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Photographing Fragrance

Updated on June 26, 2013
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

Photographing fragrances is another in a long list of photographic projects that should provide quite a few examples as well as representing a good photographic exercise. From people to nature, there are several subjects that can represent a particular fragrance or at least bring out the sensation of a good smell.

Babies, children and their environment such as the baby's powder room remind someone of the typical fresh bathed smell usually associated with everything, or at least most everything, about a baby. But you don't have to stop at taking a baby's portrait; a baby cologne, talcum, even babies clothes. Food is full of fragrances; a fresh apple pie, a cinnamon candy, vanilla or strawberry ice cream.

Nature is bountiful when it comes to fragrances; a rose, lavender, almost all types of flowers, fresh pine needless, wet grass, some trees, even several types of leaves. Fruits have smells which can be very pleasing such as fresh limes or lemons, oranges, fresh apples, cherries and strawberries too. And don't forget coffee beans or tea leaves either.

Bath salts are named so not only for their refreshing or benefit that they offer, but they always carry a scent. They are also very apt in portraying a fragrance. Likewise are scented oils like the ones used in aromatherapy.

A bowl of rose petals, burning incense and the ever present flask of perfume. All of these things are exceptionally well qualified samples from which to showcase and evoke a "fragrance" through photographs.

When photographing these subjects you should isolate them so that nothing else distracts the audience from focusing on the main point of interest within the photograph and then they can begin to associate the image with a particular fragrance. The background should also be carefully considered for the same purpose of not creating a distraction. Light should be softy diffused. If it's too harsh it distracts the viewer, if it is too little the subject is lost within the scene.

Scented candles always reflect a fragrance and if you can secure samples which have the scent name written on them even better, thus you are using visual cues to portray and reinforce the smell even further.

Think of new angles as many of the subjects that represent fragrances have been photographed time after time and mostly to represent the same theme that you are trying to capture with your photographs. Therefore adding your own personalized touch is what will set your images apart from those of others.

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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

Don't overlook using certain spices and nuts for this theme. Use certain colors that complement the subject, as they can help reinforce your intention.

Be careful and choosy with your selection of subjects. You are trying to represent fragrances not smells. Even though a well prepared and appetizing dish will evoke certain smells the theme is to bring out a "fragrance" not really a smell and these two have different meanings and are showcased differently.

With some subjects such as with perfume although a bottle of it will clearly represent a fragrance a much better example would be a woman subtly applying perfume to her neck with her fingertips. Instead of photographing a bunch of blueberries a better example would be a pretty girl tenderly smelling them. Instead of an image of lemons, capture an image of some whole and sliced ones perhaps next to a tall and "refreshing' tall glass of lemonade.

With mint leaves, spices, and nuts good examples would be whole items next to the plant or a dish made from them. A rose bush maybe a beautiful sight just like a field of tulips but for this theme a better example will be a single rose or tulip with petals strewn all around it.

Using your imagination and some creativity will provide images that not only achieve the purpose of showing a fragrance but will distinguish you and your images.


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    • profile image

      haysge 6 years ago

      Smelly photographs ? what a great idea!! wait somebody already did it.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Credence: Thank you

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      The selection of photos are visually stunning, Cred2

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      Yeah, well I did forget to say nice choice on the photos. They convey exactly your point. Not sure about a hub, I always have ideas but seem to be spending more time away from HP these days. I will always come here to read your hubs Luis, they're always good! Peace!! Tom

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      randomcreative: Thank you, glad that you have been following my work and enjoying it.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cardisa: Lavender happens to be one of my favorite fragrances as well as color and I have begun planting some at my home.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I could just dive in that lavender field! I love this as I love fragrances, all sorts of sweet stuff.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Fascinating topic! Well done as always.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Justom: use your but I get you.

      Any plans for future hubs?

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      Luis, I'm still laughing at this one. It's a real stretch for me to see a photo of anything and think about it's scent. Just seems abstract to me. Nice try though :-) Peace!! Tom