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Improove your photos with the right background

This weeks tips is choosing great backgrounds for your photos.

Because sharing one tip per week gives you time to explore it, practice it and get comfortable with it.

You can take a great photo with great lighting but if your background is busy and cluttered or distracts from your subject you might not want to print or share the image.
One thing that helps me take my photography to the next level is choosing the background carefully.
With photographing toddlers, choosing the perfect background is not always possible. My top priority is always to capture the moment and the emotion as it happens. However, if I am planning a photo shoot, I will set all odds in my favor to create beautiful images for my family and my clients. I look for clean open spaces, even lighting and  complimenting colors.
So this weeks exercise is to look around for good backgrounds.

Look for large spaces with one texture or colour.

Side of a building
garage door
line of shaded trees
Blue sky
These are simple ways to create simplicity in your images and bring the focus back on your subject.

 Here a few examples

family photo Esquimalt BC

This was on a shoot by an abandoned train station. I was looking for a big open space to stretch the family out. The side of the station was all brick and open shade so I had great texture and color to work with.

Stairs are excellent for color, leading lines and texture. They also make it easier to photograph toddlers (less running away!)

I was going on a hike around Elk lake with my boys and I used the promise of licorice to convince them to pose for me:) I noticed a patch of reeds in the water and loved the brown tones. I placed G just so and caught this great shot. This was my fav of 15.
photo tip, backgrounds
This was taken on a walk along Victoria Harbor. I noticed this lovely retaining wall which was a perfect soft grey. Ideal for reflecting light and just enough texture to be interesting without distracting from B. Notice just a few inches from his face there is a spot of light. I made sure none of was over his face. (note the writing on the t-shirt, I usually try to pick clothes for my boys that don’t have logos or writing or strong patterns as they distract. This one was hard won though so it’s now part of the story)
So next time you are on an adventure with your kids, look around, find the coolest backgrounds and use them!
Please share you successes, frustrations and questions on Instagram with the hashtag #52weekstobetterphotos
Change your perspective, change your results!
Happy hunting!

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