How to Add Humor to Your Photography

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Photography Tips

young girl sticking tongue standing on white photo background

Life can be taken way too seriously these days. Many people hire photographers for those popular serious and poised portraits that are taken in a professional studio with all the proper studio equipment, photo backgrounds and props. But if you are looking for a new idea to spice up your photos, consider adding some humor in to your photography. Think about it. When you are having a bad day don’t you simply feel better when looking at something funny? Even just a little bit? You don’t have to be a comedian to be able to make your subjects laugh. Just act normal, add a touch of humor and snap away.

Funny Faces

See who can make the funniest face when in front of the camera. This is great when shooting children; let them ham it up and act as goofy as they want. Who cannot smile when looking at a small child making funny faces? Heck, even adults making funny faces and acting goofy can make just about anyone chuckle.

surprised young boy

Forced Perspective

Juxtaposing is one of the more popular methods of taking humorous photography shots and just about everyone does it when on vacation. For example, when visiting Egypt tourists try making it look like they are holding the Great Pyramid on their shoulders. Or when in Chicago people may try to hold Willis Tower in the palm of their hands. Even funnier is capturing someone kissing the Statue of Liberty from across the bay. To shoot this type of photograph, have your subject stand with their arms (or lips) extended with the larger object in the background. Set the camera up on a tripod and have your subject move a little at a time until everything is perfectly lined up. For the best results set the aperture of the camera to at least f8, but if you want an even better shot try f11 or f22.

forced perspective man swallowing cloud

Photo Credit: Rachelli D’Angelo via Flickr

Reverse Roles

Shoot situations that are not what normally happens in day-to-day living. For example, have a child put an adult in the corner or an adult throwing a temper tantrum while the child stands above rolling her eyes. Pets are great for reverse roles. For example, put the pet in a human situation, such as wearing a suit while sitting at a desk or sitting on the couch with the remote watching television.

Bring in a Pet

Animals have personalities of their own, many of which are humorous to humans. Humorous photography sessions can be staged, even when using pets. Kittens and puppies are fun to watch when playing with a toy, in the garden or with each other. You can stage pets playing by rolling a ball in front of them and slowly bringing it back toward the camera. Other props and pet toys can help get the pets playing offering lots of opportunities for humorous shots.

Another funny animal shot is to zoom in up-close and focus on their face looking at you. This technique can be used with many animals found in the wild. An even funnier idea is to try to capture the animals yawning or with their tongue hanging out.

3 dogs in party hats


While out and about look for misspelled or poorly translated signs to shoot photos of. Or even better, put your subject near signs doing the opposite of what the sign says to do. For example, if a sign say no running, have the model running across the shot. Or if sign says wet floor have the model appear like he is slipping in a puddle of water.

The more creative you are when shooting photographs, the more humorous options you will have. Think outside of the box and make a list of things that would make you chuckle. Also, be prepared, because humorous moments can happen just about anywhere at any time. Funny photography is the best medicine to improving a bad day.

How do you occasionally add an element of humor into your photography?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about perspective? Check out Ideas to Enhance Perspective and Depth in Your Photography!

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