Some of my favorite photos are those that have beautiful landscapes in the background. Ones in which I feel that the photographer is working to capture their subject and highlight the background as well. This is something I'm definiltey still working towards, but we all start somewhere, right? ;)
While in Colorado... or should I say before our weekend arrived, Beth, Meg, Amy, and I all chatted about different things we would like to do while all together. For me, I simple wanted to take lots of pictures of pretty people and pretty things. Amy had mentioned that she wanted to do a dreamy mountain shoot. We were all on board and I was over moon to take pictures as well. I love taking picture no matter what, but I loved that we specifically planned for this shoot. We all had dresses picked out, Amy did our make-up, we fixed our hair, and we all headed out to an open field with a magnificent background. We spent time behind the camera and we took turns stepping in front of the camera too. Amy was on point directing everyone through the shoot and I snapped away from behind.
CAPTURING YOUR SUBJECT AND HIGHLIGHTING YOUR BACKGROUND
REMEMBER THE RULE OF THIRDS: The rule of thirds is one of the first composition principles I learned as a photographer. It's so second nature now that I shoot in the rule of thirds without even thinking about. However, when you are working to capture your subject and highlight your background, the rule of thirds can really benefit you when trying to do both. Take the photo below as an example. Meg is position in the bottom right third of the photo. This means I can position the background in the top left third of my image. I am able to capture Meg looking beautiful and still have the background visible too.
DIRECT YOUR LIGHT : In most cases when I'm shooting at sunset I prefer to shoot backlit or I position myself and my subject so that the sunlight is streaming in from the side. If I want to highlight my background I do my best not to backlight my subject. If I backlight my subject I have to overexpose to get my subject properly exposed which means my background will be blown out and not as visible. This type of shooting isn't bad, I do it all the time, but if I want to to have my background highlighted and visible I have to direct the light in a different way.
Let's use the photo above as an example. Meg and I are both positioned in the shade, which is great because I was able to achieve an even tone and exposure. Because she is positioned with the mountains directly behind here and the sun setting to the right of her I am able to expose for her while the background is still properly exposed as well.
Camera Details : Nikon D700 || Nikkor 50mm Lens
One more thing that could add to highlighting your background is to shoot with a large f-stop number, as if you were only shooting landscapes. I didn't use that specific technique in these photos, but it is an option. This particular technique may, however, take away from your subject.