Photography Inspiration • It’s Not All About Faces

August 26, 2010

in Keli Hoskins, Photography Creative Team, Photography Tips, Photography Tutorials

Post image for Photography Inspiration • It’s Not All About Faces

You read that right – it’s not all about the faces.

Did I really just say that? Yes. Yes I did.

All I’m saying is this … don’t put too much focus on making sure you have the perfect face shot of your subject.

fort stairs

Now, I’m not saying you should go to a client shoot and never take pictures of their faces, because that would be crazy. And absurd. And just plain weird. You’d probably lose some serious business that way.


But don’t sweat it if you just can’t get that 2-year old to sit still and smile perfectly.

sidewalk chalk

Sometimes, those faceless shots end up being favorites.


Have you ever lugged your heavy camera out to the park or playground or walk around the neighborhood only to find that your subject refuses to look at the camera or even acknowledge that you exist?

(If you have a three-year old, your answer is going to be a hearty “YES!” If you’ve never experienced this with a three-year old, then please email me all of your secrets. Please. I’m begging you.)


Sometimes, it’s fun to take pictures from a face-less perspective, because it actually adds to the story.

ice cream

And occasionally, you’ll bend over to pick up some scrap food that’s been under the table for four days when you notice your daughter has her legs crossed in the most adorable way while eating lunch.

sitting at table

(Let’s all just ignore the fact that she’s still wearing pajamas at lunch, m’kay?)

So … even though this website is all about sharing faces, don’t waste a good photo just because you can’t get the face that you really really wanted.



Keli Hoskins is mama to an amazing 3-year old girl with another on the way, a shallow-depth-of-field-addicted photographer, a drinker of coffee, a lover of yellow, a crazy spreadsheet maker, a moleskine user and a voracious reader who blogs {almost} daily at Kidnapped by Suburbia.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonte Cream November 17, 2015

As the admin of this web page is working, no doubt very shortly it will be renowned, due to its feature contents.


Backcountrybelle July 7, 2011

Great post! Very inspirational.


Laura March 5, 2011

Thanks for the inspiration. What a great line-up of photos in this post!!


Valerie Novoa December 30, 2010

Faceless photos are my absolute FAVORITE! You’d be surprised how much emotion you can get without an expression 🙂


Nate December 30, 2010

I saw this post on facebook with the title and the first person I thought of was Kelli. She does such a great job with story telling with her photos and can do it so well without showing facial expressions. Though, she does pretty well with faces as well. This is a great collection and perfect for inspiration.


Christina @ Red Corduroy Media Group {Photography} December 30, 2010

I LOVE photos that aren’t about faces … Thanks for sharing!


Laura December 30, 2010

Newbie here, LOVE the article! I caught a pic with no face and was so touching the client purchased it too. I definitely need to be doing a lot more “no faces.”


Jenna September 2, 2010

This article was such an inspiration to me! I got the cutest picture of my kids just a few hours after I read it that I wouldn’t have otherwise! Thank you!


julie August 29, 2010

I love this post too. I’m so about no faces and it drives my dad crazy. But what a story these photos tell.


Tiffany Olson August 27, 2010

tweeted about kelly willettes workshop


Lindsay Garrett August 27, 2010

I LOVE THE BIO-a shallow-“depth-of-field-addicted photographer,” I LOVE this.
Sounds like me.
I love how each little bit of the Bio is small, but really says so much to help define Keli.
I am now following her blog!
Thanks for sharing!


Life with Kaishon August 27, 2010

This post was so dead on Kelli.


Kelly Decoteau August 27, 2010

Love it! I’ve taken a lot of pictures of my kids feet this week, when they were wearing their rainboots. During newborn shoots I always get close up for those adorable details, the hands, the feet.

See one shot here:


Shelle @ Mommy Cant Sing August 27, 2010

These shots are gorgeous 🙂 I have plenty of faceless shots of my 4 year old & 1 year old, I think they are perfect!


Amanda August 26, 2010

Great post…. I have to agree that a lot of my favorite shots didn’t get the face in 🙂


Jessica August 26, 2010

I love pictures of feet. My favorite of all times! Also, dont be embaressed untill its dinner and they are still in there PJ’s.


Pamela Topping August 26, 2010

Love this!


