The Importance of Backdrops and Backgrounds
The BACKGROUND behind a portrait subject can really add to the mood and feeling.
If you’re photographing someone outdoors often a shallow depth of field (that is, a low number f-stop, or using “portrait mode” on your camera phone) will make the background a bit or a lot blurry thereby focusing the attention on your subject. The higher number of the f-stop, the more of the background will be recognizable. Choose your effect!
In the studio a choice of colors for the backdrop can compliment the color of someone’s clothes or bring out the color of their eyes or skin tone. Bright and light colors reflect a lot of light and give a happy, upbeat feeling. Dark colors can create mystery and drama which can be additionally enhanced by the use of colored gels or a grid to narrow the light casting the subject’s face into partial shadow.
Company or staff portraits have unique challenges. If you’re expanding or have regular turnover it’s wise to stick with a consistent look/color for each INDIVIDUAL, keeping the same background/backdrop as well as props if you want them featured.
If you’d like a GROUP photo, but can’t get everyone into a large enough space for all of them, or it’s too hard to schedule everyone at the same time, then consider photographing them – in the studio -in small groups of two to four at a time. By keeping the background and lighting the same Photoshop can be used to combine the whole crowd into one large picture. This is also a useful idea for staff changes. You’ll only need to shoot the small group that that person was in again and a new large portrait can be remade. Sometimes a single person can also be added to a convenient space remaining in the back of another already photographed small group.
Prism Point Photography can do all of these ideas for you!