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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Photography: Angles, Part I

Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Noooo. Just kidding.
I am constantly learning and my goal here with photography posts is to share what I have learned through my experiences or have been taught or have read with you so you may learn how to make a better photograph.

This post is about using the background to tell more of the story. Backgrounds can either be a distraction or a vital part of the story. A lot of times when I am shooting a portrait, I get in close to eliminate anything which may take away the focus from my subject. This results in a tight shot. Like this:
Bethany's youngest cutie-patootie
However, you (as a photographer) will become bored looking at the same kind of shots over and over. Not to mention that some of us might not be as fond of such a close-up of ourselves. Why can't chipmunk cheeks be cute in adulthood?

So my challenge or tip for you all to try is to pull back a bit and consider including important background elements.

This was not only the first day of school, but their first time riding a school bus. A simple smiling shot with new backpacks would not suffice.

This is Christmas morning and lucky us! Santa left presents and a thank you note for the cookies. Ahhhh. Mexico. Our first vacation (won by my awesome salesman, hubby of mine) without children in nine years. Sunshine, a cabana, frozen fruity drinks, beautiful blue water and palm trees. This shot takes me right back there...
It can even work for a family portrait, as seen here:
Aren't my nieces adorable? I give all the credit to my super sweet SIL, Kristin.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have questions. I always appreciate your comments!


  1. nice post, the key is to make the background blend in to the photo and to tell part of the story. If the background is not a part of the story then get rid of it.

    I love the school bus shot.

  2. Well said Liss! If I was as eloquent as your comment, I could've saved myself a lot of typing! (;

    P.S. I LOVE your photography blog!

  3. your pictures are so beautiful, they gave me chills. seriously!

  4. Nice work Ms. Not-A-Professional! Who says?! Your beach shot is so fabulous, I hope to see it enlarged in your den. And the school bus shot is JUST right! Not to mention that cute baby you scrounged up somewhere... I will take these tips gratefully to heart. :)

  5. i loooooove the plate of cookies or lack there of shot, great focus!

  6. Very interesting information and it really does work so well! Good job!


Thanks for leavin' some love!