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One of A Kind Photos – Cell Phone Photography Lesson 3

These lessons will focus on taking great cell phone photos, so good that you can create one of a kind photos. Please read all our lessons as they are short and cover: FOCUSING, CAMERA POSITIONING, BACKGROUND, LIGHTING, FRAMING and more topics!


Now that we have learned about how to hone in on an object to make it the focus of your photo, we are now going to discuss what is of equal importance: the background. The background to a composition can make a huge difference to the overall effect of a picture. Imagine the man we saw in lesson two, instead of being in a garden, was in front of a large wall of graffiti. How would this change our perception of him and what he is doing?  Look at the same man in the photo below, encountering a mannequin on a swing for example.  How does this affect our perception of him?

Backgrounds can be natural, and often involve flowers, blossoms, grass, water, or forests. But backdrops can also involve structures such as walls, buildings, cell towers, or art exhibits.  Often some of the most effective one of a kind photos involve objects which are “out of place” or out of a scale. A salamander riding in a man’s pocket. A woman standing over top of the Eiffel tower.

So the next time, instead of just picking a backdrop that’s handy, try to think about the backdrop in terms of your photo’s overall composition. How does it help convey the mood of the picture? How do the colors harmonize or clash with the object in question? Do you want a static background or do you want movement such as wind or water?

Really think about the story you want to tell and what would be the best elements in order to tell it.

In the mean time, have fun taking your one of a kind photos!

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