Here’s how to take creative portraits even in an ugly parking lot

Tips & Techniques

When shooting outdoors, you won’t always have access to breathtaking locations. In fact, you’ll sometimes have to shoot in downright ugly ones. But, there’s always a way to make the best out of even the ugliest locations. In this video, Pye Jirsa of SLRLounge gives you five ideas for taking creative portraits, all in a single, crappy parking lot.

1.“Gutter hole” – Pye and his model Devin found a “gutter hole” in the hedge. Devin positioned herself so that the leaves surround her, and they framed her face really nicely in the photo

2. “High voltage” – next, the duo found a “high voltage” box. The box itself could be used as a backdrop (don’t get too close though), but Devin and Pye used the high hedge around it instead. It created both a background and a foreground element, giving depth to portraits.

3. “Puddle reflection” – if you shoot after a rainy day, you can use puddles for all kinds of creative reflection shots. I really like this one Pye took:

It also reminded me of my photo very dear to me, taken ten years ago in a very ugly street (which gets even uglier after a rain):

...a reflection of you, a reflection of me...

4. “The dump trailer” – Pye and Devin found a rusty old dump trailer at the parking lot. An old, rusty vehicle is probably not something you’d choose as a subject (although, why not?). But, it can be a great backdrop.

5.“The concealed reflection” – finally, Pye and Devin found a window and decided to get some cool reflection portraits. Devin leaned against the glass and held Pye’s phone in front of the lens, which created a trippy triple reflection. I really like this idea, and I’ll definitely try it out. I just hope there won’t be people on the other side of the window looking at me like I was crazy.

These are only some ideas, but I find them pretty cool. I hope that this video inspired you and reminded you that interesting places are everywhere, even in the seemingly ugly parking lot. If you need more inspiration, we’ve got more awesome ideas and tips for shooting in ugly locations, so check them out, too.

[Five Creative Portraits in a Crappy Parking Lot | SLR Lounge | Photography Tutorials]

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