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Window on Texas: Portrait Photography

Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith highlights his favorite techniques to make portrait photos really shine. Recorded at Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, Texas.

Window on Texas, March 2013

When the town of Brenham is mentioned, the first thing that pops into many people’s minds is Blue Bell Ice Cream. The “Little Creamery in Brenham” started in 1907 and now produces some of the best-selling and best-tasting ice creams in the country. Weekday travelers to Brenham or those passing through along US 290 can stop for a tour to see how the ice cream is made.

While visiting the creamery, Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith shot a series of portraits of Blue Bell Country Girl Anna Pugh. The Country Girls, who travel to promote Blue Bell Creameries and its products in 22 states, often work as tour guides at the company’s Brenham headquarters.

Smith discusses the process of taking a simple portrait, including making backgrounds out of focus and using different focal-length lenses, a tripod, and lighting techniques. Blue Bell Creameries is at 1101 S. Blue Bell Road in Brenham. Call 800/327-8135. For information on tours or to sign up to receive coupons as a member of the Blue Bell Country Club, visit

Be sure to check out Texas Highways Photo Editor J. Griffis Smith's other photography how-to's covering a wide range of topics for all skill levels.

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