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« Photographing Christmas Lights | Main | Using White Balance in Creative Ways »

Portrait tip

All of us have opportunities come up to shoot portraits of friends or relatives.  Often they come up unexpectedly, or on short notice.  And you think, "Quick!  Where can I shoot a picture with a nice background?"

 My suggestion is that thinking like a photographer at all times is the answer.  That is, always be observant as you go through your day.  This of course goes along with my suggestion to always carry a camera so you are ready when a great visual opportunity presents itself.  But beyond that, if you are allways on the lookout for interesting backgrounds, when you have to shoot a portrait on the spur of the moment, you are ready.

 Here's an example.  Yesterday, I was teaching a class, and we were walking through a shopping district, capturing images of holiday festivities.  While I was strolling along, I kept seeing these wonderful panels that had great color, and quirky graphics.


 And when an opportunity to shoot a portrait came up, I knew exactly what to do.  I headed for one of these panels, just a short distance away, and clicked the shutter.  

Here's the photograph.  I like it because it not only is a candid image, but also because it has a strong graphic feel and gives a sense of place.

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