Dead Funny

Finding humour & Composition among the chaos.

10 Day Crash Course

next COURSE START DATE: 22 October, 2018

Guided By Anna-Liisa Nixon

Life with kids is tough. It’s chaotic and messy and sticky, oh so sticky. There’s crying and fighting and screaming and stepping on Legos and running out of the only food your toddler will eat and homework and carpool. You know what helps parents get through the long days and nights, aside from the intermittent magical moments and caffeine and alcohol? Laughter! Luckily, life with kids is also really darn funny.

Parents and kids alike love looking at images of funny moments, whether the moments were funny when they happened or images that make the subjects laugh only after the fact when seeing it from someone else’s perspective. People who are drawn to documentary family photography—both clients and photographers—tend to be people who can laugh at themselves. As a parent in the trenches, I lean on humor to keep from losing my mind in the chaos of raising young children. As documentary family photographers, we can all appreciate an image that makes us laugh out loud. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you’ve absolutely captured an amazing moment. But how often do you see the tail end of a funny moment and try to make an image of it only to find that what you caught with your camera falls short of what you observed and isn't readable to anyone who wasn’t there?

This crash course is about getting in touch with your photographic sense of humor, learning to better anticipate funny moments, and composing intentionally to clearly convey the humor. We all find different things funny. We’ll do some deep digging to give you a clearer understanding of how your sense of humor plays into your overall photographic voice. We’ll work on slowing down, learning to find the humor in different situations, and getting better at anticipating moments instead of chasing them. We’ll delve into why composition is crucial to making a good picture of a funny moment. Composition can make all the difference in whether a funny moment translates and having some general rules of thumb in mind when shooting will help take your work to the next level.