DETAIL PHOTOGRAPHY: WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED IT



In addition to headshots and lifestyle portraits, a key aspect of my branding sessions is detail photography. It is an effective and versatile part of your image content. So what exactly is it?


Detail photography is all about capturing images – often, but not exclusively, inanimate objects – that help further define your brand. These shots are designed to reveal more about who you are, your interests, and even the tools of your trade.


With the right composition and setup these images will draw attention to specific details. It might be a single subject or it could be a group of related items.


Whatever the detail, the key thing is to ensure that there is purpose and intent behind it. Avoid picking random objects and focus on subjects that resonate with you and your brand.



Which details should be captured?


When consulting with clients I will draw up a shot list of items to consider when it comes to detail photography. It will vary from client to client but to give you some inspiration here are some ideas:

  • Business cards, notebooks, pens, and other stationery

  • Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops

  • Coffee cups, utensils, and other cookware

  • Paint, brushes, and crafting tools

  • Flowers

  • Headphones and audio equipment

  • Yoga / gym equipment

  • Gardening tools and wellington boots

  • Crystals and candles


The list is endless and can include professional items directly connected to your business or personal items that reveal more about your hobbies and inspirations.





Use details to create a connection


I usually apply a close-up technique for my detail photography to eliminate any distracting elements and immediately connect with the audience. This works particularly well for close-ups of hands at work, whether they are typing at a keyboard, writing with a pen, or gesticulating.


But other techniques can be used such as utilising reflections in glass, mirrors or water to give an alternative and slightly candid perspective. You can also try framing the subject, either naturally or by using other items for a more creative touch, e.g. using the space between the handle of a mug.


Silhouetting your subject is effective if you want a more low-key approach. Doing so will essentially rob your item of any detail so this is most effective on items that are very distinct and easy to identify from their shape alone.


And also don’t forget about the details within the detail. Once you have selected your items look closely at them to see if there are any more details in the texture or colour, e.g. the grain in the wood or a particular letter with an interesting font.





How to make detail images work for you


So now you have a stock of detail photographs, what do you do with them?


In short, you can use them however you wish! But in my experience there are two popular ways to use these type of images.


The first is on your website – typically on headers and menus. They are non-distracting elements that subtly help support the overall feel of your site. Visually they have the ability to carry a lot of impact and can underpin the entire feel and experience of your website.


The second most popular use of detail photography is on social media. A well-crafted Instagram feed will utilise different types of image content and detail images are a valuable addition. They standalone as images in their own right or you can overlay them with text to create more of a promotional / direct message to your audience.


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If you’d like to learn more about how you can incorporate detail photography into your image content get in touch to see how I can help.