Photography Tips: Be Aware of Your Background

December 5, 2012

Have you ever had a photo were the background looked so dull that it actually distracted from your subject instead of enhancing it?

Even though shooting at a larger aperture helps blur the background, sometimes blurring the background isn’t always enough. Better yet, you might not even want the background to be overly blurry because it can add to the ambience. Sometimes shooting AWAY from something is just as important as shooting toward your subject.

If you’re ever shooting a subject whether it be a person or an object such as the wedding cake demonstrated below, take a look at your background. Determine whether or not it adds to the photo’s “story” or distracts from it.   If it’s not what you’re looking for, switch your perspective and get BEHIND the subject and shoot outward. That way you’re shooting away from whatever is boring or bothersome and thus creating a better focal point for your subject.

Look at the difference below. This is the same wedding cake shot at two different perspectives. One is directly toward the cake as it sits in front of a wall. The other is shooting away from the wall and out toward the room. The amount of impact given to the cake is altered depending on which perspective you like the best.

So when shooting on the fly and you don’t like the background, simply turn in the opposite direction (if possible) and shoot away from the background. You might find a world of difference in your photos.

Happy snapping!

Example 1: Shooting toward the wall (snooze fest!)

Example 2: Turning the cake around and shooting outward (much more exciting!)

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  • Kasey
    December 7, 2012 10:45 pm

    Thank you for the tip!!!!

  • Michelle West
    December 7, 2012 11:32 pm

    Very good point. Sometimes I’m so busy trying to get what’s IN the shot to notice what’s behind my subject.

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