Photographer Bambi Cantrell on Creating Extraordinary Backgrounds

Bambi Cantrell


Guest writer and pro photographer Bambi Cantrell teaches us how to create extraordinary backgrounds from ordinary objects for your photography shoots.

Ever have one of those days when you arrive at a photo shoot, have awesome models, great fun props, incredible gowns and then… the background doesn’t seem to match the theme?

I had just that experience when photographing for Metropolitan Bride Magazine. Thanks to Dawn Shields, owner of Metropolitan Bride, I had the best in makeup artist, wedding gowns, beautiful brides and a very interesting location, with one exception. The hair designer had gone to great lengths to create these amazing floral pieces for the hair, and the background (an amazing brick wall) was just too busy to feature these wonderful headpieces.

I had to think a bit “out of the box” and find a more neutral background. My model just happened to be sitting on one of the props, a really cool red lounge chair… Could I use it as a background? Yep!

I flipped it onto it’s long end, and had the model pose in front of it. Her head is about 2 feet from the background, and I used a long focal length lens at about f2.8. All cropping was done in the camera, and the light source was just the light coming from a window.

Are you a pro photographer? Try making a video out of all the photos from your session!