How important is the face in a photo?

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Mitzi Ilagan | Fotograpiya

When scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, one would automatically slow down especially when there are photos shared. And then, one would first look at the face/s, if it has. When the photo has no caption, the face, especially the eyes, do the talking. The face often gives a certain interpretation of the “what” and “why” of the subject.

But breaking the rules could mean even something more. Follow Me Away’s blog post showed that not all faces do the talking. From the blogger’s photo at Boboli Gardens ing Florence, Italy, her face reveals what the subect might be experiencing as she was captured–she might be curious and wondering or she might have seen something magical or maybe something shameful. Photos like this give the audience an ease in interpreting what the subject shows.

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But another photo of the same subject was also posted, not showing her face this time. Upon seeing this, there may be different insights on what she may be experiencing. Is she sad and mourning? Is she thinking about something? Is she trying to hide her excitement? Or is she just passing time, waiting for someone?

faceless photography, faceless imagery, photography, photography technique, photography tips, photography tips and tricks, photography ideas

This kind of technique in photography is called faceless portait, which shows an imaginative and creative image without the subject’s facial expression that leaves an open interpretation to its viewers. It challenges the brain because you are left to interpret on your own. One should be curious enough to take note of every detail to be able to know what the image really depicts, because a single photo, especially with a faceless portrait, could give diverse interpretations. It’s practically like solving a mystery. It’s like pushing your audience out of their comfort zones as they think differently towards what the subject would really want to portray.

With the rise of more social media platforms, including photo and video sharing apps or sites, this kind of technique could spicen up a not-so-interesting feed, and may even add flavor to your usual portfolio. But remember to be careful when shooting for faceless photography, especially when you do it on photowalks. Some people would still want their privacy and identity be on a personal state even though their face isn’t shown. Proper permission must be done to other people so that you could publish a photo without any worries.

Though some people find it unusual to see photos without a clear or distinct subject, this kind of technique could leave the viewer a puzzled thought and probably a more interested mind. It may also capture more attention because it is something different, something new from the usual imagery that we see. Some may also find it spooky or out-of-this-world, but isn’t it better to stand out rather than blend in?

Photo credits:

http://www.nicholasgooddenphotography.co.uk/london-blog/faceless-street-photography-legal

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victoria-yore/why-we-choose-to-shoot-fa_b_10673834.html

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