You’ve seen them, I know you have. You’re walking by a doorway and there it is, smiling right back at you. A face. Faces. They are everywhere and I guarantee once you start looking for them you won’t be able to stop seeing them.
Pareidolia is its name
Seeing faces in inanimate objects is common, and it has a name: Pareidolia. It’s a psychological phenomenon that causes the human brain to give significance and facial features to random patterns.
Finding the faces is a game
Next time you’re out wandering around with your camera, slow down a bit, look around and see how many faces you find. Check the patterns in the bark of a tree, look for objects that create eyes, a nose and mouth.
The grills of cars often create faces depending on the design of the car. Buttons or snaps on clothing can be seen as eyes. Wander around your own home and see how many faces you find. Faucets, drains, tile, wood floors … the list goes on.
Why do you see faces in inanimate objects
A quick read article on Artsy.com dives into this a bit more. It has some interesting information about why our brains see faces in everyday objects.
How can finding faces everywhere help your photography?
When you’re looking specifically for faces you slow down and you pay much closer attention to what you’re seeing. This means you may also find some other interesting subjects to photograph. Maybe you’ll discover a completely different composition you wouldn’t have ever noticed had you not been looking closer at your subject.
So, next time you’re out with your camera give it a try. See how many faces you can find and don’t blame me if you can’t stop seeing them.