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Shooting beautiful shots anywhere: Michael's Challenge

January 3, 2019

       Finding a scenic background for a shoot can be challenging. Sometimes, the weather doesn’t cooperate, and studios or hotels to shoot in can be expensive, and maybe your home isn’t set up to accommodate a photoshoot. Finding ways to be creative with locations and thinking outside the box by seeking alternatives to shooting these locations can make all the difference.

       

      There are several tips for making an unusual location work. One, is really focusing on the wardrobe and styling of the shoot. Sometimes a boring location can be made exciting by a wonderful model in a stunning gown or really unique piece of jewelry, etc. Another tip is to shoot with shallow depth of field. Blurring out the background makes it easier to make things you don’t want to be as noticeable fade out.

       

    Sometimes, it works to make the location work for the theme, rather than trying to work against it. For example, if you have a beautiful fashion outfit and can’t find a good place to shoot it, sometimes going to somewhere abandoned or purposefully not matching like a gas station or run down motel can make for a really interesting shot.

 

    For this particular blog, I thought it would be great to do the Michaels’ challenge. A lot of people have been really getting creative with taking this random location and making it look amazing. So, I grabbed the camera and took a lovely model Emily out to Michaels and grabbed some great shots.  

 

    One of the main things I tried to keep in mind with all the shots was really focusing on my model and not getting just a wide shot of someone in a store. Part of the challenge is to make the photo look unique and figure out how to take photos that you wouldn’t even know happened in the middle of a craft store. Some really great things about the Michaels store was not only were there a variety of flowers for great backdrops and props, but there were also a lot of fall and Halloween decor to play with.

           

      We utilized all of the great fake flowers and Halloween decor and I really focused on organizing them around the model to make it look as full and dense as possible, and attempt to block out the shelves or price tags. I also used the patch tool and cloning in Photoshop just to take care of anything that looked out of place. For a couple of the shots, I went more with playing up the fact that we were in the store and utilizing the ribbon as an interesting focus point and even a stock ladder.

 

Check out some of the shots we got…

 

 Here we used a flower wreath to get a stunning up close headshot.

Putting some flowers in front of the camera lens provides some interesting depth to the photos (while also blocking out some unsightly shelves)  

Adding gradient layers can add some extra color and a ethereal look to your photos.

Beautiful flowers even in the dead of winter. 

 

 Here we lined up all the unicorn tutus and boas for costumes as a back drop and used this cute little fake lollipop. 

 

 

 Making use of this ladder and hat we found. Sometimes instead of fighting to hide your setting, just working with it can lead to some cool shots.

 

 

     Emily and I had a blast creating these images! The Michael's Challenge is super fun and these are just a few of the amazing shots we got. Definitely think that we are going to take this idea and challenge ourselves even more to shoot in even more unlikely places this year. Happy 2019!  

 

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8513 N. Zionsville Road Indianapolis, IN 46268 · emily@sparkartphoto.com · 317.228.9080