Photography's Most Important Element: Emotion

I think we can all agree that in order to be successful, a photograph needs to connect with its viewers on an emotional level. That emotion could be awe, desire, sadness, longing, or any number of the plethora of human emotions, but there needs to be an emotion. 

In this video, Kevin Mullins walks us through the driving factor behind his beautiful images and talks about how light, moment, and composition can all play a role in making an image that conveys human emotion. This is not a video just about the positive emotions or even about creating pretty images. It is a video about how to convey the real emotions we display as humans and how powerful that can be. 

Mullins is primarily a wedding photographer, but don't let that stop you from watching the video if you are not. These concepts apply not only to human subjects and love, but to all photographs that involve evoking emotion in your viewer. In my article last year, "The Three Elements of Every Photograph," I discussed composition, light, and moment in that order, as I feel that the moment is more often than not the most important part of any photograph. Mullins discusses the same idea in his video where he shows some technically imperfect photos where a moment shines through and connects you to the image. 

What do our readers think? What makes a great photograph for you? How important a role does emotional connection play in your work? 

Dylan Goldby's picture

Dylan Goldby is an Aussie photographer living and working in South Korea. He shoots a mix of families, especially the adoptive community, and pre-weddings. His passions include travel, good food and drink, and time away from all things electronic.

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FStoppers most dramatic title: this one.