The Psychology of the Lens: Patrick Moreau creates filmic intimacy with DSLRs

Patrick Moreau of Stillmotion in Toronto and San Francisco ( shapes such strong intimate images at weddings, that the NFL hired him to shoot “The Season: Super Bowl XLV” ( and Callaway hired him to create intimate profiles of Callaway golfers. (


With a background in psychology, Moreau engages “psychology to tell stories” in his documentary work and now in his commercial work. He explains that psychology “helps us really understand the people we are working with as well as the stories we are trying to tell and how we can use our equipment to tell those stories better or in a more relevant way.” It’s not a set formula, but rather, it’s being present and making conscious decisions when it comes to camera and lens selection.


A fleeting, but intimate moment of an NFL player’s worried furrowed brow captured in Stillmotion’s NFL video shot with DSLRs, The Season: Super Bowl XLV.” The long lens and shallow focal depth isolates the player and shapes the psychology of the drama Moreau helped craft through lens choices. (Image courtesy of Stillmotion and NFL.)

A wider lens and deep focus allows Moreau to capture his subject in a space that reveals the character’s emotions in an intimate way. (Image courtesy of Stillmotion and NFL.)


Moreau tells me in an interview at the National Association of Broadcasting (NAB) convention in Las Vegas (2011) that the psychological filmmaking process “forces us to question everything we are doing [and it makes us] really think about why this lens or why this camera tool.”

Click here to read the complete article at Focal Press’s, Mastering Film blog (


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