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Trick Photography

trick photography

It’s cold, it’s grey and October half-term is looming ever nearer, but don’t worry, the kids will not return to school with square eyes and an acute attention span deficit from watching so much TV or playing so many video games.


This October half-term, stretch and excite your little ones with the easy to set up, exciting and inexpensive activity: trick photography. All you need is a camera: doesn’t matter what type, a smartphone camera is as good as any, and your imagination... that’s it. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 


Climbing up a wall.

Play with perspective and photograph someone pretending to climb along a paved floor, to create the appearance of a superhero figure clambering up a vertical wall. Shoot from slightly below your subject and make sure they’re positioned in the perfect climbing position.

Put anything in the palm of your hand.

Create distance between you and the person or thing you want to be placed in their hand and leave the rest to perspective. Get creative with posing by getting your subject to jump, pretend to run, or even change the hand position, to a pinch, a flick or catch.

Capture a glimpse of a ‘headless monster’.

You will need, a wall and two willing subjects. First sit your first subject on the wall, with their back to you and head down. Then get your second subject to place their head on the wall with the rest of their body hidden. Get the sitting subject to hold the other subjects hair, as if they’re holding just a head and shot from below. For the perfect spooky photo to star on the front of your Halloween party invitations. 

The sky is the limit

no literally, you can incorporate clouds into your photos. Use your imagination and create objects out of clouds and incorporate them into your photos. Perhaps, you will see a crown fit for a King or Queen float by, which you can position yourself under or a dog-like-cloud you could pretend to play fetch with. 

Go on an adventure and document your findings.

Footprints, landscapes and wildlife can be included in your photographs. After you could print the photos and create a memory board or montage of your fun adventure.

Create a stop-motion film

using all or some of these techniques, or you could create a film using toys such as Lego or Barbies. You can use programs such as iStopMotion for iPad from Boinx Software. The software runs only on the iPad (or iPad mini), but it has a secret: a separate iStopCamera app can run on an iPhone and can be controlled from the iPad. With that setup, the iPhone can be locked down on a tripod and not susceptible to tiny nudges when you capture each shot, which would be exaggerated in the animation. The key to stop-motion is finding a location that offers consistent lighting. Sunlight streaming through a window can be stunning when shooting normal video or still photos, but it’s unreliable for stop motion. 


Trick photography ideas


There are endless opportunities to what you can do, so the key is just to experiment and have fun.

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