Friday, February 21, 2014

Backgrounds in images!

So the headshot session I talked about a few weeks ago reminded me of another good point. That is, the background you may or may not want in your image and how it would have an effect on the shoot and maybe budget. I attached an example, but I'll get to that a bit later.

So for a few clients I've had to work with them on locations because they needed to have something specific in the background, or they wanted to do something in their office. This is fine, I have no issues at all working on location, and no issues at all trying to make things look great. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location, and when thinking about the shoot.

For example, although not shoot related. I'm working in my day job at a office building in the burbs in the aftermath of the blizzard we just had. Thankfully, for a few more days, I have a desk with a window view. Now, when I'm working the window is great, it's nice to see the outside, weather, so on. I don't really pay attention to the parking lot of cars, power lines, or huge snowdrifts that may or may not detract from the view. If I were smarter I'd say that the way our minds process images in person let's us get distracted and not see what we would be distracted by in photographs, but I'm not sure.

This holds true for clients, their office may or may not be a great place to do a job and they need to look at it not from their point of view or even their clients point of view, but from a photographers point of view. So some of the things to look around for are distractions out of the windows, power lines, cars, other buildings, signs, everything really that could pull the eye away. Sometimes, it may not be much and things work out, other times we're really in a battle to make things work. Just depends on the view and what's behind you.

Also, as far as senior pictures and portfolio shoots, a lot of people I feel get attached to a lot of locations that in a photo just don't work out - or don't workout with out work. For example, the Minneapolis river front is a wonderful place to go visit, walk through, sit around having a drink, and it's pretty romantic. The Stone Arch Bridge is wonderful, and a great place to go for a walk. However, the banks aren't always clean, and not to mention the powerlines that go down the river there. Those lines, although it can be done, aren't always fun to take out. Plus, it's usually busy with other people and the shot may or may not have others in the background. So, although a great place to shoot, a lot could be done at a less busy city park if the skyline or bridges weren't really important in the shot.

Finally, the picture I posted was shot in the studio and a background plopped in. I wanted to do a winter shoot this year and winter just kept on kicking our butts with cold and snow that I had to do it this way. It can be done, but it's sometimes more fun to be outside when shooting outside, however with somewhat careful studio shooting a person can be extracted and put on a background which is always an option. Well, and I just wanted to share that pic anyway.

Andrew Thomas Evans

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