Inspiration for a Photoshoot

Peggy Farren 2013-09-15

Understand Photography hosts one free photowalk each month, where a group of amateur to professional photographers get together to shoot. For me as a busy portrait photographer, these are my opportunities to get my creative juices going and build up my portfolio of general artwork. I hadn't thought of creating a general portfolio until recently and now I'm having a great time with it!!

Today we are heading over to Naples Botanical Garden. It's a gorgeous garden and today is the last day before they close for renovations for a while. Whenever I'm going to a new place - whether it's to photograph a wedding, portrait or other, I head to the internet for ideas and inspiration. I searched Google for "Naples Botanical Garden" and then clicked on "Images". I got some ideas and even found parts of the garden that I hadn't seen before.

Is that cheating? Well, sure it is! Does it really matter where you get your inspiration from? I won't be copying anyone's pictures exactly. It just reminds me of steps I can take such as:

  • Get low
  • Get up high
  • Tilt
  • Wide landscapes
  • Closeups
  • Little vignettes

I had wrist surgery a couple of weeks ago so I can't pick up anything heavier than one pound with my left hand, which is of course is where I normally rest my heavy camera. So I'm taking a lightweight wide lens on my digital infrared on a lightweight tripod (I had an old Canon 10D converted by Life Pixel (www.lifepixel.com). I'm also bringing my point and shoot (I do have a REALLY good point and shoot - a Panasonic Lumix LX7) and a borrowed GoPro. Let's see what I come up with!


I used my pop up flash so the pink flower would show up in the foreground.

Lumix LX7 in Program Mode

Tilted Water Lillies with my point and shoot.
Tilted Water Lillies with my point and shoot.

Infrared Asian Gardens
Infrared Asian Gardens

Infrared Naples Botanical Gardens
Infrared Naples Botanical Gardens

Infrared Trellis
Infrared Trellis

By the way, I did not use the Go Pro at all. It will have to wait for another day! Head on over to our Meetup site to see what the other photographers came up with! We had about 25 photographers in our group. One of the best ways (in my opinion) to stretch your creative mind, is to shoot with fellow photographers! You'll see their images later and think "Man - I was right there and didn't think to do that!". You'll be inspired to see things through a different perspective! http://www.meetup.com/UnderstandPhotography/photos/17348642/ Thanks for reading! ~Peggy

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Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.

With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

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