Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taking Photographs in the Backyard

Whether you are wanting to take some family photos at a get-together or you want some greenery for your prom photo backdrop, anyone with a camera needs to look no further than your backyard.

Backyards are either nonexistent, concrete city jungles or luscious greenery filled with country-esque decoration. It doesn't matter which you have because you can utilize any and everything in the backyard for the perfect photography location.

For instance, look no further than your driveway. Do you, friends, or a family member drive an visually attractive vehicle? Go for portrait pictures with the vehicle.

Angela came over with her Mustang, so we took a few edgy photographs. The car was inspiration enough with its sleek black paint job and shiny rims. Get creative by asking your subject to lay across the hood or kneel in front of the car grill to give the photo a different look.

Also, you can use any fences, walls, or buildings as backdrops for your photos. A brick wall isn't a background that lacks creativity if you use it right.

Take pictures with your subjects sitting in front of the backdrop, or if you have the opportunity try for a unique pose where your subject peeks behind the wall. It's a little mischievous.

Vinyl home siding, cinder block-built walls, wooden and wire fencing all can contribute to a great photograph.

Finally, look for one distinct item that you have in your backyard. Items to think about: birdbaths, statues, windmills, fountains, shrubbery, flowering trees and bushes, and lights (just to name a few.)

I was fortunate enough to have a decorative light pole to use. To utilize the length of the pole, I laid down in the grass to get this shot. Sometimes you've got to be willing to get dirty to get a decent shot. Be sure to look in your viewfinder to check out the right angles on your object, but don't be afraid to snap other angles to try them out. Sometimes the accidental shot or the shot just-for-fun is the best of the bunch.

Another shot (I haven't been able to do yet) is to do a semi-closeup on someone lying down in grown-out grass or weeds. The photographer would be lying in the grass at face level with the subject and shooting through the individual blades of grass or weeds. Grass is nothing extraordinary for a photography shoot, but with the right angle and creativity it could be a beautiful shot. Remember if you are going to try this photo to focus on the subject's eyes and no where else.

I'll try it out and let everyone know how it went.

Don't be afraid to take chances and to use anything and everything to enhance your photographs background. The only bit of advice I can offer you is to watch out for distractions in the background when the focus is your subject. Portrait photos do not need to be overly busy, but can have some additions to add more for the eye to see. When there are too many things going on at once in a photograph, your eyes get lost and you can miss the most important person, the subject!

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  1. I think taking photos in the backyard is a great idea. You have a great eye and I like the peek behind the wall photo.

  2. You have some very creative ideas for backgrounds to use! I never thought about using a brick wall as one. I will definitely have to take a picture with someone standing in front or behind one!