Written by Tamara Kwan of TammyLynn Photography
This is one of my favourite photographs that I’ve taken this year, a portrait of my friend Lorca Simons. She’s an actress from Texas who grew up in theatre and, who like me, now calls Gloucestershire home.
My first title for this image was ‘Come Fly with Me’, but I later thought ‘Super Mom’ a better fit, as she is between 7 and 8 months pregnant in the photo.
Technically I’m breaking a composition rule with this image, but I like it anyway. The rule I’m breaking is the left to right rule. As we read from left to right then images flow better left to right. She’s ‘flying’ from right to left. I could flip the image, and a lot of people do in situations like this, but I don’t like doing that. I think it makes the image look odd. That could be just because I know what it’s supposed to look like though.
I did not have this composition in my head when I took this photo. I saw this image later when the original photograph was coming out of the printer, and I saw it sideways. I thought, wow, it looks like she’s flying! So I did a quick edit to remove the floor, which was mostly black anyway, and rotated the image. I also added a bit more black space on the left and just below to help with the illusion that she was flying and to give her some space to fly into.
Let’s talk about space for a moment. Composition and how much space you have around your subject can greatly effect how the image looks and feels. Sometimes leaving a bit of space can add drama or tension to an image. Sometimes it’s just wasted space and needs to be cropped away. Sometimes cropping in really close and even cropping away some of your subject can add that extra bit of drama to your image. The general rule of thumb is when photographing wildlife or moving objects is to leave a bit of room for them to move into.