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How to Add Humor to Your Digital Photographs

written by: Larry M. Lynch•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/25/2011

Have you noticed all the bad news you're bombarded with on a daily basis? So why not add more humor to your life and your digital photography? Use these how-to tips and techniques to put more laughter into your digital images.

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    Add a Touch of Humor to Your Digital Photography

    Felix-the-Cat---Felix-Laughs-Loud-Print-C10073878 Have a quick peek at the latest international, national, regional or local news and you’re bound to notice the huge range of saddening events. We all need more humor in our lives than ever before. Have you considered adding a touch of humor to your digital photography? Even if you’re not a comedian, don’t have a humorous bone in your body, or can’t get a laugh out of a cat, you can try some of these simple tips and techniques to capture some side-splitting, humorous photos.

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    Try Using Juxtaposition

    juxta13 The word “juxtapose” is defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary as “to put side-by-side or close together”. This is exactly what you can do photographically and visually, but with items which actually cannot be in close physical proximity. This image of a woman “kissing” the Sphinx in Egypt is a good example of using juxtaposition. The same near-to-far, foreground-to-background juxtapositions can be applied to a person “holding” the sun or moon, “carrying” another person, animal, building or other large object.

    Photo shooting Tips: Start by looking around you with your arm outstretched. See what you can line-up with you open palm facing upwards. Do the same outside at a busy street corner, intersection or in a park. For best results you need an extensive depth of field which requires a small lens aperture of at least f8, with f11, or f22 being even better in order to keep both foreground and distant background objects in focus.

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    Animals and Pets Can Be Humorous

    misc2b You can easily set up all manner of funny situations with animals. Animals playing with objects, animals playing with children or each other and animals dressed in clothing items can all make for original, humorous digital images that will brighten anyone’s day. On occasion, animal close-ups, like this ostrich-looking-at-you macro, can inject humor too. Kittens, puppies and many kinds of pet birds are naturally curios and playful which makes for lots of humorous photos opportunities in the course of any photographic session with them. Try using simple props like rubber balls, hats, caps, paper bags, buckets, baskets pots – anything they can romp and play with and you’ll soon start getting your funny bone tickled.

    Animal Photographer’s Trick: Using a needle, run a string or thread through a small, brightly-colored rubber ball. Toss the ball out past a “resting” cat or dog, pulling it back to you slowly, in small jerks and I almost guarantee they’ll be curious enough to creep after it creating some unique photo opportunities.

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    Animal Photo Shooting Tips: If you get up on a chair or back off some to use your camera’s zoom features, you can stay out of the scene so the animals will “interact” with the props and each other, not you. Don’t use a flash if you can possibly avoid it – it’s too distracting and can frighten or unduly alarm some animals. Use props or objects that can either move, easily be moved, rolled or slid, so your “subjects” can really romp around the scene with them. Hanging, swinging and noise-making props can often snap some pets out of a lethargic mood to generate some funny scenarios. Use a fast shutter speed of 1/250th second or faster to help to “capture” constantly-changing action. Here are some additional tips on animal photography.

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    Funny Faces Anyone?

    Who can make a funny face?” Ask this of any group of children and you’ll be in action shooting comedic faces almost instantly. Natural “hams” that they are, children can generate some humorous looks. So can a lot of adults for that matter. Teenagers are another good bet for “hamming it up” digital imagery.

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    Sit Com Digital Images

    The term “Sit Com” is an abbreviation for “situational comedy”. That is a particular scene or situation can illustrate humor. Television shows are full of them with situations like:

    · A child “advising” or commenting like an adult

    · An adult doing or saying something truly childish

    · Animals doing typically “human” things

    · People wearing “out-of-character” clothing, (i.e., a clown costume at a formal event or a tuxedo at a baseball game, etc.)

    · People using exaggerated facial or body expressions in reaction to an event or comment

    Setting up and capturing any of these types of situations can result in a cadre of funny digital images that would make excellent additions to your photography portfolio, stock photography offerings or salable photography listings.

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    Humor Photography of Funny Signs

    eat kids free sign Don’t forget to grab images of funny signs whenever or where ever you might see them. They can be almost anywhere. Check out store fronts, road signs, signs posted on fences, walls or on home and garage doors. When traveling abroad, I’m always on the lookout for signs in English in non-English-speaking locations. Some of the informal “translations” can be a blast like this “Eat Kids Free” sign. They actually mean kids can eat for free which is easily understood, but the disordered wording creates a humorous sign.

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    Put More Humor into Your Life

    Finally, a great way to get more humor in your digital images is to actively work to put more humor into your life. You know: the old, “humor in - humor out” concept. For more ideas and a steady stream of humorous digital images, funny videos and smile-inducing articles you can check out sites like:

    Funny, Cool Stuff

    So even if you’re not a comedian, don’t have a humorous bone in your body and can’t get a laugh no matter what, try some of these simple “setup” techniques to add some humor to your digital photographs for fun or profit. Remember, you can use digital image editing software like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, to create funny photographs too.

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