A graveyard with a misplaced Parking Space sign. A piglet making massage to another one. A funny roadside attraction showing an epitaph, Here lies the last trespasser. A little girl picking her little brother’s nose. An Asian woman in bathing suit holding a huge umbrella while taking a splash on the beach. A man running naked in the middle of a tennis match.
Is something comical going on? Go grab your camera and photograph it.
Humor has always been the favorite of many photographers, be it humorous people or animals, situations, signs, or juxtapositions. However, capturing humor in photography is not an easy task. It is a difficult subject and many photographers have failed, like some stand-up comedians who desperately force their acts.
When capturing humorous photos, what you have to do is to observe the world and see what others don’t see. This is one of the rules of thumb in photography that many fail to follow. Look at your subject, try to understand what it is, and then begin looking at what else the subject is. In other words, look, see, and see beyond the subject. This is one of the skills that sets apart a humorist and good photographer from others.
Finding humor can be matter of luck. Sometimes, humorous situations arise when you least expect them. For example, a child making funny faces, an elephant suddenly appearing in the middle of a busy street, or a sign saying, Illegally parked cars will be towed, crushed, and melted. So have your camera ready at all times. Look for visual non-sequitors, contrasts, or moments that make you go, huh?
If you decide to stage a humorous scenario, the first thing you should do is to look for a subject that can tickle the fancy of those who are going to see the photos. Setting up your own hilarious situation can give you a lot of laughs while doing it, or even more laughter later when everyone gets to look at the photos. Just enjoy and do not force yourself to come up with a funny scenario.
You may have achieved an excellent humorous photo if it seems an ordinary joke at first, but the effect to the viewer remains for a long time.