Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Finding the Perfect Photo Backdrop

It's getting to be picture time again. The weather is perfect, kids are almost out of school, seniors are about to graduate. Whether it's time for family pictures, senior pictures or maybe even wedding pictures, you want to have the perfect backdrop.

One of the first things you need to do when picking a photo backdrop is deciding on the style of picture you want. Urban or rustic, classy or casual, colorful or neutral? This also has a lot to do with your family's personality. You aren't going to like a picture with lots of graffiti in the back ground if you're more or a classy, elegant type of family.

Keep your eye out as you drive around your town. There are a lot of hidden gems. We have a lot of fun colored walls around our town and those are a lot of fun to work with. But we also have orchards, grassy fields, a lake, mountains, and a lot of pretty parks. Most people don't think twice about these places as a good place for pictures, but as a photographer, you sometimes see things a little differently. I see a tall grassy field and immediately try to think of a family I could take pictures of in it.


Look in your own yards. This wall is my mother in law's shed. Maybe you have one like this, or maybe you have some really great brick. Maybe you just have a cool fence you can sit by.

These are all the side of businesses around town. If you watch around and notice buildings as you're driving by or even just as you're walking into the store, A lot of businesses have some kind of cool feature to them. I love the tiled wall. It's fun because it adds a lot of character. The off white wall is great for neutralizing the picture and tying all the colors together, the red wall is great for a pop of color. I especially love it with this white wedding dress. 

This graffitied wall is at an old steel mill that is no longer in use. You have to know where it is to use it, but it's always a fun place to take couples. For places like this, I wouldn't recommend small children, there are lots of places to fall down or get hurt. 

This barn door is at a park. Some parks are hard to photograph because there are lots of people and houses and sometimes they're not very pretty places to use, but this barn has been used a lot. 

       Orchards, Fields, Parks...

Orchards are always a good way to go. They have beautiful flowers in the spring, look healthy and green in the summer, have amazing color in the fall, and have a romantic look in the snow. I've seen countless orchard pictures, and they always look amazing.

This one was a little out of town for me but, my sister in law's favorite color is purple, and it was also her wedding color. So where else but a lavender field? This is owned by a big business so we, of course, got permission and paid to do pictures there. And it was well worth the drive and the money. These pictures turned out amazing. They are probably still some of my favorite portrait pictures I have ever taken. The colors and the lighting is absolutely perfect for this beautiful, romantic vibe. 

This is one on my uncle's property. He has a nice big grassy field which can be perfect for something simple to add with a lot of fun bright colors. 

          Use Props

Bring a prop or find one around you. I brought this great old chair. Some people hate it, but I've always loved it. It makes a great prop for any kind of picture. It adds character and gives me a way to pose the person easier. 

This tree ended up making a great prop. It was really cool and bent in great ways. It gave me something to break the photo up. I can have people sit or stand on it, and have others stand behind or around it. 

         Change the angle

These are all great examples of using your surroundings. In public places, it can be hard to get great pictures because there are a lot of people around, cars, buildings etc. So sometimes you just need to look at it at a different angle. Turn your body a little, use the rule of thirds, zoom up. 

     Ask around

If you are still having a hard time looking for the perfect place to take your pictures, ask you photographer. They have probably taken pictures in so many different places. And, if they are like me, they are always looking for new places to take pictures at. They will definitely have some ideas for you. 

Ask a friend where they last had their pictures taken and then check out a few of their locations. Even if the location is the same, the picture will be different. 

Remember that any time you want to take pictures on someone else's property, to ask permission. Some times their may be a fee involved. You need to make sure you're doing your homework before you schedule a photo session at any particular place. 

What is your favorite kind of photo background?

Do you like black and white, or color photos best?

When is your favorite time of year to take pictures?

I own the rights to all of these photos, as I am the photographer. It is illegal to use someone else's content as your own. Please be respectful of me and my work. 


  1. Good list of backdrops...thanks for the inspiration.

  2. 'Tis the season for weddings! All great ideas!

  3. My favorite backgrounds are parks - lots of green and I don't have to worry about keeping it alive and looking pretty!