Thorson Photo School: Background
Since having a baby (Hold on did I mention I’ve had a baby? Only like a million times) I’ve had a lot of friends say things like “Oh you’re so lucky to have all these beautiful photos of Walt” and “I wish I could take beautiful photos of my baby too”. Well you’re in luck, I’m going to show you how! The principles I’m going to teach you will also work with lots of different subjects, so even if you don’t have children this is for you. Today we’re going to be talking about backgrounds, it’s probably one of the simplest ways to improve your photos quickly. With a phone we have no control over aperture (the thing that makes the background fuzzy and out of focus) and so the easiest way to make your subject stand out is to keep the background plain, think blank walls or bedspreads. The images I’m going to be using today as examples are taken of Walt laying on our couch, it’s a little textured, but nothing over the top. The other thing to think about is light, I’ll be going into more detail on this subject in a later post, so for now make sure you choose a location that is well lit and where the light is even. Shady spots are usually best, avoid really bright locations by windows. Also remember to tap on your subjects face on the screen, this insures you get a correct exposure, the more information you give your phone about what it’s photographing the better your images will be. 1. Don’t be afraid to take lots of photos, you know all those people you follow on Instagram? The ones who have amazing photos? Most likely they took 30 or more photos to get that one perfect shot (I took more than pictured below). 2. Choose your favourite. 3. Edit. Now I know this can be intimidating, but what’s the worst thing that happens? You make it look worse than it did originally? Fun fact: you can just start again! To start off with you’ll want a good app. I personally use the VSCO app because I love the look of film it gives you and also the editing control. The easiest place to start is with a preset, T1 is my favourite VSCO colour preset. Next I change the temperature, sharpen, adjust the exposure and do a couple of other little tricks. I’ll go more into detail another day when we focus on editing, for now just experiment a little on your own. 4. Final image. The key points to remember are choose a simple background so your subject is the focus and make sure you’re photographing in even light. I’d love to see how you go with your photos, if you post them to social media make sure you use the #thorsonphotoschool hashtag.