I have an 80% hearing loss and wear a hearing aid which gives me a small amount of amplification, without this aid, then my world is totally silent. Unless I really goof on a visual cue, or I miss-interpret a lip pattern, then you may never even notice that the loss even exists. This is because my brain is hard-wired into a different, yet most effective language. The language of silence, a language so universal that everyone speaks it without even realizing.
When I am photographing people, it is this silent, yet beautiful language which I am watching like a hawk. I am waiting for the words of this language. They are magical, and they occur in ‘golden moments’. If you blink at the wrong time, then you miss the words. If however you learn how to anticipate, and then capture the words of silence, you can tell a whole story with just one photograph!
I cannot teach you how to see the words of silence in just one small blog post but, I can introduce you to the language and show you just a couple of the places you can look for it’s words. This in turn will assist you in anticipating those magical golden moments.
If you are looking at the mouth for a smile, then you have already missed it! A genuine smile is expressed by the muscles throughout the whole of a person’s face. Especially those around their eyes. Also a genuine smile seldom occurs alone, it is nearly always accompanied by one, or a multitude of other emotions. These emotions will reveal themselves and can be seen throughout the whole of that person’s facial expression. If a person smiles, and everything above the mouth movement remains static, then it is not a genuine smile! This is the reason why so very often staged photographs often look false!
As well as the face, hands are extremely expressive, and they can present so much clout to the story of your photograph. Watch for hand movements, they are the punctuation marks of the language of silence! Without even realising it, a person will use their hands to express and empathize their deepest and inner most thoughts.
There is a whole lot more that I could write about, but in order to keep these blog posts short and easy to read, I shall stop there and leave you with a couple of examples of some of these ‘golden moments’ that I have been fortunate enough to have been able to capture.