Do you ever feel like your images lack impact? Would you like more of your subject’s personality to come through in an image? Then this photo tip will be perfect for you!

“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” These words from Robert Capa, introduced by Picture Post in 1938 as “The Greatest War Photographer in the World”, stand true through many a genre of photography. I might add too, that at times, capturing great images of kids is like fighting a war…. Similarities abound.

So, if you want to add impact to your images and allow your viewers to connect more powerfully with your subjects, get that camera close! Take a look at the following examples:

In the above example, we find an adorable girl (if I can say so myself!) all pinked-out. It’s cute and all, but notice how we start to get more of a connection with our subject as I move closer with the camera:


Do you feel how there is a stronger connection with her eyes? How we sense we are more in the scene? See how the background starts to get a little blurrier too? Let’s get even closer:


There – now it’s just us and her. Now we’re getting a better sense of her sweet, kind personality. Notice too that our eye easily goes to the most powerful part of this image – her eyes. Nothing else is competing. Look back at example one. See how your eye is drawn to the bright highlight above her in the grass? Or maybe you are counting the dandelions in the yard thinking how it’s time for me to mow again (and you’d be right). Now, go back to image three. The grass in the background has fallen nicely out of focus. No bright spot in the background. No distractions – just impact and connection.

The beauty is, you do not need a fancy camera or lens to apply this to your own photography. You can physically move whatever camera is in your hands to your subject. All three images above were taken with the exact same camera settings – my distance to the subject was the only thing that changed. Go ahead and give it a try!

One last point.. I’ve went ahead and cropped the first image into a similar composition as the third and placed them side by side:

Notice a few problems. We’ve lost a bunch of detail and resolution. The cropped image on the left feels like it was shot at a distance and cropped – see how that comes through? Don’t take a short cut and assume you can just crop. You have to get that camera close!

We’d love to hear if this was helpful to you, what problems you might want help with, and what your favorite photo tips are. Leave comments below! If you make an image you are proud of using this tip then share it on Instagram and tag us so we can see the results!