Tips for Finding Grungy Backgrounds

When you are scouting locations for a photoshoot, what are you typically focused on for the backgrounds? How often do you consider the textures and the colors that they could add to your shots?

In this video from photographer Brett Seeley, he shares a behind-the-scenes look into an outdoor, grungy alleyway fitness shoot. While you can see how Seeley shoots and works with the model throughout the video, I like that he is also sharing his thoughts on finding the right background to use. He's focused on the shadows, the textures, and the colors and how he can use them. 

Sometimes, we see something and have an idea just to see that the spots don't work out, and that's fine. As Seeley shares in the video, constantly scan and test out ideas until they work the way you have envisioned them. He shares a few other tips in the video, so make sure to check it out.

How often are you scouting locations and what do you look for? Do you see spots that may not be considered pretty and find ways on how you can still use them? What tips do you have for finding those diamonds in the rough?

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3 Comments

Robert Nurse's picture

This is actually one of the fun parts of photography: scoping out locations. I do it whenever I'm out and about. And, with a smartphone, I can take pictures of the location with the exact coordinates embedded in the image.

Fristen Lasten's picture

Tip 1. Move to Seattle.

Mark Houston's picture

Here in Detroit, we got it all, from grungy to postapocalyptic to a beautiful riverfront....