Five Quick Tips to Add Creativity to Your Location Shoot, with Sam Hurd


In this B&H interview, wedding/portrait photographer Sam Hurd offers five simple tips to help you add a creative element to location portraits in any environment. When shooting with a prime lens and shallow depth of field, mask distracting elements from a scene by holding the side of a basic cell phone in front of your lens, creating a reflection on demand. A six-inch triangular glass prism can be used in the same way to enhance a portrait with dual reflections, or even flares and distortions if you pivot the prism and shoot at an angle. Pick up an unmounted double convex lens to create imperfect reflections and explosions of bokeh in scenes with small bright light sources, especially at night. An old anamorphic lens takes on new life when held in front of your prime, to distort an image in a fun house mirror effect. Undistort the perspective in post using Lightroom or Photoshop, to achieve a cinematic perspective with shallow depth of field. And, in sunset conditions or a harsh light situation, hold a 1 x 1" copper or metal pipe in front of your lens to enable controllable dramatic flare, which Hurd calls a ring of fire.