Details, Details, Details!
25 Sep 2012
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.