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So this is something that I've loved + learned over time..
blurred cement can actually make great backgrounds for portraits!!
I'm a firm believer that beauty is everywhere -- 
and you can make pretty much anything work for you -- if you're doing it right + using light well. 
I think maybe it's because I've lived in Iowa and not in places like Utah that has killer locations or Nashville with urban backgrounds everywhere -- and have to search a bit harder with locations for sessions, finding those hidden pockets for backgrounds + making things work for me.

Blurred cement is like magic..so great -- and can be so creamy + smooth as a background if you use it right.

But anyways, pretty much anyone has cement, gravel or dirt at their disposal -- 
so here you go, guys -- one of the most universal backgrounds people can access!! :)


1. Shoot angled down on your subject.
2. Have the light coming from behind if you're shooting in sunlight (you can also use cement backgrounds when it's overcast or in a shaded spot -- it works then, too)
3. Use a wider aperture like 2.0 - 2.5 to get the blurred background.

I've included my settings below each photo for these photo examples so hopefully that is helpful..
have fun with cement, guys!! :)
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Blurred cement :  50 mm f/2.5 1/800 ISO 100
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Blurred cement : 35 mm f/2.2 1/500 ISO 100
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.5 1/1000 ISO 500
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Blurred cement / tin wall :  50 mm f/2.2 1/400 ISO 100
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Different angle with this -- but blurred cement can help make great foregrounds in pictures..
50 mm f/2.2 1/2000 ISO 400
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Blurred cement blocks as foreground : 50 mm f/2.0 1/500 ISO 1000
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.0 1/4000 ISO 500
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Blurred pavement (check out that creamy golden blurred goodness.. #allthehearteyes) :
50 mm f/2.0 1/250 ISO 100
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.8 1/400 ISO 200
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.2 1/800 ISO 160
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.0 1/4000 ISO 320
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.0 1/2500 ISO 320
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Blurred cement steps : 35 mm f/1.6 1/3200 ISO 500
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Blurred pavement : 50 mm f/2.5 1/1600 ISO 500
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Blurred dirt : 50 mm f/2.0 1/3200 ISO 500
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Blurred dirt : 50 mm f/2.5 1/2000 ISO 200
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Blurred gravel / grass : 50 mm f/2.0 1/800 ISO 100
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Blurred cement blocks in patio area : 50 mm f/2.0 1/500 ISO 250
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.5 1/320 ISO 500
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Blurred gravel : 50 mm f/2.5 1/320 ISO 500
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Blurred cement -- parking garage : 35 mm f/1.8 1/1000 ISO 320

To read more SOME THINGS I'VE LEARNED posts with photography tips -- click HERE!!

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What things have you learned as a photographer that work good for backgrounds?!!
I'd love to hear!!

Happy Thursday!!
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please leave a comment -- I would love to hear your thoughts on this post!! :)