How to blur the background of your photos! Easy Peasy!


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Hi everyone! July is quickly approaching and the release of my ebook, Camera Moms: Photographing Your Little Ones Like a Pro is almost here! I’ve been trying to share some simple tips along the way that you could go ahead and put to use and today I’ve decided on one of the most common questions I get… “How do you make the background blurry while the person is in focus?” The technical answer to this question isn’t very straight forward, because it would include explaining aperture, lighting, f/stop and fractions. I happen to love fractions but I’m assuming the majority of my readers don’t, so I will refrain from being the huge dork that I am. : )

So, here it is, the extremely non-technical, super easy to follow answer.

For DSLR users… (the kind of camera that can change lenses)

1. Set your camera mode to “A” or “Av” (This is Aperture priority mode)

2. Use the dial to make the “F” number on your screen go as low as possible.  (If you have a kit lens, this may be around 5.6 or so. If it goes lower, great.)

3. The more distance you have between the person and the background, the better.

4. Use your zoom, you might have to back away from your subject more to fit them in your view but remember to fill your frame (i.e. close-up pic).

That’s it!

For the Point and Shoot users… (the kind that doesn’t change lenses)

1. Some P&S camera may have the “A” or “Av” mode like above for the DSLR, if so, follow the above directions. If not, you should have a “P” mode, use it. (Portrait mode)

2. The more distance you have between the person and the background, the better.

3. Zoom out as far as you can, you might have to back away from your subject more to fit them in your view but remember to fill your frame (i.e. close-up pic).

That’s it!

One last piece of advice, I recommend trying to focus on the eyes or the eye closest to the camera if you have a lot of blur. Hope this was simple enough! I would greatly appreciate your comments. Let me know what you want to read about next!

If you like these super easy tips, snag your copy of Camera Moms: Photographing Your Little Ones Like a Pro today, it is jam-packed with simple tips and tricks like these. : )



18 comments on “How to blur the background of your photos! Easy Peasy!

  1. Linda says:

    Thanks for the helpful hints. I found your blog from Pinterest. It is flying all over there! 🙂

  2. mhanna618 says:

    I am guessing it was Pinterest! That is where I found the link to your blog! And I wish I had read it YEARS ago! because I have a DLSR that I know can do more and I just don’t know where to start! And I dont want to learn so much that I am overwhelmed and forget it all! blurring the background and changing where my main focus is — is the one thing i LOOOVVEEE to do with my photos! And I had no idea how to use the A setting! Thank you! I can’t wait to take my lil E out for another shoot and test this out! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the tip. I found you via Pinterest, so I am sure that’s were all of your extra traffic is coming from!

  4. Anonymous but thankful in Hernando, MS says:

    I just tried your advice and it worked! Couldn’t find my manual and I have been trying to master this for a few weeks when your pin on Pinterest popped up! Thanks for your blog 🙂

  5. bonnie says:

    such a great, to the point tip!!! Thank you!!!

  6. Anna says:

    Oooo I just got a DSLR so this is super useful, thanks I’ll give it a whirl! 🙂

  7. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for the great tip!!!

  8. Heather Chavez says:

    I also found this via pinterest. great tip for the biginner in me.

  9. Summer says:

    Thanks so much!!! I came across you on pinterest, love your site!!!

  10. Sandra White says:

    Fabulous technique for photographing my horse’s face — specifically her eye, brow and forelock!!! Using this technique to make prints as Christmas gifts of friends’ horses. THANKS ever so much!

  11. Hanna says:

    Hi! I’m Hanna from Malaysia. thank you for sharing the tips. Your blog very usefull and it really help me when shooting my son. xoxo

  12. Erin says:

    I just got a new camera and have been dying to play around with it! I love this look in pictures and just tried it out. Worked like a charm! Thanks for the advise!

  13. Rachel says:

    Thank you for posting this! You are a freaking genius!!

  14. Oh by golly it works! Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much!

  15. Cynthia Garner says:

    Hi, I am Brittany Hardy’s mom and your photos are beautiful!

  16. Shelley says:

    Thanks so much .I love the look of that and could never figure it out .My sons graduation is next month so I’ll do some shots like this.Thanks again .

  17. christine says:

    I loved the tip!! I accidentally accomplished this in a photo shoot last moth and wasn’t sure how I did Now I will do it again, I hope. I would like to know what camera is the best to use. I have a Fuji fine pic 4000 with a 30x wide angle zoom. When I first got it I loved it as a point an shoot. It takes great pictures outside and they look good in the 3″ view. But when you pull them up to edit or print they have a lot of noise and they don’t look real after you edit the noise. what am I doing wrong?

  18. Jo says:

    Great simple instructions

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