6 Practical Tips - Framing & Composition

 This shot was interesting.  I had to move around them and shoot down to get this beautiful angle at the same time eliminating a distracting background. I absolutely love this image because its all about them.

This shot was interesting.  I had to move around them and shoot down to get this beautiful angle at the same time eliminating a distracting background. I absolutely love this image because its all about them.

If you ever get the chance to follow me on a photoshoot it's hilarious.  I'm walking around the subject, in and out, stepping away, stepping back in again.  It looks like I'm all over the place but there is a method to my madness.  I'm trying to find the 'sweet spot', the perfect frame & composition for my subject because I know that if I don't get it right it could ruin the image.  I also don't use zoom lenses so I literally have to move my body to crop in camera (cropping in Lightroom or Photoshop is something I try and avoid at all costs but that's another subject.  If you are having trouble with this you might need to read my post below on focussing issues).  

You can have the most beautiful scenery, gorgeous couple in stunning clothes but that means nothing if you can't compose their image well.  On the other hand you could have a boring backdrop and actually nail some really stunning images.  A lot of it is working with what you have and making the most of it.

There are so many things to take into consideration when composing a visually beautiful image but with practice it is possible to do well at any location.  

Things to think of:

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Fill up your frame

Don't be afraid to get closer to your subject and fill up your frame with their gorgeousness.  It's eye-catching & timeless.  You get a dramatic image despite the background.


Literally Frame

Use what you have around you to make a frame for your subject and they then they will be the focus of your image - as they should be.


Distracting Backgrounds

This one was almost a miss.  But I managed to see the tree in the background in time and move my position so that no one was growing branches from their heads.  



Your subject is trusting you to put them in the best light, frame & angle so if its not working move either yourself or your subject.  Don't be afraid to speak up you will thank yourself later and so will they.


Off Centre Framing

I love to break the rules and put someone smack bang in the middle of a frame but when you move them to the side it creates a lot more drama.  Just remember to think about where you put the space.... it should always be in the direction they are looking.  Like above.


Shoot Through

Use what you have around you to create something interesting and unique.  Shoot through grass, branches, flowers, what ever is available.  Think outside the box.

Living in Brisbane has been a challenge with regards to locations.... interesting locations.  Its a beautiful city don't get me wrong but its not a dramatic one.  So I have learnt the art of using the background as a pastel backdrop to enhance my subject, its not really about where I am.  Would I rather amazing mountains and waterfalls and beaches on my doorstep, YES I would, but I don't have that so I work with what I have and that is amazing light, something a lot of photographers would die for.  The moral of the story, use what you have and do it really well.  Composing your subject beautifully is incredibly important and takes some skill but you can do it with practice and patience no matter where you live! Bx



Camera basics - Sunny 16 Rule

 My friend Lisa taken on a medium format film camera. {London}

My friend Lisa taken on a medium format film camera. {London}

Can I just say I am NOT A CAMERA NERD.  I don't like talking about cameras and lenses and apertures.  It makes me feel all icky inside.  But I understand that sometimes I need to push myself outta my creative comfort zone and talk nerd.  Just don't expect it too much ok.

So my first SLR was such an exciting purchase for me.  FINALLY I can take some amazing photos because I have this professional camera right?  I'll be a photographer in no time! Everyone will be so jealous of my photos right? Nope.  Roll after roll of film I got back I was so disappointed. Whhhhyyyyyyy am I not getting amazing results waaaaahhhh?  *insert emoji pulling hair out while chucking tanty*

The first mistake most of us make is not realising that a new camera is going to do crap all if we don't know how to utilise the beast first.  We HAVE to first understand the relationships between Aperture/Shutterspeed/ISO and how they affect each other.  Don't worry about anything else until you get this right.  Seriously stop playing with the "scene" mode or I'll smack you.....

 From DIY Photography 

From DIY Photography 

Soooooo I'm not here to teach you how to use your camera today.  I just wanted to share this cool - Sunny 16 Rule.  If you grew up with film cameras you might of heard of it or if you are a complete geek you might of but most probably wouldn't of because its really a film photography term.  BUT saying that it totally works on digital cameras too.  

