creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other

Picking up your camera, shooting, and challenging yourself is the best way to improve your photography.  The Creativity Exercises within the Clickin Moms photography forum are a great source for finding new ways to challenge yourself.  On the first Monday of every month the wonderful Sarah Wilkerson posts a new tutorial and challenges our members to shoot with the exercise in mind.  While the exercises are ongoing, at the end of each month we choose a few images as the ‘Editors’ Choice’ and share them here with you on the blog.  How fun is that?!  Today we are sharing May’s exercise with you below!

creativity exercise | how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo
*image by Jennifer ‘pnw_red’

This month, I’d like to challenge you to include your significant other in the frame. I understand that many spouses (mine included!) may resist your efforts a bit. However, you don’t necessarily need him to pose for you, and perhaps he just doesn’t realize how important it is to you (and will one day be to your children) to have a visual record of his presence, the way he looks, and the way he loves his family… so talk to him about why these images matter! Once you have his cooperation (or at least his consent!), here are some possible approaches:

1) The Single Portrait
Focus exclusively on your spouse. You might shoot a traditional portrait, capture him engaged in a favorite hobby/sport/activity, or take an approach similar to the one we took for “the unconventional self portrait” creativity exercise earlier this year — neck down, extreme closeup that captures a facial detail you love, out of focus and dreamy, etc. Play with light, perspective, posing, and composition to help capture the strength, ruggedness, size, or other qualities that you associate with your significant other. Try to illustrate what you see in and love about him with the way you approach the image.

2) The Two of You
If you’re like many photographers I know, your wedding photos are the only “good” pictures that you have with your husband … and in many cases, your own photographic skills have surpassed those of the photographer you hired back in the day or the photos simply don’t reflect your personal aesthetic. Happily, I know a photographer who can shoot pictures of the two of you that you’re going to love – yes, that would be YOU! Head out to a field filled with the golden light of sunset, set up a tripod and an intervalometer as you prepare dinner together, shoot some quiet moments adjacent to the best window light in your house, choose a meaningful setting (the restaurant where you got engaged? the campus where you met? your favorite city street?), …. the possibilities are endless!

3) The Family
How long has it been since you’ve captured a photograph of your whole family? Have you done one since that last session you did for your holiday cards? Your children are growing and changing, and you and your significant other aren’t getting any younger with each passing day – so get everyone together, and take some pictures. It doesn’t have to be formal (though it may be); try documenting some day-in-the-life type moments of all of you together (and again, resist that temptation to focus only on the children … however compelling it may be!).

4) The Children
What is your significant other’s dynamic like with your child(ren)? Is he the supervisor, the playmate, the tutor, the nurturer, the coach? Capture those interactions! Is there a certain side of parenting that is your husband’s domain? Document the part of the day when he’s in his paternal element. Does your oldest look just like dad? Photograph a portrait of the pair of them, and compare them side-by-side (repeat with each child in the family). Courtney Keim also has some great ideas for dad/child photos and wonderful visual inspiration in a recent CMblog post, so be sure to check that out as well!

I’d like to challenge you to capture all four approaches – and to start doing so on a more regular basis – but if your significant other is anything like mine, successfully getting one this month will be no small feat! Remember that a portrait doesn’t have to be formal, and if your husband doesn’t like to in front of the camera or has no patience for direction, you can always take a more documentary approach. The idea is simply to begin incorporating his presence more frequently in the frame, so start with the goal of getting one shot of your significant other that you love this month, and take it from there.

editors choice!

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Congratulations to the ladies below whose photographs were selected as this month’s Editors’ Choices!

Narelle Bailey ‘nbailey’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Jessica Lutz ‘jessamuhkuh’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Ashley Carlon ‘amcarlon’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Danielle ‘nellie_m’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Erica ‘ericalh24′:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Sharyn ‘realthomo’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Carrie ‘carriebc’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Meredith Novario ‘mereditz’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Lindsay ‘lamoeser’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Lisa Snead ‘lhsnead’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Kerri ‘odeya’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Kari Wattenbarger ‘kwattenba’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Ellen ‘ellenking’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Kira Derryberry ‘shekira’:

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

Thank you to everyone who participated in the exercise!  We love seeing all the beautiful imagery!

