5 Tips for Taking Good Portraits in Ugly Locations

A lot of the time, you have complete control over a portrait, including where you take it and thus, the background that complements your subject(s). But in other situations (wedding photography, for example), you do not get much of a choice and may be stuck with a boring, distracting, or simply unpleasing background. If that is the case, this helpful video tutorial will give you five tips for still making professional portraits. 

Coming to you from Katelyn James, this great video tutorial will show you how to take good portraits in bad locations. Unfortunately, you can't always get a good background and you have to make do with what you have been given, but I think it is important to remember how differently a photo can be rendered versus what is seen by the naked eye. It only takes a very small patch of something interesting or aesthetically pleasing to serve as a backdrop (particularly if you are using a long lens) and a bit of careful angling and composition, so even the most boring or ugly environments can generally produce good photos with a bit of patient scouting. Check out the video above for the full rundown from James. 

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2 Comments

Jan Holler's picture

Some good basic advice. But I wonder why there is no mention about using light and shadows? Why not using diffusers under the bright sun light, why not using high powered mobile flashes on stands with modifiers, why no card boards? This would allow to separate the subject(s) from an ugly background as well.

g coll's picture

Unfortunately her photos are awfully over-exposed. This shouldn't be a style choice, it's just poor post-processing.