Whats the point of it?  Well back in the day when everyone had film cameras they didn't have light meters like we have now.  We tend to click and look at screen, then adjust our settings.  Nothing wrong with that but it doesn't help with getting to know our equipment - you know I'm right.  Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you were a bit faster.....  didn't have to adjust your settings 5 times to get it right?   Well film photographers could do that, they knew what settings to use in different lighting situations - because they had to.  

The good news is.......you CAN do this too!  On a sunny day go outside and start with setting your ISO to 100, Shutter to 100 & Aperture to f/16.  

Have a play around with it.  See what happens if you decrease the aperture number 5 stops and increase the shutter number by the same......Its not as hard as it sounds.  Give it a go.  You'll be SO wrapped with yourself its seriously a cool exercise.  You'll be having Oprah moments I promise (ah haaaa, stay with me).

The chart you see above is not mine its from the DIY Photography site.  I recommend clicking on the link and having a read its really interesting.  He takes you through all the steps of getting a good exposure without looking at the back of your camera once.  Its a really good way to get your head around aperture/shutter/iso relationships.  

How about getting your camera out today and having a play.  Let me know how you go.


Bump Shoots - What to wear?

So I thought I'd just check out what ASOS had in the way of maternity dresses today.  I was pleasantly surprised by what they had, a good mixture of romantic and quirky.  I especially loved the prices, very reasonable.  

Thought you might like some inspiration, no rules here just soft suggestions for you to think about when choosing a drop dead gorgeous dress.  

My Top Ten guide when choosing bump dresses are as follows:

  1. Black is bad or any dark colour.  You can't see your bump and it gives no shape.
  2. White is ok, even better is white lace because it gives texture and softness that 'just white' doesn't do.  
  3. Pattern is fine if its small and not distracting. You don't want your dress to outshine the bump!
  4.  Flowy is good because it means a) you will be comfortable during your shoot and b) it adds an extra dimension to your images with movement and c) its really pretty.
  5. Off the shoulder is pretty and feminine and also suits most shapes.
  6. Ties around the waist like wrap dresses are awesome because you can adjust as you like and it gives you a lovely silhouette.
  7. SHAPE, it's all about shape - you know this already it's just a reminder.  You want a dress that compliments your shape, sometimes just adding a belt makes all the difference.
  8. Pastels are very feminine and flattering, think soft pinks, apricot, grey, green.... 
  9. The first 4 long dresses are my favourite simply because I'm a sucker for long dresses, I think they add a bit of romance and really pretty movement. 
  10. HOT TIP...... Choose a dress that you love and more importantly choose style over fashion and you will love your images for ever!


My top pics from ASOS today & why...


- Colour perfect
- Self Pattern perfect
- Romantic
- Flowy/room to move
- Adjustable waist!



Very romantic
Off the shoulder - lovely
Colour is gorgeous
Lace detail adds subtle interest
Flowy goodness



This dress is gorgeous
Especially if you like your arms
Lovely waist definition
Flowy Skirt
Great Colour
Beautiful simple details
Just buy it
And the flower crown


Flowy fun 

We can have fun with the movement of this dress
Colour is fabulous
Off the shoulder is very flattering
In at the waist gives shape


Cute & fun 

Shape is lovely
Pattern is not distracting
Its fun
Colour is lovely

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Colour wow

- Colour gorgeousness
- Flowy but still has shape
- Full sleeves are flattering
- If you like your legs this is great
- Could team with tights and boots for winter



Sweet little number
Love the belt!
Off the shoulder is very flattering and breaks up the white
Movement in the skirt


Retro Cute

Colour is spot on!
Love this cute little dress with the puff sleeves
Waist definition
High neck, on trend
Great if you like your legs! 



Very modest dress
Sequence adds a bit off elegance
Colour is spot on and flattering
Waist definition is pretty good
Flowy sleeves are sweet

What Not To Wear

Some things to think about when choosing dresses.  Try not to choose a dress that:

  • has a large distracting pattern
  • too dark
  • no shape