Rachelle August 26, 2010

Kinda bummed that all the shots in this post wont appear 🙁 Love that you’ve taken a moment to remind us that the face is always obtainable, but the story is the ultimate goal. LOVE it! Thanks!


Meegan August 26, 2010
Here’s a link to my post today showing one of my favorite faceless photos. Hope you like it!


Katie August 26, 2010

I cropped the upper half of my sons face out of this one to make it a much cooler pic since he was mid-blink but the rest of the shot was so cute!


Alltop Photography August 26, 2010

Inspiration • It’s Not All About the Faces Photography.alltop


the Blah Blah Blahger August 26, 2010

LOVE this piece!


heather@tripleblessing August 26, 2010

It’s funny that you posted this because we just went to the zoo and I joked all day long that the only shots I was getting was the back of the kids’ heads (with an animal in the background). But when I got home and looked at them….they were still precious.


Holly August 26, 2010

These are some of my favorite poses to do, a lot of my clients are shocked so to say when they see them and love them.


Casie Shimansky August 26, 2010

I love faceless images – lol – which sounds weird until you read this! RT@iHeartFaces: Inspiration•


Angie August 26, 2010

I {heart} Keli Johnson Hoskins and her words of wisdom she shares with us over at I Heart Faces. Her…


Jess August 26, 2010

love it!!


Heather Schnider August 26, 2010

I love faceless shots as well. I have a four year old that really loves to hide when the camera comes out so we get a lot of profile and back shots. My favorite was this weekend at my son’s football Jamboree off all the little boys in their uniforms with their names on the back holding their helmets under their arms.


Courtney K. August 26, 2010

I agree completely. Some of my favorite photos ever have been without faces in them. I think that when you take the face away you are forced to see the uniqueness and the beauty that lies else where in the shot. Great post and beautiful photos!


amy August 26, 2010

Wonderful post! I usually have these photos because my kids are so sick of my camera in their face:-) ha!


christy golder August 26, 2010

thank you so much for the inspiration! great perspective


Screwed Up Texan August 26, 2010

Love these! Thank you for the inspiration!


stacy August 26, 2010

excellent article! thank you!


Jen August 26, 2010

I just took my son to the park yesterday and tried to take pics of his feet while he was playing. When I showed my hubby he said ‘are you getting artsy on me?’ haha! Your post was perfect timing!


Katarina August 26, 2010

Love it! Those are great reminders and wonderful pictures that truly do tell a story.


Hayley August 26, 2010

THANK YOU! This has been a recent topic in my circle. About a week ago, I captured a beautiful couple anticipating the birth of their first child. In the first photo I posted on my blog, I cropped out the head of the Daddy-to-be (down to his wide smile). For me, the dynamic part of the photo–the story–centered on the mom, the baby, and the happiness that surrounded the event. Dad’s first response was, “Why did she crop my head?” I don’t think he was feeling the artistic composition.

Fortunately, I had already hand delivered a single photo to Mom (the uncropped version), and Dad was happy. You can check out the photo here.

I too have a blog post in the works along this same topic. I would still like to address this topic on my blog, but I will reference your post as well. Please let me know if this is acceptable to you.

Thank you again,
Hayley xoxo


Jamie M. August 26, 2010

So it isn’t just my 3 year old who ignores me when I am holding my camera?


Becca August 26, 2010

I LOVE this Kelli! THanks for sharing!


Laurie August 26, 2010

I LOVE faceless shots… I would say 80% of my favorite shots are faceless. I always like how much character these shots have.


remodelingthislife August 26, 2010

RT @AngieArthur: I {heart} Keli Johnson Hoskins and her words of wisdom she shares with us over at I Heart Faces.


Nakia August 26, 2010

So very true.

I love the shot of your daughter at the table. 🙂


Jaden August 26, 2010

Oh my goodness, I absolutely LOVE these photos… The sparkler one is just incredible… and the swing… and the little crossed legs! GAH! Thanks for the inspiration, I may have to head home and take some face-less shots of my own adorable three year old daughter tonight 🙂


Emily@remodelingthislife August 26, 2010

Especially for pics I post online, I have definitely leaned toward taking photos without always having faces in them b/c of privacy. I like how I used to think a face was all that mattered but have learned that a whole new story can be told when you get creative and choose a different angle. I love these images and thoughts.


marsha August 26, 2010

thanks for the reminder…the options are limitless. Love the shot with your little one swinging. Precious!


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