My Backyard Spring Portraits
When there’s a global pandemic and the world seems to be locked down, you look for places around you to be creative. With my daughter willing to model, we found a perfect spot for some backyard spring portraits.
We have beautiful flowering trees in our neighborhood. Almost every house has one. Each spring for about 1 week, these trees are covered with beautiful pale pink flowers. Every year my goal is to take photos with the flowers but it’s challenging when your favorite model has significant time commitments to school and other activities. This year with pandemic restrictions, we finally had plenty of time.
As you can see from the pull-back shot on the right, we have a typical yard. It doesn’t look particularly pretty but with photography, sometimes it’s about finding the right angle that shows the potential in these locations. And this quick session with my daughter because a great exercise in working within limitations.
For these photos to work, I had to have her stand actually in the tree. It was quite comical as the wind would blow and little drops of water would hit her (because it had been raining earlier). She was such a great sport!
From the start, I knew I needed to avoid the fence and the houses. To me, springtime is all about focusing on the light and airy feel. It’s pastels and that mix of warm sunshine but also coolness because every now and then the temperature drops. I wanted to create those feelings in these images. The blacktop driveway and basketball hoop didn’t quite fit my vision. I had to work to position myself and my daughter so that she would have great light but not have unwanted bits in the background.
creating beautiful backyard spring portraits while working with limitations
You might have noticed, most of these images are headshots. The frame is cropped close to the subject. I actually wasn’t standing very close. For these photos, I used a Sigma Art 135 mm lens (and YM Camera is my favorite camera shop). This is possibly my favorite lens, especially for seniors. It’s wonderfully sharp. Also, I can stand back and the lens compression creates that beautifully blurred background. This lens also worked well for limiting the frame. I was easily able to limit the background bits that I didn’t want showing up in any of my images.
The biggest challenge for me was not being able to get a full-body shot. With our location, it just wasn’t possible without having distractions in the background. For headshots, it was perfect.
Like I said before, this was about being creative and playing. In the end, I have some images of my daughter that I love.
Our springtime quarantine will come to an end soon. Still, it can be hard to be patient. I do hope that when this is done, you’ll be contacting me to schedule your next portrait session.