Being the Background

My goal for this blog post is to get you thinking about the photos you take everyday.  Taking photos in the moment is different than when we take photos of the kids on the first day of school.  In the moment you really have to work with what is there.  But when you have even a few minutes of extra time think about your background.

For this exercise I used my very talented model Isabelle (my dog).  Now I did not edit any of the photos, including the final images.  I wanted to keep everything straight out of iPhone. But of course normally I would use my app PicTapGo.

This first image is a fence line we see often on the trail by my house.  It is a mix of all different kinds of salvaged wood. When you first look at this picture you see tires pilled high, the framework of a gazebo and a lone pallet.  But fear not this will be perfect.  The key is to remember you only need a part of this fence for your image.  I placed Isabelle about 2-3 feet in front of the fence.  I got down low to her level to ensure I got only fence in the background.  The two keys here are where you place your subject and moving yourself around to avoid distractions in the background.




Now this next shot is just a pole shed building.  But the color of the building is this amazing deep blue!  This building is a great example of a perfect background.  The amount of area is great for a family pic.  The consistency of the color of the background is great as well.  This helps to give a even tone to the background.  Where in the first example the background was more varigated with different shades of brown and red.  Now I will admit I wish I had taken this shot a little lower as to get more blue in the background.  But the color contrast is pretty sweet. You may notice the blue “leash” around her face.  This is not a muzzle it is called a Gentle Leader.  It is so amazing for those dogs who like to pull like they have a sled behind them!


The final example I did take Isabelle’s gentle leader off.  She was getting a little wild with rubbing her face into the grass.  Ugh.  In this example the wood fence mixed with the wild flowers is just stunning.  Had I placed Isabelle at the very top of this little hill far from the fence you would be able to see the houses and the large odd fence posts.  But by placing her close to the flowers and getting low I was able to make those disappear.


The next time you ask the kids to pose for a picture ( or in my case the dog) think about these things.

  1. Placement of your subjects.  If your first placement doesn’t work don’t be afraid to ask your subject to move.
  2. Your point of view.  Don’t be afraid to get on a chair, sit on the ground or move to the side.  By changing your point of view you can remove all the distractions from the background.
  3. Go on an adventure and try this soon!

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