Do you want to participate in the next Creativity Exercise?  Visit the forum here where Sarah has challenged us with the theme “Day in the Life“.  Don’t have a membership to Clickin Moms yet?  Head on over here to sign up!  You can still participate in this ‘Significant Other’ challenge by either visiting the forum here or sharing with us in the comments below.  We’d love to see your work!

Sign up for a 30 day FREE trial membership!

creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other photo

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27 Responses to “creativity exercise: how to photograph your love, spouse, or significant other”

  1. Jun 07 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Such ridiculously sweet images. Thanks for the awesome ideas and inspiration!!

  2. Erin W.
    Jun 07 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Gorgeous, great work everyone!

  3. Jun 07 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Ack! So privileged to have my man standing with your men! :)

  4. Jun 07 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    How exciting! What an honor to be up there with such talented women and amazing images!

  5. Jun 07 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    This post immediately makes me think of Alicia Paulson’s blog: Posie Gets Cozy. How she captures her husband is so wonderful. Often she leaves out his face but you see his hand, a shoulder, just his shirt but you always know it’s him and they are some of the most wonderful portraits.http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/posie_gets_cozy/

  6. Danielle M.
    Jun 07 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Eek! It’s pretty cool seeing my man and my baby among so many beautiful and sweet photos!

  7. Jun 07 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    So many great images here!!!

  8. Jun 07 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    These are way too amazing. Some of my favorite images! Love!

  9. Jun 07 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    These are so wonderful!!

  10. Jun 07 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Oh Goodness! Thank you for including on of mine :D
    These are all so great! <3

  11. Lindsay Moeser
    Jun 07 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Thank you for including my all time favorite picture of my two men amongst all of these beautiful images! Such a wonderful collection!!

  12. Jun 08 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Thanks for including my handsome husband. It’s wonderful to be included amongst such terrific images.

  13. Jun 08 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Thank you for choosing one of my photos. This is one of my favourites.

  14. Erica H.
    Jun 08 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I’m so honored to be featured with you ladies! Amazing images this month!! I loved all of them!!

  15. Carrie
    Jun 09 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Eeeep! I’m in shock, thanks so much for featuring my image. They are all so wonderful!

  16. Jun 09 2013 at 7:15 am #

    Wow! Amazing work!

  17. AmyW
    Jun 09 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    These are all so great I can’t pick a favorite! I love the variety and personality of each one.

  18. Kira Derryberry
    Jun 09 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    Honored and excited to be featured amongst such beautiful work! Thank you for choosing my images!

  19. Kari
    Jun 10 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Thank you for featuring one of my images! So excited!

  20. Jun 10 2013 at 3:12 am #

    I feel honored to have mine included among such gorgeous images! Thank you!!

  21. Jun 16 2013 at 2:29 am #

    These are all wonderful!!!

  22. Jessica Reischel
    Jun 18 2013 at 10:16 am #

    stunning images. i wish i had images like this with my dad. ;-)

  23. Jul 09 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I love this post! And what a fun photography challenge. My husband is always my guinea pig when I am scouting a new location or am testing my light, but I have never seriously taken his photo (aside from interaction with our daughter). Totally going to do this!!

  24. Jul 11 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I’m in love with every one of these Editor’s Choice photographs. Well done, each of you!

  25. Oct 24 2014 at 12:39 am #

    Sublime pօste : continue comje celɑ

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Editors’ choice award | Kari Wattenbarger - Jun 10 2013

    [...] I was very excited when one of my photographs was chosen for the Editor’s Choice award by Clickin Moms.  It was one of many entries for last months challenge.  The challenge was to include your significant other in the frame.  This is the picture that was chosen.  The other entries and my photograph can be seen at http://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/creativity-challenge-to-photography-your-significant-other/ [...]

  2. Creativity Challenge » My Blog/Website - Jun 10 2013

    [...] was so excited this week to have one of my images featured on the ClickinMoms blog. CM is the most wonderful forum for learning photography, and I have met many wonderful [...]

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