portrait photography tips

Are you in a photo funk?

There is nothing better than setting yourself a project. I used to do it more but now im so busy I haven’t prioritised any projects and you know what… im going to change that! Nothing gives more of a creative boost than shooting for yourself, when you are paid to do a job its different….. you can’t practice on a job, you can’t let loose creatively, you always have the client in mind while shooting because frankly they are paying you and you want to deliver! In-between jobs its so important to practice and challenge yourself creatively. Push yourself out of that creative funk and try something out of the box and new - you might just love it.

So here is a little project I set myself before heading back to Australia. I wanted to document all the people in my life that we loved and had an impact on our 3.5years living in London. I didn’t put this on the wall when we got to Australia because I didn’t get to photograph everyone, I was so annoyed I didn’t give myself more time. But thats what happens when you move countries.

Maybe this is something you can do for yourself? Do you have a group of friends you adore and want to capture this time in your life? Why not try this out at home?

Friends are the family we choose

Friends are the family we choose

What you need?

  • A black sheet (colour of choice)

  • White tac (to hold the sheet up)

  • A window

  • Daylight

  • A tripod

  • Put your chair close enough to the window that your subject is lit up

  • In hindsight i’d ask my friends not to wear black

  • It works better if you do it in the same spot with the same chair and same lighting

  • Have a an early dinner party and get everyone relaxed with some good food and wine

Have fun with this! Ask friends to bring a prop if it means something to them and you. Have all your exposures ready to go so that when they sit down you can be quick and capture those awkward laughs and smiles. I really loved putting this together and cherish these portraits a LOT. I just wished Id had more time to capture everyone.

Why not give this a go? Maybe with your family? Your pets?

Get outta ya funk and create something that means something to you.

Britt x



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:

Ben&Kara Aug18-165.jpg

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.

engagement-photography-north-brisbane

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.
 

family-photo-brisbane

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.  

Family-photographer-brisbane

DIRECT!

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.

mother-son-portrait

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.

Brisbane-baby-bump-photography

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