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Photographing a Kiss

Updated on September 8, 2014
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs!

CC BY-ND 3.0
CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source

A kiss, nothing but a kiss. Do you remember your first kiss? I do, no really I do. It was given to me by one of the most beautiful girls that I had ever known. This first kiss was the start of a long and loving relationship. But that was a long time ago.

Photographically, a kiss can offer the photographer a very emotive and intriguing challenge. The theme involves recording images of a kiss yet one should avoid making the images seem too erotic or crude. Better images are obtained if the emphasis is on a romantic kiss, even sensual.

However, there are other kissing scenes which are rendered quite beautifully through photographs. The secret is to make the subjects at ease, almost to the point of forgetting that they are being photographed.

And off course don't forget to include any animal antics that appear as kisses such as an image of a female tenderly licking or "kissing" its newborn.

Most of your images should be done in close ups, encompassing nothing much more than the interlocked faces and lips unless adding more details adds to the scene. Also good to record in close ups are the images of the lips together with nothing more to distract an audience's gaze.

These can be very tender or can be more exotic or sensual, depending on the details, angle, perspective and the players involved.

Although not practice by a majority of photographers involved with this theme, same sex kisses are also worth recording. Everything depends on the audience that the photographer is trying to reach and where the images will be displayed or showcased.

Other kissing scenes can be tender moments such as a motherly kiss, a friendly kiss on the cheek and so on. Kisses that are planted on other parts of the body such as those customarily placed on the hand of a lady by a new or old acquaintance work too. Again, it depends on the message that the photographer aims to represent.

Although most lighting situations lend themselves well for this type of photos, the best examples are done with one single light source that highlights certain angles and parts of the scene. It cannot or should not be too strong of a light since it may overpower the scene.

Careful use of subtle shadows and highlights emphasize the scene better than a completely illuminated scene. Dark, red or solid colored backgrounds are also good to use, but this is dependent on the amount of detail that is being shown.

Be judicious with how much of the scene you want to leave in the final product. It is often best to crop the image and compare shots to see which one works well.

When using models, also pay attention to the hair position since you do not want it to interfere with the shot by getting in the way. Be attentive to the make up. Do not use make up that is too strong. Subtlety often works best.

However if you miss some small details and your images are not to your liking do not worry because of unruly hair, or too strong a color saturation. These can be fixed later with the aid of a digital editing software program.

Images of kisses that show romanticism, sensuality, tenderness and so on are excellent subjects to submit to stock houses and greeting card publishers and also make great samples for art galleries. Remember to keep your images in good taste unless your intention is otherwise.

Being creative is often the key that separates good images from great ones and you should always strive to not only be technically perfect with your shots but to offer a different perspective or rather a new view on such a popular subject.

Be candid with your subjects and clearly indicate what it is that you are trying to photograph. Offer guidance and if possible show samples of what it is that you want your images to be.

For those of that are more risque, then the images can go from being a scene of romanticism to being one that is totally erotic. If this is what you planned for then make sure to let those involved know and clearly give them instructions.

A word of caution, if your subjects are not at ease or do not feel comfortable with each other, then perhaps postponing the shoot to a later time or changing models may be worth it.

Stress or uneasiness is clearly seen in photographs in the muscles of the facial area, eyes and mouth, especially if the shots are in a close up mode. A good tip is to allow time for the models or subjects to get to know each other ahead of time. Once they are at ease then proceed with the photo session.

Also worth mentioning is to avoid using minors for any scene that is not of a tender nature like a mother and child moment. You cannot and should not use minors in anything that has a semblance of inappropriateness. Not only can you be branded as being immoral, but more than likely you will be facing legal issues as well. No amount of creativity or artistic freedom is worth risking your career and reputation over this. Always be smart and sensitive.

If you also feel like photographing other non traditional subjects of the theme, then there are images, statues and figurines which can be popular subjects to include within this topic.

Bottom line, be alert and open to all of the possibilities. After all a kiss is a kiss no matter how it is given or who gives it.

Hundreds of photography articles with tips, technical advice and project ideas!

CC BY-ND 3.0
CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY 3.0
CC BY 3.0 | Source

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Global-Chica; Thank you

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Global-Chica; Thank you

    • Global-Chica profile image


      6 years ago from New York, NY

      You shown a kiss in a new light. Interesting reading!


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