there is nothing that i love more than adding some true life + movement into my images. sure, i love a good portrait, but what i really love is a portrait of a little gal twirling in her dress, a portrait with hair blowing in the wind, or a playful portrait with water splashing around my subject. movement adds a cinematic quality to an image + is so fun to experiment with. the secret to capturing truly dreamy movement is to experiment with your shutter speed. as a general rule of thumb, shooting at 1/125 second will FREEZE most motion. however, as the words state, that’s just a general rule of thumb. depending on exactly what type of movement you’re going for will depend on your shutter speed needs. for example, sometimes when i’m trying to photograph a girl twirling in her dress, i’m looking for a lot of motion. i’m looking for the skirt to be very soft + blurry to achieve a cotton candy kind of look. in this case, my shutter speed needs to be low, like in the image below.
on other occasions, i’ll be looking for her dress to be stopped + sharp mid twirl to achieve a flower in bloom kind of look. on this occasion, i’ll have to shoot with a higher shutter speed to freeze the motion, like in the image below.
for me, when i’m looking to add movement to my photos, i begin with a shutter speed of 1/60 and go from there. it’s also important to be mindful of your location-if you’re shooting outside you’ll likely have to make much larger adjustments to your aperture and ISO to compensate for your low shutter speed. the best way to know is to take a couple of test shots and see what you’re working with! the most exciting part of adding movement to photos is that you can let go of perfection. with lower shutter speeds, your focus will likely be less sharp and guess what, that’s okay! it’s also very likely that in the mission to capture three great photos with motion, you’ll end up 100 images that you don’t like. so don’t get discouraged if your first 50 shots don’t yield the movement you’ve been dreaming of. it’s so refreshing to step out of the box + try something new so don’t be afraid to fall in love with an image that isn’t technically correct. there are no rules when it comes to adding motion. all you have to do is experiment + follow your heart.