Shooting the Detail
Details are becoming increasingly important in the photography world. Particularly to style savvy brides, beautiful boudoir clients, and in documentary lifestyle sessions.
If you are a wedding photographer then capturing the detail and style of the day will be high on your agenda. Quite often brides and their family and friends hand-make wedding details. These can include handwritten name cards, mason jars with lace on and village hall bunting, which they have spent hours and days doing. Some of the weddings I photographed in 2014 had some extraordinary details to capture. Two which immediately come to the forefront of my mind are an August wedding where the groom and his fellow groomsmen had ties made by the talented bride’s Mother, and a July wedding where the bride and her Mum had styled the entire wedding and sourced everything in sight (down to the plates they ate the wedding breakfast from). If your couples have either hand-made or spent money on something involved with their wedding, they will want to make sure that it is documented via your photography.
When you are commissioned for a family shoot to take photographs of the children playing or posing, also try to concentrate on your surroundings and the season you are shooting in. I like to use leaves in autumn to reflect the season so the viewer really gets a sense of the feeling of the day and the time of the year, rather than just of the people involved. Is it summer? Perhaps take a shot of the toddler’s sandals or a close-up shot of the sprinkles on the ice cream they are eating.
Maybe you are a boudoir photographer and your concentration is mainly on the shooting the shape of the human body in an artful and beautiful way. How about photographing the material of the lingerie or the jewelry that your client is wearing, and noticing how the light forms to create delicate or dramatic scenes.
Here are my top tips for shooting the detail:
- Get down to the eye-level of the detailing. It invites the viewer into the world of your photograph, and means that photographs aren’t just shot from above. Think about all the different angles you can shoot from.
- Consider textures and how they can create impact. Would the composition of your photograph be improved by introducing a rugged material or a natural prop such as an acorn or some flower petals? Detail and styling doesn’t have to cost anything.
- It’s all about the light. Unless you are shooting commercially and aspects of your product need to be perfectly lit from every angle, use the natural light available to you. Flash can drown out colour that natural light makes seem magical.
- Use depth of field. I think using the lowest depth of field available to you, is really important in capturing the detail. It really draws the eye in, creates beautiful bokeh and makes an otherwise ordinary scene look immediately more interesting.
- Creating art. As adults, we are sometimes not creatively in the zone as much as we were when we were children. It’s okay to use your imagination and natural creativity to experiment. Draw inspiration from whatever is around you, and create art within your photographs. Simplicity and balance are really important components in a detail photograph.
Nichola Morton Photography / www.nicholamortonblog.com