brisbane photographer

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



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

What's my holiday camera choice?

(n.) A strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world

Slow down, look around.  The view isn't the only thing worth documenting.

Slow down, look around.  The view isn't the only thing worth documenting.

Keep your camera ready and with you at all times.

Keep your camera ready and with you at all times.

If you are like me you have a strong case of the Wanderlusts and there is NO cure.  All you can do is dream of your next holiday, save your pennies and actually print photos of your previous holidays, hang them on the wall and appreciate them!!!!  

Someone asked me a question today and it was "what camera/s do I use on holiday"  and at first I didn't know how to reply as it really does depend on the kind of holiday I am going on.  But then I started reflecting on my absolute favourite images that I treasure from past holidays.  Why do I treasure them?  What camera did I take? What did I like about that camera?  hmmmm

This image currently and proudly hangs on my wall...

This image currently and proudly hangs on my wall...

This is where Tuscany comes into the picture.  I have to say I could fill my house with the images I took of Tuscany.  Why?  Well it was a bunch of stuff really.  The holiday was with close friends, we had the best time, the place is paradise seriously, paradise and I took a no fuss 35mm film camera with me.  It was a little semi automatic Contax.  

Some of the images I got back were miss I have to be honest but the ones I hit were AMAZING and atmospheric and glorious and there was no editing!!!!! WIN WIN

  I hang them all around my house and even in my kitchen.  

It's not that I don't like my digital camera but taking it on a long international holiday is just too difficult - I can't relax and concentrate on being on holiday, I'm too worried about my camera either killing my shoulder or getting damaged. 

I also get stuck in this weird "I have to take a photo of everything because I can" headspace and I miss out on the experience. (And walk into a lot of poles or do that really embarrassing half trip thingy which is WAY more embarrassing than actually tripping... and you know what I'm talking about...)

Boy do I love this image.

Boy do I love this image.

So film slows me right down.....  I have to think about every shot I take because...  1) you just can't rush it, exposures have to be spot on.  2) It costs $$$ every time I press that shutter.

The bonus about this is...... I only take a photo if the light is exactly right and it means something, every shot has a purpose and a memory attached to it. 

I like that.  Its not about showing every single moment with my camera pressed to my face and missing out on living those moments to the full, its about capturing a feeling or amazing light hitting a leaf or even a vintage clothes line at sunset :).

The memories are in the sometimes quirky details...

The memories are in the sometimes quirky details...

When you get back from holiday guess what?! You have the pleasure of waiting for that film to come back and you get to relive your holiday all over again!!!  Its the BEST I totally recommend it.  

 I am by no way a camera guru.  I have just found what works for me by googling the hell out of topics such as "what is the best 35mm film camera to take on holiday" etc etc haha. I also have a fabulous Canon 1V that I adore and take away with me too but she's a biggin so be prepared to have some physio when you get back.  Really at the end of the day choosing a holiday camera is totally up to you, just do your research before you choose, when you get it read that manual back to from once you get to your holiday destination.... remember to slow down and take it all in.  

Feel free to email me if you have any questions and I will by all means try and help if i can.

Hope you have enjoyed this chat about holiday and film cameras.  And if you are a fellow "wanderluster-er" I feel your pain!