Thursday, November 03, 2011

Capturing a Better Picture: Creating a Makeshift Backdrop

On Saturday I'll be hosting a "Fall Harvest Shoot" at my house here in Korea... and I've been super excited getting things ready/prepared for it. Lots of little details go into these things, because I want to try and have "different" looks for different photos (so that my clients receive crazy amounts of variety). Some people search high and low for a great shooting location, and although I tend to take my clients to some other favorite places of mine (that I searched high and low for), other times (such as in thisFall Harvest Shoot), I have to stick close to home, because I'll havefamilies arriving back to back to back. So many of you have beautiful backyards with gorgeous trees to take photos in... andyou should take advantage of that. Others, might not. So today, I just wanted to show you how you can set up some fun places to take pictures without creating something grand. Simplicity is often the KEY to a beautiful photo... after all, you don't want your eyes to go somewhere other than on your subject.

For an easy and yet fun look, I chose white paper lanterns up against an Oriental Maple Tree whose leaves are nearly all fallen off.

If your subject doesn't want to necessarily stand in front or near your prop... don't fight them (trust me on this one... it's no fun!) Instead, try and use your prop as a background blurred color or texture. In this case, it would have been more fun if the lanterns were a different color... but I just wanted to show you an example.

You can even try to shoot from above, and look down low... focus on the subject, or the prop... it'll make for a different shot...

Now lets try a different location...
Go from drab...

... to fab! I found some rogue tree branches, that I dug deep into the ground, and created a fun little banner... that I think will go with most of the colors that everyone is wearing. It adds a little pop to a dreary area.

and then just have FUN with it... staged poses don't always work out... in fact, most of the time, they don't. While some of you might like that... really, what are the odds that you're going to catch your subject with their "natural" smile, not blinking, etc if they're posed. Posed=odd... go for the natural... it's usually the one that tells a story...

Sometimes it's all about just a simple prop, and the right angle... remember, it doesn't always have to have a "smiling" face in order for it to be an interesting picture...

in fact, it's usually the ones that don't, that turn out to be some of the best.

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  1. I love them all especially the last one with that adorable skirt and apron. ~CB

  2. Haha I need to show this post to my husband. He thinks all pictures need to be smiley! So silly! :)

  3. oh my goodness!! I love all these photos! I like all the different angles + the different backdrops!! Stunning!

  4. I recently stumbled across your blog, and I'm in love! I really enjoyed this post as well! I am your newest follower :)