#FiveSensePhoto: Going Beyond the Visual

#FiveSensePhoto: Going Beyond the Visual

When it comes to photography, one of the five senses immediately comes to mind: sight.

We all know photography is so much more than that. Sure, as a photographer, you look through the viewfinder and capture the world around you. In creating your photograph, you’re producing an image for your eyes – and the eyes of others – to enjoy. But photography has the power to go beyond the visual.

Ever come across a photo of a loaded cheeseburger, one that looks so good it makes your mouth water? For the Instagram generation, the camera always eats first. The belief here is that our friends, families and more importantly our followers deserve to “taste” this cheeseburger too. It becomes a shared experience.

Longing to relive your favorite music festival? When you start to see promotional materials for this year’s line-up, you can’t help but get excited. Exceptional imagery allows you to “hear” the music and the crowds all over again.

The same sensory experiences crop up when you come across photos of a crowd going wild after a game-winning touchdown or a shot of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. You get the idea.

One of the many things we love about photography is that it has the power to activate all five of our senses. As one of my first projects here, I wanted to challenge my fellow PhotoShelter employees to go through their archives with a new lens. Below are some of my favorites.


Chris Owyoung – Product Lead and Part-time Paparazzi to His Kids

“This shot is from a series of photos I made for Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem. His team needed images for marketing and social media that highlighted signature dishes and seasonal items like this amazing grilled corn. This shot was taken next to the huge bank of windows at the front of the restaurant. Using available light allowed me to work quickly with a very small footprint.”


Kristin Twiford – Content Marketing Manager and Accidental NYC Tour Guide

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving (I know, it’s supposed to be stuffing or sweet potatoes or something food-related but I’ve just always loved the parade), and I finally got to go a couple of years ago. My mom and I woke up at 4 am to get a spot on the front row. You wait in the cold for hours, making friends with your neighbors and counting down to the moment Tom Turkey finally starts moving down Central Park West. Once it starts it’s total sensory overload. The music changes every few minutes with each new group, but the energy is constant. Everyone’s smiling and dancing, and the excitement is contagious.”


Caroline Summers – Account Executive and Chef, Chauffeur and Life Coach to Her Family

“I was sitting on the edge of the dock at the lake at sunset – my favorite place at my favorite time of day, Lake Martin in Alabama. The sunsets are always so much more magnificent over the water and that evening it was especially spectacular as it painted the water gold in the fading light.”


David Welker –  Account Executive and Aspiring British Bake Off Contestant

“This photo was taken in 2017 in my Brooklyn apartment. I got really into baking for a bit and tried perfecting the lattice. I think this is one of the more ‘perfect’ ones I made during that time.”


Caitlyn Edwards – Marketing Associate and Resident Dog Expert

“In November of 2016, I snapped this while waiting for my laundry to dry. The leaves had just started to fall and I went for a walk to kill time, stumbling across this killer lighting in the process. In the process of lining up the shot (admittedly on my iPhone) someone walked by and I knew I’d nailed it. I upped the contrast and immediately converted it to black and white to amplify the drama. It’s still one of my favorite shots to date because it’s so rare Brooklyn looks this deserted.”

We’d love to see your sensory overload photos on Instagram, so be sure to use #FiveSensePhoto to show them off. We’ll be keeping tabs on the hashtag and our favorite will be featured on our feed on Saturday, March 30!

Want more hashtag inspiration? Check out our latest guide – The 2019 Photographer’s Guide to Instagram Hashtags.

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This article was written by

Jeremy is the Integrated Marketing Manager at PhotoShelter, dedicated to connecting with our creative community and sharing inspiring stories.

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