Starting a photography business comes with many challenges. One of the biggest ones you’ll be facing is finding the best backdrop to shoot your photos. A backdrop can be defined as anything that’s used to enhance the look of a picture. Things you’ll need to understand when selecting or creating one include what types there are, the role they play, the effect of lighting, and other important things. Here’s a simple guide to everything you need to know about photography backdrops.
Types of backdrops
Photographers use three common physical backdrops. They each offer their own appeal depending on what the subject of your photo is. A muslin backdrop is one that has a solid color. This type provides a more formal look to a picture. They’re usually used for serious portraits or photos for identification cards such as driver licenses. One benefit of using this backdrop is it’s reusable, as it can be washed whenever it gets dirty. Paper backdrops are referred to as paper rolls. They’re often used only once. This type of backdrop comes in almost any texture and color that you need for your photo background. The third most common type is a painted canvas backdrop. These are usually used in a photography studio because of their large size and heavy weight. Additionally, you can get these types of backdrops custom-designed. You can click here to learn more about doing that.
The role of a backdrop
Backdrops can heavily impact the clarity and quality of your photo. When you’re careful in choosing one for your photo session, it can accurately depict the personality and mood of the subject you’re photographing. As an example, let’s say you’re taking a photo of a person standing in front of a garden. This kind of background depicts more of a pleasant mood. In contrast, if you took a photo of a person in front of a black backdrop and have a shadow crossing the subject’s face, that would depict an angry or stressful mood. It’s important that your backdrop is relevant to the theme of the photo.
How lighting can affect a backdrop
Lighting can work well with a backdrop to create a high-quality picture. What lighting does is it complements the background, and allows you to highlight aspects of your subject that you most wanted to be featured. These aspects can include facial expressions, skin color, and hair color. Always remember to keep the contrast in check. A background that’s too light distracts from the subject and pulls the focus away. A background that’s too dark can highlight your subject in a potentially unflattering way.
How to choose the right backdrop
There are many factors when it comes to selecting or creating a backdrop for your photography. One of the most important factors to consider is whether the foreground and the colors in the background coordinate. It’s necessary to choose a background color that can highlight your subject without affecting the look. Never select a background that will create a distraction or take attention away from the subject. The idea is to keep all the attention in the photo focused on your subject, rather than highlighting the background.
How to shoot with your backdrop
When taking photos of a subject in front of a backdrop, you need to make sure they’re not standing too close to the backdrop. Additionally, you want to make sure the backdrop has no lines or blemishes that wouldn’t only be distracting, but also reduce the photo’s quality. In some cases, you might choose to use a backdrop that has an artistic look. In the circumstances that you decide to use an artistic backdrop, make sure that the objects don’t appear protruded from the head of your subject. It can be a huge distraction, and also make your photo unintentionally appear humorous.
Tips for an excellent photography backdrop
It can be difficult for any new photographer to select or design a photography backdrop at first. As you gain more experience with your work, it gets easier over time. When you start shooting your subject, following these rules can help ensure that the backdrop you’ve selected complements your subject. You’ll be more likely to have quality results and avoid any bad lighting or major distractions. The first tip you should keep in mind is to check the backdrop before hitting your shutter release. When checking the backdrop, look for bright patches, clashing lines, colors that don’t fit, and anything else that doesn’t belong. The details are crucial to pay attention to.
If you were taking a picture of your subject in front of a backdrop with tree branches, you’d want to avoid it looking like one of them is growing out of your subject’s head. Secondly, if there’s any distraction present in the backdrop, move the subject of your photo. Sometimes, it’s not always best to have your subject right in the middle of the frame. Additionally, you can change the angle at which you’re shooting the photo to eliminate certain background distractions. Your subject should always be angled in relation to your backdrop. This tip mostly applies to depicting a scene, rather than just using a solid colored background.
Be sure to also consider blurring the background to distort unwanted items that are visible. Choose the aperture setting on the camera, choose the lowest f-stop, and be sure to stand at a good distance from the subject. Do as much as you can to fill the frame with your subject. Lastly, don’t think you always need to have the most intricate design for your backdrops. Sometimes, it can be best to keep it simple using a nice solid backdrop with no distractions and just your subject to fill the frame.
Backdrops are an essential part of creating high-quality photos of your clients. The more experience you gain with them, the more you’ll be successful in using them. You can keep this guide in mind, as you continue to learn how to select the right backdrops and use them effectively.