It’s ALL In The Details – Using Photographs to Tell Your Story

Much of your story is in hidden in the details.

My dad is a woodturner. He takes blocks of wood and “turns” them into gorgeous bowls, ornaments, writing pens, and other handcrafted products. Dad posts photos of his finished pieces on his shop and his website, (which I just redesigned for him).

Until very recently, my Dad only shared images of his finished pieces. But now he has embraced documenting details and processes that help him create his beautiful woodturnings. His tools, behind-the-scenes of cutting down trees, cutting blocks of wood to prep for turning, the roughing out process, how he wraps wet wood for the long drying process, his workshop, and more (including his occasional injuries). Behind-the-scenes photographs help achieve 3 things:

  1. Illustrate the process from beginning to end
  2. Give the viewer a deeper experience
  3. Foster connection with your audience

Dad also posts up-close shots of the beautiful wood grains and sometimes the edges of bowls where he leaves the natural bark edge. He shares images of the front, back, and bottom. These are details that some shoppers would not otherwise get to experience when viewing his work online, or shopping online. It gives his audience a chance to really SEE and admire his work before they purchase. And it’s working.

Dad’s hard work has led to commissions, phone calls when a unique wood has just uprooted or been chopped down, requests to teach woodturning, his first sale on earlier this month, and acceptance into the Carroll County Artists’ Studio Tour for 2019 (see more details about this event, below).

For artists like my Dad, detail shots may seem an easier photo-subject in comparison to your industry. Maybe you are a real estate agent, a CPA, an interior designer, a writer, a chef, a web designer, a life coach… you get the point. How can you show little details… like the late nights you spend studying, classes you’re taking, books you are reading, details of your work space (or current listing), share snippets of your notes, piles of paperwork, your tools and/or equipment, your habits, screenshots of your digital work-in-progress can all be of interest. Fill the frame… zoom in… zoom out… show it all, or leave a little mystery for the viewer. A sneak peek is always enticing, no matter how it is framed.

What is your industry, and what “detail shots” do you have in mind to illustrate your day-to-day?

Enjoy some of the photos I’ve taken for my Dad very recently – these paired with his every-day shots are really excelling his footprint.

And if I might give a shameless plug:

2019 Carroll County Artists Studio Tour

My dad, Doug Heck, was accepted into the 2019 Carroll County Artists Studio Tour. He is Stop #1 – which means you can visit him at his studio in Taneytown, MD, on December 7th and 8th 2019 to see his shop and learn more about what he does. You can also purchase and take home a one-of-a-kind woodturning. There are over a dozen additional stops throughout Carroll County, where you can meet the artists that help to make our county a beautiful place! You can learn more about the tour, and Dad, at

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