It’s a perfect day. The scenery is beautiful. The blue sky is filled with white fluffy clouds and sunlight is streaming at just the right angle. You snap the photo on your phone only to discover later that a finger ended up in the final picture!
The finger could be cropped out of the photo, but consider taking a second look at photos like this. They tell a completely different story.
Photos usually have the power to transport viewers and GREAT photos draw us in as we further explore the landscape or study expressions on faces. Photos have the power to allow us to experience some type of emotion or connection.
Seeing a finger in a photo, however, creates a completely different reaction. Instead of looking into the actual photo we are distracted by the finger. An initial reaction may be “someone really messed up that photo”. The finger is a distraction because the photographer has intruded into our space.
Upon further contemplation, however, think about this. By looking at the finger, the focus is now on the photographer. Who is this person taking the picture? What happened with this photo? Was it intentional? Did the photographer slip? Was an argument occurring behind the scenes? Was the photographer being rushed? Did the photographer get startled by a snake?
The change in perspective creates a completely different story. No longer is the main focus on the scene, but rather on the finger and the photographer. It is a reminder that someone is actually taking the photo. Someone with a life and usually a complex story.
Try this experiment. View the entire photo above. Then scroll down so the top is cropped out of the photo. The messages communicated between the two are completely different.
What types of messages do you try to communicate through your photos?