Photo Essay

Details, Details, Details!

Radha's Costume

When we choose a model to photograph, we often think of only "the big picture" and forget details that will add a lot. Besides the obvious compositional elements we need to consider many small details. Is there a bit of paper on the ground that will distract our eyes from the subject? When using models, even spur of the moment "will you pose for me" models, details are essential to making a good or exceptional photograph.

It is very important to be aware of and to style portraits. Since I shoot many Indian subjects and the women's outfits are usually very busy, I need to keep all of their colors and accessories in mind. I ask myself, what will make or break my images? Compared to western dress, more of everything is usually what I am working with and I have to make it all go together. Eye enhancement and the right color of lipstick on a model is obvious. But tiny details like coordinating or contrasting finger and toenail polish or whether to use a veil can make a huge difference. Even the number of and color coordination of bangles helps. Planning ahead helps prevent being without a choice so I usually ask my models to bring their make up kits, extra scarves and shoes plus a ton of costume jewelry.

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19 responses

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (25 Sep 2012):

    Very good and informative story, Michele! So many people just take a photo without considering details. I am working at trying to see these little details in my photography. Excellent photos to post with your story!!!

  • Krishna Dronamraju

    Krishna Dronamraju gave props (25 Sep 2012):

    Beautiful story. Well put together with great details.

  • ajtiM

    ajtiM (Deleted) said (26 Sep 2012):

    beautiful story! my vote.

  • Davide Simone

    Davide Simone (Deleted) said (26 Sep 2012):

    Michele, Beautiful story !!!!! Outstanding image !!!!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (26 Sep 2012):

    Michele.. you have photo bank and story ... and we all appreciate your photography! VOTE FOR SURE!!

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (28 Sep 2012):

    my vote

  • Geoff Plant

    Geoff Plant   gave props (29 Sep 2012):


  • rekha nag

    rekha nag said (29 Sep 2012):

    wow Michele!! this is vote!!

  • Pedro Teixeira

    Pedro Teixeira   gave props (4 Oct 2012):

    Congrats for this marvelous work!Voted!

  • Krishna Dronamraju

    Krishna Dronamraju gave props (4 Oct 2012):

    Support this for Story of the week

  • Lisa Kanemoto

    Lisa Kanemoto said (5 Oct 2012):

    An informative essay, it will teach me to pay more attention to details in my future images. Thank you for it.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (11 Oct 2012):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes   gave props (13 Nov 2012):

    Your focus on details sure made these images exceptional. Outstanding essay. For sure my votes.

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins   gave props (14 Jul 2013):

    Congrats Michele!

  • JPG

    JPG gave props (14 Jul 2013):

    Congrats on being The Story of the Week!

  • Dirk Fuhrmann

    Dirk Fuhrmann   gave props (16 Jul 2013):

    Nice story, congrats!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (16 Jul 2013):


  • rekha nag

    rekha nag said (16 Jul 2013):

    Congrats Michele!!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (18 Jul 2013):

    Congrats on making Story of the Week!

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