top of page

The Importance Of Intentional Blur In Family Photos

Intentional blur and camera/subject movement can be divisive. It's unconventional and untraditional but it has to be my favourite thing to capture in photography. If you had previously thought that blurry, out of focus photos were mistakes or laziness on your photographer's part, I’m going to show you the value of these shots and why they are arguably more important than typical captures.

They feel like real life

We don’t remember in clear, crisp images. We remember the blur of our children running circles around our feet. We remember the fierce whirlwind that swept us up when we met our partner. The chaos of moving to a new place. Life is fast, hazy and imperfect, and this technique encapsulates that. Movement in images transports us back into that motion, the swing of our child and the breeze they create, as if slotting back in time.

It's a little unpredictable

The whole nature of motion blur and intentional camera movement is unpredictable. Yes, your photographer can set it up for the type of effect they want, but it is truly unique every single time. Much like film, it is a spontaneous and slightly random exercise and while this might seem scary, beautiful accidents and imperfections occur that actually embellish your precious moment.

Missed focus shifts focus

When you strip away clarity from certain parts of a photograph, you’re left with feeling. You project your own personal experience onto the image, fill in the undefined edges with your memory of that moment. The image becomes alive; a visceral reminder of a twirl, a gust of wind, a head thrown back from an uncontainable laugh.

Similarly, shifting the focus onto the mountains as you lead each other up the hill or zoning in on the fruit bowl as you cuddle in the kitchen adds a delicious authenticity to intimate moments. Things naturally fade into the background, different things takes focus and it all contributes to the bigger picture (no pun intended).

I hope I've converted you to a blur lover and shed a light on the value of these techniques and how important they can be for all photos but especially family photos. Next time you have a session, keep an eye out for these shots and look deeper into them. If you let yourself, I'm sure you'll be surprised at how they make you feel.

To look at more examples of intentional blur and missed focus, head over to my portfolio and see if you can spot them.

bottom of page