How To Create Phenomenal High-Drama Photos

Create Phenomenal High-Drama Photos


People adore drama simply because of the amount of excitement it adds to the subject at hand. It evokes a sense of imagination and helps them to understand more about the world they’re being exposed to. Adding drama to a movie or TV show is easy. Whether you create photos for your website or to sell as stock photos, when you’re working with photos – how do you ensure that that drama is present in your work? By adding drama to your photos, you’re helping people develop emotional connections to your work.

How do you add a dramatic mood to your photographs? The tips in this guide will tell you how to use drama to share emotionally powerful stories that resonate with the audience, through your photos.

Create Phenomenal High-Drama Photos

#1. Create Scenes That Evoke An Emotional Response

There are some images that immediately get the viewer to develop strong emotions. One of these is seeing a picture of a child alone in a parking lot. A picture like this can get the imagination going and make the viewer wonder if the child has been abandoned. They could wonder if the child is lost, if their parents are nearby, and more. With just one simple photo, you can tell a powerful story without words.

High drama photos tend to be more exciting and are remembered better as well. When building the scene you’ll be photographing, ask yourself whether it tells a powerful story or not. Aim to get the viewer to feel anything from fear to excitement and beyond. This will help them to feel more connected with your photo.

#2. Make Use Of Darkness

It’s not enough to just take photos that are dark. You’ll need to complement the darkness with light, which helps the viewer focus on the subject in the picture. You’ll also be able to build contrast in your picture which also helps build the drama. If you’re shooting in the sunlight, look for shadows cast by trees, tall buildings, and more. At night, add artificial sources of light like lamps and street lights to create the contrast between light and darkness in your photos.

Create Phenomenal High-Drama Photos

#3. Movement Can Be Dramatic

With the help of dramatic lighting, you can go a long way towards adding high drama to your photos. In addition to this, aim to capture dynamic movements. You could be interested in street photography or shooting landscapes, but when you add movement to your photos, you help the viewer connect with your photo. If you take a picture of a man walking down a street, then the viewer can wonder where the man is going and what his story is.

When you take a picture of a landscape where a woman is seen jogging, it makes the viewer wonder about the woman and tells a story at the same time. It’s the stories that the viewer thinks of, when seeing movement in your photos, that adds a sense of drama. You can even take a small video of the movement that you want to capture, and then break it down into individual shots. Of these, pick the photo that looks the most dramatic.

Create Phenomenal High-Drama Photos

#4. Utilize Scale

A great way to add drama to your photos is by emphasizing scale. If you aim to make the subject look imposingly large for example, you’re emphasizing scale. Consider adding a second object to your photo, whose size is well known and understood. Say you want to show how tall a tree is. Make a man stand next to the tree and click photographs of them next to each other. The height of the tree, when compared to the height of the man next to the tree will show how large the tree is. The man here acts as a point of reference for the viewer.

You can also add drama by including negative space all around your subject. An example would be to take a photo of a person standing in a field, from a distance. Ensure that there are no other objects in the field. This can make the person look small, especially when compared to their surroundings.

Create Phenomenal High-Drama Photos

#5. Adding Shadows And Silhouettes

You can create drama in your photographs by adding a silhouette. This is where the subject looks dark, especially when compared to their background. You can also take dramatic portraits that come with shadows as well. Instead of taking a full front facing portrait of the subject, add shadows to the scene to make it look more dramatic.

To add effective shadows and silhouettes to your photos, the first thing that you should do is ask the subject to stand in front of your light source. Then, focus on the subject and reduce the exposure. This helps the subject to look darker against the brighter background.


There are several things that you can do to add high drama to your photographs. When you tell a dramatic story through your photos, you help the viewer better connect with as well as remember your photos. This guide takes you through five things that you can do to add high drama to your photographs.

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