Different ways to show people we know
Sometimes we are the subject of the picture, sometimes we are just in it to show we were there.
Page "showpeople" last modified: 13Aug99

I have found an interesting taxonomy of pictures that include people we know. Some people like one type more than another and you can see by the photos they take. I point out some of the different ways so you can be aware of them when planning your pictures. Different types of pictures are appropriate for different audiences.

Part of the action
These pictures show the people we know doing something. This is a chronicle of what happened to us, not just what we saw. A photo of a couple being married, a friend skydiving, and the family on a raft going down the rapids all fall into this category. Here's me and a street mime:



Three sub-types:

We are the main action: Family events like weddings, our family members playing baseball, Jill with her first bike, etc.

We join the normal action we are visiting: Jimmy with Mickey Mouse, Dan and the street mime, etc.

We make fun of the situation: Striking a silly pose to look like a picture or statue in the background, leaning over where it says "danger", etc.

Nice picture of...
These pictures are to show the person happy, where it doesn't matter where they are. "We had a great meal, here's me smiling after dessert":



The background doesn't matter at all, just the expression. In cropping you don't mind cutting out the background (or the foreground, as I should have in this case -- it's there so we can remember the name of the restaurant).

Don't we look good in front of...
This is a variant of "Nice picture" where the background shows the location and is probably part of the story. The expression still matters, but the background would rarely be cut out. Here are two examples: me in front of an incredible garden outside a castle, and Paul in front of the Beach Club Hotel at Disney World:



We were there!
In this style of picture, the main part of the picture is something besides the people we know. We put ourselves in the picture just to say "we were there" and this is what we experienced. Here I am in front of a statue:



The Cameo
Sometimes, only when people are told we're in it would people know, so the photo is really of the scene as we saw it:



What I saw
Finally, there are pictures that don't have people we know in it at all. It's just that "we saw this" and the fact that it's my photo proves it. Here's a picture of the Eiffel Tower taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe in the evening: