How to Get A Blurry Background in Your Photos

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Let’s talk about how to get a blurry background in your photos.

As journalistic style photographers, Caleb (my husband) and I both love the way blurry backgrounds look.

Blurry backgrounds in photos are not only insanely beautiful, but they also help bring all the attention to the subjects and it gives our photos that signature Studio 29 Photography “watercolor” look and feel!

It’s kinda embarrassing, but when I first got into photography I thought that the blurry backgrounds happened either in photoshop or was done with an ultra-super-duper special lens or camera. 

Now, the lens does matter, but I’d argue that how you position yourself & the subject matters even more! 

Yep! You read that right!

There is NO editing necessary to achieve that beautiful blurry background we all know and love! 

blurry background in your photos

Photo Credit: Ren Lenhof (Me) of Studio 29 Photography

 

Here’s the scoop on How to Get A Blurry Background in Your Photos…

 

You can easily achieve that beautiful blurry background in your photos with my 3 simple tips!!

 

1) Lowest Aperture Setting

Set your camera lens to the lowest aperture it can go (commonly, f/1.2, f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4)

You DO NOT need an ultra-super-duper special lens to get a blurry background in your photos!

In my recent blog post entry Are You Taking Photos in Manual Mode, I shared briefly about the depth of field, which in the simplest terms, means how much of your image is in focus. 

If you hear Caleb and Me saying things like, “I’m shooting wide open.” We are simply referring to our aperture being “wide open,” meaning we are shooting at the lowest aperture our lens can be.

 

 

2) Move Closer to Your Subject

The closer you are to your subject the blurrier the background will be. Therefore, the further back you move from your subject the more in focus everything in your photo will be.

 

 

3) The Subject Position

Have your subject stand further away from the specific backdrop. As an example, if you are photographing your subject in front of a brick wall, you will want to instruct them to move several steps away from the brick wall in order to achieve a blurry background. 

Here are some examples from a recent engagement session where I am shooting with the same settings on my DSLR to achieve a blurry background in my photos:

 

First Photo: 50 mm f/2.8 ISO 400; I am standing only a foot or so away from my subject. 

Second Photo: Same settings; 50 mm f/2.8; I am standing about 5 feet away from my subject.

Photo Credit: Ren Lenhof (Me) of Studio 29 Photography

get a blurry background in your photos

get a blurry background in your photos 

 

First Photo: 50 mm f/2.8; The subject is standing about 5 feet away from the wall. 

Second Photo: Same settings; 50 mm f/2.8 ISO 400; The subject is standing just along the wall. 

how to get a blurry background in your photos how to get a blurry background in your photos

This photo was taken with my 70-200mm, f/2.8, ISO 400

 

Isn’t this brilliant? Just by adjusting your lens to the lowest aperture setting, standing closer to your subject, and/or by having your subject stand further from the backdrop you can achieve a blurry background in your photos.

I hope you have fun practicing this technique for taking photos with blurry backgrounds. 

Want more tips and prettiness? Please follow my business photography account on Instagram: @Studio29Photography

Want more photos of houseplants and the doggies?? Please follow my personal account on Instagram: @house_fur 

get a blurry background in your photos

 

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