo:
Young kids usually provide the best sports feature photos because they aren’t at all inhibited about showing emotion, whether they’re playing, sitting on the bench, or reacting when the outcome is decided.  This means photographers should spend the majority of their time at youth sports looking for emotion shots, most frequently found in happy celebrations after a big play or winning the event.  However, even features and emotion shots can become too routine and similar, so you want to consistently look for an unusual photo to convey the winning team’s thrill of victory.
At this game, after a great winning rally in extra innings by the Little League team, I was anticipating a jubilant reaction, but didn’t want just another shot of kids hugging or cheering when the game was over.  I watched some animated players who were serving as 3rd base coaches, and when their team scored the winning run, these two teammates shook each other in celebration and knocked each other’s caps off.  It was an uncommon photo that uniquely conveyed the winning team’s happiness.
3 Tips:
1) Remember to also watch players on the bench.
2) Be vigilant for coaches doing something unusual.
3) Spend the time to find variety in your emotion photos