Up or Down?

Landscape or Portrait? Telling Your Story in Photos.

While visiting my mom and sister one evening, sis mentioned that she had been making dog biscuits for her dogs. She only has two of them but they’re big enough to eat for six being German Shepherd, Husky, and Rottweiler mix. So she makes them herself to save money. She’s got a couple of cats too but that’s a different story.

I used to think of my sister as Ellie May from the Beverly Hillbillies if any of you remember that show and her love for critters.

Home baked dog biscuits.
Close-up photo of a batch of dog biscuits that my sister makes.

While taking some close-up photos of her freshly baked dog biscuits, my mom said “Let me take your picture Dan.” So I smiled for her to take my photo.

Photo of me horizontal and dead centered. Photo by my mom.
Mom’s awesome son. Doing the traditional adding 20 pounds pose.

I noticed how she was holding her camera and suggested that she turn her camera upright and put my head toward the top and try it again since I was standing upright.

Mom taking my photo with her camera.
Mom turned her camera upright to take my photo after I asked her to try it again and put my head toward the top.

So she obliged and took another one.

Photo of me by my mom after turning her camera upright.
I suggested that mom rotate her camera upright since I was standing upright.
Good job mom. What a handsome son you have. I even noticed that you are bracing both of your arms against your body for stability.
Later as they were looking at her photos on her camera, I started taking photos of them looking at the photos and I had to remind myself to rotate my camera to capture the subject.
Mom and sister looking at something that the picture doesn't show.
Mom and sister looking at what? I don’t know. The picture doesn’t tell the story. How about if I rotate the camera like I suggested to her?

As a horizontal, I could only see them and not what they were looking at. They could have been dissecting a frog or playing cards for all anyone could tell.

Every picture tells a story right?

Some of these photos don’t tell the story as clear if the entire subject isn’t in the frame.

I was sitting on a couch opposite them and had a fixed length lens on so I couldn’t move back any further. Simply rotating the camera tells the story more completely.

Mom and sister looking at photos that she had taken with her camera.
Telling the story more completely. After turning MY camera upright, I am able to tell the story more clearly.
I am aware that many people are using cell phone cameras now and they are more naturally shooting vertical photos of vertical subjects because of how the phone is held.
I thought I’d just mention this in passing to think before you shoot. Or in this case, re-shoot after if you can because you ARE taking photos to tell a story aren’t you?
Mom and sister giving a smile to me.
Mom and sister giving a smile to me.