Professional Photographer Magazine

Digital Photo Pro Magazine


Photo District News Magazine

7 Funny People Pictures (Plus Tips For Creating Your Own)

Below are 7 funny people pictures that I've selected from the Creative Commons galleries of Flickr. I think they're all pretty good, for a range of reasons, and hope you enjoy checking them out. I've also shared a few tips beneath the images for taking your own funny photos.

I should say that 'funny' in photography has a pretty loose meaning (Not in the sense that most photographers have a shit sense of humour, just that there are lots different kinds of humour). So I've tried to reflect some of these different styles/approaches to humour in my selection.

A lot of the time, humour in street photography is a kind of quirkiness: clever and amusing visual observations that play on coincidental moments, ideas, surrealism or compositional gags. The kind of stuff that makes you think "that's cool" and chuckle slightly, or maybe exhale a tiny bit through your nose, rather than fall off your chair laughing.

Then there are funny portraits. These can be great, but also become boring quickly if there's not something more interesting about them than the usual cliches (hence my choice of rubber band man, no.4) . There are also some photos that are just plain funny, like no.7, and, if you like that kind of 'cute' humour, no.5.

Anyway hope you enjoy this little selection of funny people pictures...


Image by hipnshoot

This is a great example of the 'quirky' style I was mentioning above. The woman reading the paper's hand slips perfectly into position to appear as Andre Agassi's missing right arm. Even her fingers look like they're supporting the raquet!

You've got to be on the look-out for this kind of thing. Unless you've got your photographer's hat on, this sort of opportunity tends to pass you by. So keep your eyes peeled for the interaction between people and objects - especially things featuring pictures of people, like billboard posters. You've also got to be quite brave to take pictures in the tube like this!

It's sometimes worth finding an interesting/unusual spot and staying there until something happens. Some billboards are very attention grabbing, and you just know that, sooner or later, they'll be an amusing reaction to them that makes for a great photo.


Image by Thomas Leuthard

The 'shocked' look. Old people's faces are often a wonderful subject for photographers, because of the character, wrinkles and all the marks of a long life. But when that combines with a sudden expression of emotion, like shock, it can be even more effective - or funny!

This guy clearly didn't expect to settle down on the bus and find a passing photographer snapping him from outside the window! I love the expression on his face!

So how to get this kind of shot? Well, it relies on interaction between photographer and subject, so you don't want to be perched miles away with a telephoto. Get yourself into a good location and keep watch for an interesting potential subject.

Shoot in aperture priority mode and select a fairly wide aperture (because this is effectively a candid portrait and a shallow depth of field strengthens it). But be careful that the shutter speed doesn't drop to far, as the subject is not likely to be in a stationary pose for long, and it's important to freeze any motion. Increasing ISO may well be necessary.


Image by Stephen Griffin

This is the kind of visual/compositional gag I mentioned in the intro. I've found there are often some quite good street/humorous photography opprtunities to be had on corners like this. The people on one side are not aware of the people on the other. Any symmetry that suddenly appears seems like an amusing coincidence (however long you've been standing there waiting for it!).

Busy times of day are best - rush hour, weekend evenings etc. Again, Aperture Priority (AV for Canon) is a good mode to shoot in, because you need to use a sufficiently wide depth of field to make things easy. Fot both street and event photography, I very often just go with f.8, which is close to how we see things with our eyes and seems to work well.


Image by AndYaDontStop

If you, or someone you know, has no pain receptors in the eyes and eyelids, why not give this a go? Hats off to this guy for commitment to the cause. People do anything for a great photo. Visit war-torn regions to report for national media; subject themselves to the power of the elements for magnificent landscapes; brave wildernesses to bring us astonishing images of wildlife; deform their features by wrapping insanely tight elastic bands around their head. This subtly observed, moving self-portrait is testament sacrifice in the name of art.


Image by Pieterjan Vandaele

This is a photo of what appears to be a baby bus. If you're on a mission to take some funny people pictures, babies are very often a winning subject. They pull some pretty crazy expressions sometimes, which can be captured in close-up portrait photos. Equally, the juxtapositon of babies with the adult world (like this city street) is a good formula.

For the kind of opportunist shot like the one above, my camera setting would typically be on Aperture Priority mode, with something around f.8. When it comes to photographing babies for humour, only take a shot if it's worth it. Don't be weird. If you saw someone walking around with a camera turning to shoot every baby that they saw, what would you think?


Image by Jenny Downing

I like the composition of this photo. The extreme close up draws attention to the ridiculous features/expression and avoids any distractions. A telephoto lens compresses the shot and isolates the subject from the background (tips for using a telephoto lens).

I don't know how the photographer came across this subject, but I've often found street performers are good for this kind of thing. A wider angle of view tends to be less funny because it puts the whole thing in the context of a performance.


Image by hipnshoot

This is just a brilliant moment, well captured by the photographer. It's made by the guy on the left, with his uncomfortable expression and attempt to subtly shield himself from the behemoth next to him. You just know he was sitting there first, quietly reading his paper, before the adjacent three seats were suddenly taken up.

It's a great example of choosing your moment carefully, as opposed to reeling off 10 shots and hoping for the best (decisive moment photography tips). The loaded glance from the man on the left probably only lasted a fraction of a second, but the photographer captured it perfectly.


Hope you enjoyed this little selection of funny people pictures. Feel free to let me know what you thought about them in the comments. If you're interested in seeing more, I definitely recommend the website of Matt Stuart. He's a London based street photographer who has a brilliant eye for quirky, surreal and amusing little moments.

The Photography Crash Course: 17 Short Lessons To Camera Mastery

Where Next?

Decisive Moment Photography: Planned Spontaneity

10 Common Questions About Photography Exposure

9 Creative Photography Tips

Return To Photography Art Cafe Home

Untitled Document

New! Comments

Have your say and share your thoughts below!