relation photography

Why Relationships are Important in Photography

Last Updated on December 30, 2021 | In Photography Tips by Stefano Caioni Leave a Comment

Finding a relation in photography will help you become a better photographer.

We’ve talked about many different types of photography here on Pixinfocus, and the importance of practice and experimentation. Sometimes it’s fundamental to stop for a moment and learn some hidden aspects of photography such as how to find relationships in photography and its importance.

relation photography

Capturing and conveying a certain relationship in your photos adds value to the narrative and bring emotions to your work.

Related: Types of Photography

Relation Photography: What to Look For

As briefly introduced, representing a relationship in your pictures enhance its storytelling and helps to convey specific emotions. No matter the type of photography you’re in, you’re about to learn what to look for in a scene to create a relation in your composition.

relation photography

Objects position, color contrast, patterns, textures, lines, actions, movement and so forth can all establish relation between subjects, between elements in a photograph.

Look how things interact with each other as if they were part of a painting. Try to spot hidden connections that make your composition more meaningful and help telling a story.

Think About the Effect You Want

Are you shooting a portrait? A group photo? Are you capturing the beauty of a landscape?

In all types of photography, describing with your photo the relationship between objects, subjects, or in general any element in the scene, requires you to plan in advance and decide what those elements have to be in order to convey the message your message.

car and reflections of trees

No matter what kind of photographer you are, building and showing a relationship in your photographs is something that will catch the eye of the observers and it will be stuck with them for a long time, having a great impact.

Relationships between subjects have great power on the public and it can be built in a few easy steps if you know exactly what you want.

Relation Photography: Observe for Hidden Moments

When thinking about capturing and building a relationship in photography, you have to start with thinking about what kind of relationship you want to capture.

There are connections you can capture between two or more people, between people and their animals. There are even some subtle relationships you won’t notice immediately such as the connection between a person and their favorite object or pushing the boundaries, even between a person and their consciousness.

relation photography

The best way to capture a moment of connection is while observing and “stealing” their hidden moments – moments when people are totally unaware and share parts of themselves. To be able to do that, you need to be nice to people, listen to their wishes, but don’t forget to stick with your personal beliefs and your policies.

Your kindness will bring out the best of them and that will be seen and appreciated in your photos. If you stumble on a bit hostile client, remain calm and nice, do your work and learn from that experience.

young girl and her grandma

When your subject is a person or a group of people, you have to make sure they feel at ease. You are their guide through this experience and your goal is to make sure they trust you. It’s only when you establish this type of connection that they will show you their “hidden sides”. There you’ll be able to spot relationships.

Find Relation Photography in Hidden Locations

Relationships can sometimes be in the places you least expect them – hidden in nature, forests, or meadows. People, animals, and their possessions are not the only things that can build a relationship on a photograph.

When you want to photograph a relationship at some locations, think about the one that exists between the different layers of the scene. What exists between the foreground and the background? Are there objects that connect these two areas? Is there a layer that you can define as midground that put everything into relation?

girl staring at the horizon

Think about the relationship between patterns and textures, light and shadow, or think about things that intervene.

waterfall relation photography

Nature has some great examples of unbreakable relationships – coast and a sea, moss and a tree, a waterfall, and the green around it.

Find Relationships in the Animal World

You can certainly create relation photography when taking pictures of cute animals.

Photographing pets can be a bit demanding and you’ll need to have patience, but when you capture a good photo you’ll realize that it was all worth it.

white cat on a dark background

Seek for the relationship between two animals or between animals and the nature around it. It can be seen in the contrast of colors – a white cat and a dark background and the other way around.

relation photography

Relationships in the animal kingdom can show us some everyday processes that we don’t even notice anymore – a dark ant on a bright terrain, caring a green leave, or a bee in a colorful flower, doing its daily tasks.

bee on a purple flower

Make connections and build a relationship between colors as well. For example, imagine a grey cat near the grass with green eyes. Relationships on a photograph can be built almost everywhere if we seek for the details.

Relationship With the Camera

When you’re shooting portraits, help them connect to the camera and create a relationship with it. They can even take the camera to photograph themselves for a moment which will help them relax and create that connection that you’re seeking.

girl using a camera

As I anticipated before, this can make your job much easier. And if you’re wondering how to build a relationship between people and your camera, it’s simple – you’ll do it if you make them look straight into the camera, whatever they’re doing – sitting or even if they are on the move. That deep look into the camera will create a great moment between them and the lens.

Be Aware of Your Important Role

If you’re just starting, it may seem a bit too much work to take just a few photos. However, you have to be aware of your importance in someone’s life – you’re capturing the moment of their lives and connections they have made which will be preserved forever, thanks to you and your camera.

relation photography

You’re not just building a relationship to have a better photo, you’re capturing a small, yet important part of someone’s life. Before you start taking pictures, think about the emotion you want to capture, about things you want other people to see and do your best to transfer that to a photograph.

Read more about relationships in photography here.


Learning how to create relation photography will help you deliver emotional images.

Will you apply these tips for your next portrait shooting? Will you seek for relationships in nature when taking photos of a breathtaking landscape?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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