Wednesday 30 August 2017

Photography Backdrops on Your Doorstep

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I've been blogging for a few years now, but I won't lie, one thing I still struggle with is finding a perfect backdrop for my fashion photography. I often got by in the early days in my bedroom or back garden with a tripod, but since moving to a city and being in rented flats with small bedrooms and no gardens, I've had to learn the art of scouting locations. Today's post, brought to you by Panasonic, features a few of my suggestions for places you can find in just about any city...

First, let's talk the plan of attack. I like to take my photographer (which sounds fancy and all but I really mean my boyfriend or sister), my camera, and me. I like to have a camera that fits in my bag but isn't just a simple shoot-and-point, such as the Panasonic Compact System Camera, one that I can change the lenses but they still aren't heavy and don't take up a huge amount of space. You will be walking around with it after all. No tripod or multiple lenses here, because 1. You have to lug them around, and 2. It draws way more attention to you - I can deal with a few glances on the street, but I like to remain as inconspicuous as possible! I also like to pick locations that aren't super crowded, which is why it's good to think of a few options ahead of time. It means you can head to a location, quickly whip out a camera and take your shots, and then scoot off again. You may think city = busy but that isn't always the case, and it's so worth taking the time to scout out some quiet and photogenic spots. So, here are my tips!

Street art >> Most cities have some form of street art somewhere. In my hometown of Glasgow you can find huge murals scattered throughout the buildings, but here in Dundee we have this long stretch of pathway covered in graffiti art. A decorated wall gives you a background of interest that can either give you colour when you have none in your outfit, or that plays with the colours you're wearing. The great thing about this particular spot is that the artwork changes all the time, so there are endless backgrounds!

Side streets >> Lots of cities have side streets, whether they are narrow and brick-laden or picturesque detours. Both are great for shooting in, and mean that you are less likely to have someone walking into your shot! You can simply use the privacy to shoot up against the wall, or stand in the middle of the pavement with the walls on either side, with the camera pointing straight down the street. It gives a sense of symmetry which can look really pretty in fashion photography. The street I shot in isn't the most gorgeous of settings (hello Irn Bru can shoved in the wall), but I wanted to prove that even an interesting colour split on a wall can lend itself to great photos!

Stairs >> A blogger classic, right? Stairs are a great way to play about with poses - you can stand on them, sit, be stood in front of them so they're used as a backdrop, the list is endless. You could use steps found indoors, or ones on buildings outside! And even the stairs themselves can change your vibe - they could be a whole range of things from a grand entrance to a fancy building or a grungy-looking fire escape. You can also play with perspectives here, with your photographer/Instagram husband varying the heights that you take your shots at.

Interesting buildings >> Buildings are a perfect city backdrop, and perhaps the easiest way to mix up your photos. Think of old intricate architecture, modern glass-front buildings, or even something kind of quirky like the one used in my pictures here. This is a building made of old shipping containers, which gives both a modern and rustic vibe, and the bright pops of yellow add some interest.

So, there are my four options of places I think anyone should be able to find in their city. As you can see, I decided to keep the one outfit on just to show you guys how the vibe of each location could switch up the vibe of the post. Thanks again to Panasonic for working with me on this post, and I hope this helped some of you! Leave your suggestions of blogging backdrops below!

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