Emotions Expressed Through Photos

How often should people look straight into the camera?  If you were to ask Expresso, they would probably say rarely.

In the examples above, taken from a front page and then a jump page, the subjects are never looking into the camera.  They are positioned so the reader can see their faces and still read facial expressions, yet there is not eye contact being made with the camera.  Also, the subjects are not directly facing the reader.  Although partially hidden, the hardship and emotions can clearly be seen in the faces of the subjects.  Another trend in the way Expresso positions its subjects is visible in the photos above.  That is, a closeup on the face is not often used.  By incorporating a subject’s surroundings, it gives additional information about what is going on.  In addition, by having the background visible more emotion is incorporated into the photo.  In the examples above, the mood is clearly one of sadness, not joy.  This just helps to emphasize what the story is trying to say.

Again, this photo clearly illustrates how Expresso does not position the subject of the photograph looking directly at the camera, thus, not the reader.  Another thing that is also illustrated in this example is the composition of the photograph.  Not only do subjects tend to not look at the camera directly, they also are rarely in the center of the photograph.  By creating the composition in this way, it allows the designer some leeway when creating the layout.  By not having the subject in the center, the designer has the option to place text in the photo.  Whether it is the headline, deck, caption, or even body copy, having text become part of the photo creates an interesting piece to look at and is something out of the ordinary.  In the case above, the headline and deck become part of the photo.  Not only does this look interesting, but it is also a way to save space in a tight layout.

The first examples and the one above, are darker in overall color.  Expresso tends to shy away from using bright photographs.  In my opinion, this gives the paper an ‘edgier’ feeling and adds a nice contrast to the bright colors used in the nameplate.

Unlike the other examples, the two main photos above are a bit brighter in color.  However, they are still not nearly as bright as the colors used in the nameplate and headline.

Yet, like all the other examples, these subjects are still not looking at the camera.  And in one of the photos above, there aren’t any faces even able to be seen.  Even though there are no faces, the emotion is still clear.  The main subject of the photograph is sitting on the ground with his hood up over his face.  This is more than enough to convey the feelings being felt.

Many of the photographs used in Expresso are not the typical photos seen in newspapers.  Overall, the photographs do not feature direct faces, are darker in color, and are composed with subjects off to a side.  Yet, these photos used are able to convey emotions that words cannot express.  This just helps to support the story and draw readers in.  The photos used, and how they are placed, clearly shows how talented of a design team and photographers there are at Expresso.