Background in Photography

Background in Photography

Never underestimate the importance of background in photography! This short video explains how your background can be the key to taking an image from snapshot to photograph.

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Video Transcript

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a snapshot and a photograph? You know it when you see it, but have you ever stopped to analyze what the real differences are? Hi, I’m Julie from Ultimate Photo Tips, and for today’s Two Minute Phot Tip, I want to talk about one of the factors that I think makes a difference: backgrounds.

Novice photographers tend to be so focused on their subject, that they forget all about the background in photography, whereas an advanced photographer is much more aware that the background is an integral part of the image – that it’s just as important as the foreground subject.

So how do you start taking your images from "snapshot" to "photograph?" The first thing you need to do is clean up your backgrounds. That’s like level 1. Make sure that the background has no distractions – no elbows or trees coming in from the side, no bright spots or dark spots to pull your attention away from the subject.

Then, at level 2, you actually want to start paying attention to what is in the background, and making sure that it complements your subject, that it works in harmony with it. So don’t just look at the objects in the background, but look at their shapes, and colors, and the lines in them and their textures, and make sure all those things are playing together with your subject, to actually enhance your subject.

A great way to get started with background in photography is to go out and to look at the work of photographers you admire. Make sure you take a look at the background in those pictures, and understand how they work with the subject. And then get out there and start practicing yourself!

If you want more great tips, please come on over to, and sign up for my newsletter while you’re there. Happy shooting, and I’ll see you next time!

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