It’s All In The Eyes…
We’ve all heard the expression, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” This old English proverb definitely translates to photography. When you capture direct eye contact it does more than grab the viewer’s attention — it creates a connection.
Everyone understands that concept when it comes to people photography. That same connection, however, is also possible with the eye contact from other creatures.
Models Are Everywhere!
You usually don’t have to go very far to find a good subject on which to practice eye contact photography. There is always your beloved pet, garden insect, farm animal, zoo resident, back roads inhabitant, fluffy wildlife, or even pesky yard rodent. Regardless of the subject, direct eye contact creates a connection.
Sometimes the best models are your own pets. My beloved Mia is certainly one of mine. Since the first day I adopted her from the Cape Ann Animal Aid shelter, she has become a favorite subject of mine. I can’t resist her expressive eyes. They never cease to captivate me — even after two years of me following her around with my camera.
With eyes like those how could I resist such an adorable face? The day I first saw her is the day she captured my heart. Ever since that day, she’s been a very cooperative model. So much so that I think she now believes she can make it as a sultry cover girl.
A while back I noticed the bird feeder on my front porch was emptying rather quickly. It didn’t take long for me to discover who was enjoying it as much as the birds. I decided to do a stake out. When I saw the thief, I surprised him by shooting through the front door window. Needless to say, my stealth moves paid off!
It’s no secret how much I love my macro lens – especially in the summer. There are lots of visitors to my garden. Getting up close and personal is my creative challenge. Making eye contact and capturing that moment is always a thrill.
Some garden visitors spend a great deal of time on my flowers. Others find the need to take a rest on my stone wall and clean up a bit. This honey bee had quite his share of pollen on this day. He was so proud he gave himself a round of applause.
Vermont Back Roads
New England has so much diversity. I live by the ocean but can easily travel north to the mountains of Vermont. I love driving the back roads in autumn and winter. You never know who you will run into who will be just as happy to see you.
Gorillas are fascinating to watch. They are very deliberate with their movements and when they study you, they REALLY study at you. This little lady found me and my camera quite interesting.
Sometime gorillas remind me of some people I know. This one, for instance, made me think of a certain someone who always looks forward to her next manicure. (Psst. You know who you are.)
There’s just something funny about cows. I think it has to do with the proportion of their features. From the right camera angle, you can get some pretty entertaining shots. Again, eye contact is critical to pull it off successfully.
Soft and Fuzzy
While on a walk with Mia recently, I stumbled upon this adult bunny watching me walk down the road. I was curious to see how close he’d let me get. Using my best “bunny whisperer” voice, I was able to get within 20 feet with no problem. He kept a watchful eye on me — and I took advantage of our eye contact.
So there you have it. A wind range of examples of where you can find models to practice some great eye contact photography.
Give it a try!
~ Liz Mackney