Photoshoot: How to Make Ballons Fly Without Helium?

I´m little behind with writing about my photoshoots, partly because of the exam period, partly because I shoot more often than once a week. Today I´d like to talk about photoshoot I had with Hanka in May.

Someone asked me on facebook what I´m thinking about while composing a photo and preparing a photoshoot so I´d like to focus on that in this article.

It was really hard to set up a date for the photoshoot which would suit both me and Hanka. Originally we wanted to shoot in February but then had to postpone in for long three months because of our busy schedules, very cold winter and Hanka´s ilness. But I don´t complain because in the day of the photoshoot it was very pleasant, warm weather and the light was amazing which is essential for a good photography.

How Did I Develop the Idea?

Hanka contacted me asking if I´d like to take photos of her. I agreed and asked her back what kind of photos she would want to shoot. She described me that she would want some cheerful photos with ballons and colorful clothes.

"Colorful and cheerful" is not my thing as you may notice so I started thinking about some alternation which would suit both of us since it was TFP photoshoot. I liked the idea with ballons so I came with the idea that we could use black ballons instead plus some black dress to give it bit glamorous feel. Hanka agreed so I bought black ballons on ebay and waited till the day of shooting.

How to  Make Ballons Fly?

I really wanted to make the ballons fly but didn´t want to spend more money on helum. I was thinking really hard about how to cheat it - we could use wire or some thin wooden sticks instead of strings. But to be honest none of that works as I wanted.

We ended up with not so much elegant solution - Hanka always threw the ballons up (is it right verb?) and I quickly shot while they were falling down to create the illusion of floating :)

What Was I thinking About?

Now I´d like to show you some of the photos from the photoshoot and described why I composed the photo the way I did it.

While composing photo you need to keep in mind where the light source is and what kind of lights and shadows it creates. You need to look for unwanted dark parts or highlight which can easily destroy the image.

I like movement in photos. In this photo I wanted to shoot some so I told Hanka to be rotated with her back on me and turn on me when I call her. She would make more natural pose this way than if she was standing in the pose the whole time.

I also asked her to make her left hand band to create a triangle with it. Because of that the whole pose looks more dynamic than ii she had the hand straight.

I wanted to have more variety in photos. Because of that I took also some(e.g this one) photos without ballons. While Hanka was preparing for shooting (changing clothes and doing small adjustments of makeup) I looked arround for interesting places to shoot.

The fallen trunk immediately caught my attention because it´s interesting place to sit on and also because it´s nice composition element - it´s line which helps viewer to lead his eye to the focal point of the image.

I made this image black and white simply because it looks better than colorful version :)

While shooting this image I said Hanka to sit in shadow of tree with sun on her back. It created nice aura arround her hair. That I asked my boyfriend/assistent to reflect the sun light with silver reflector back to Hanka´s face.

I shot on Manual mode to get the exposure right because the AV mode I normally use tended to underexposed the image.

Behind the Scenes

Let´s take a look at some behind the scenes from this photoshoot.

Hanka balancing on the same trunk as she sat on the black and white photo.

Jarda (bf/light assistant) showing Hanka what to do with ballons to make them flying.

He really enjoyed bouncing light into Hanka´s eye :)

So after the photoshoot Hanka wanted to make a revenge...

But with sunglasses on Jarda really didn´t mind :)


I would be really happy if you let me know if this article is useful for you. If so I´ll definitelly write more in this style because it was fun to do!

Till next week have a lovely time and enjoy summer!