Tag: backgrounds

The Reasons Behind Green Screen in Studio Photography

Green screens have a mixed reputation in the world of photography. On the one hand, if they’re used improperly, the final image looks fake. On the other, green screens allow studio photographers to create surreal images or put their models in exotic settings. A green screen is a fantastic tool, and there are plenty of reasons you should utilize it in your own studio photography.

Green Screens Give You the World

If you have a dedicated studio, you’ve already invested quite a bit in your photography. Even if that studio is in your home, setting aside an entire space and bringing in all the equipment you need is costly. You know what else is costly? Finding and shooting on location.

A green screen gives photographers the opportunity to place their subjects anywhere they want. In the age of digital art, having a collection of green screen portraits is a vital tool for many artists. Have you ever noticed how stock photography almost always utilizes a clearly defined subject with a white, blurred, or simply distant background? Most of those images feature subjects that were taken in front of a green screen.

green screen studio background

With a green screen, your subjects can be flying, added into old family photos, or simply given a beautiful, but the unrealistic background. You can also use pre-collected images of locations and add those backgrounds to portraits in post-production. It takes practice to edit such images well, but if you use the same background multiple times for graduation, engagement, or glamor photos, you can master the art of adjusting your studio lighting to reflect the conditions of the artificial background.

This looks much better than simply pulling down various backdrops, which never look truly three-dimensional. It’s the same principle, though. It simply takes advantage of newer techniques and hardware. Naturally, this approach also saves the photographer money. A single green screen is much cheaper than a set of different backdrops.

They Make Editing a Breeze

green screen editing

If you hate editing basic portraits, the green screen could be your new best friend. While traditional white backgrounds are prone to smudges, wrinkles, and other eyesores, green screens literally disappear in editing. You can add in a pristine white background with very little work. It’s a shortcut to perfection.

Conversely, if editing is one of your favorite parts of photography, or you use your photos as part of elaborate manipulations, a green screen can help make your final images better. After all, cutting out a person’s hair in Photoshop will never be anything but a chore. It rarely looks exactly right, either. Green screen keeps everything about the subject but features nothing, not even a white backdrop, that you would need to edit out. This gives you more time to focus on the art of your project.

green screen fireworks background

The Gear is Simple

Chances are, you already work with a digital camera. The only expensive equipment you really need for green screen work is your digital camera and the computer you use for editing. If you already have both of those, your major investments have already been made.

green screen equipment

Green screens themselves are usually very cheap. Depending on the material, you can get a fabric backdrop for under $20. More expensive options are available, of course, and provide arguably better results. Higher quality materials, such as muslin, cost more. Rigid pop-up backgrounds, like FancierStudio’s Collapsible Backdrop, cost nearly twice as much as your cheapest options, and they’re fairly small. However, they’re free of the drapes and wrinkles that may cast shadows that will make editing more difficult.

If you go with a traditional fabric backdrop, you can either mount it to your wall or purchase a stand. These run anywhere from $30 to $100 depending on size, materials, and additional features. A basic stand, like LimoStudio’s 10 ft. Adjustable Backdrop System should cover nearly all studio photography needs.

Eventually, you’ll need digital backgrounds. You may not need to buy them, though. Plenty is available for free through online creative collaborations, and you should always work on developing some of your own. After all, no other photographer has your eye or style, so it’s good to have digital backdrops that compliment the style of photography you use in your studio.

digital background

Finally, IT’S FUN!

All technicalities aside, working with a green screen is simply fun. It’s a brilliant editing shortcut for simple portraits, and it allows photographers on just about any budget to expand their range. It brings nature into the studio through pre-shot digital backdrops, and it opens the door to some truly creative projects. The gear is simple, and you probably already have the most expensive equipment on hand. Whether you’re looking to reduce your work, find the perfect background, or give your sitters superpowers, a green screen and some editing can deliver your dreams.

Experimenting with backgrounds for portraits

Backgrounds have the spectacular ability to transform a seemingly uninteresting portrait into an eye-catching work of art

. Their strength lies in patterns, symmetry, and colors; elements often accidentally neglected in portraiture. Though it’s possible to take photos which possess both simplicity and outstanding beauty at the same time, experimenting with backgrounds will give you a chance to greatly boost your portfolio’s visual appearance. The more you practice noticing the uniqueness of backgrounds and the more you include them in your work, the quicker you’ll thrive both as a photographer and as an observer of the world.

Outdoor backgrounds

Making the most of your natural surroundings outdoors will sharpen your creative eye and provide you with endless photo opportunities. Nature, especially, is ideal for photos of any kind thanks to its wonderful patience – it’s always waiting to add something incredible to your images. Its endless presence and perpetual flawlessness give everyone a chance to make the most of its natural beauty. Even better, nature constantly changes, giving us new worlds to work with every season.

Flowers, bushes, leaves, branches, landscapes, etc., can all become important elements in your images if you take the time to include them in your compositions. Sharp mountains could complement your subject’s sharp facial features or, instead, serve as a dramatic contrast to the softness of their expressions. Blurred autumn leaves in the background could work in harmony with your subject’s autumnal clothing. When it comes to backgrounds and what they can contribute to any image, the possibilities are endless.


Nature could also be used to create powerful diptychs (a “collage” consisting of two images), stunning resources to use in future shoots, and anything you could possibly image. Similarly, cityscapes have the ability to transform your outdoor photos into truly impressive creations. Be it a crowded street or a lonely spot in a nearby park, anything can serve as an appealing background.

The key to great outdoor portrait backgrounds is making sure that your mind and eyes are constantly open, especially when you’re not taking photos. This doesn’t mean you should forcefully notice details around you all the time. Instead, find short, calm moments throughout your day when you can choose to pay attention to your surroundings instead of your phone. If you’re someone who loves adventures, spend a day looking for new and photo-worthy places. Take the time to find interesting locations, no matter how small, if you enjoy running. Eventually, these details will turn into amazing backgrounds for your images, ones that will make you proud of your work and eager to discover more.



Indoor backgrounds

The colder months often force us to sit at home with our cameras, desperately attempting to come up with creative shooting methods. Many artists don’t own professional studio gear, so the notion of giving up on shooting indoors is an understandable one. However, simple indoor images can be enhanced with the help of “handmade” backgrounds, creations which will inevitably lead you to amazing photo opportunities and unique ideas.

If painting is one of your interests, create your own backgrounds and temporarily hang them on a wall – your very own little studio. Alternatively, you can use other people’s paintings as striking additions to your portraits. If neither of these appeal to you, use wallpapers since they often consist of intricate, symmetrical patterns. Blankets and curtains are also fantastic backgrounds, especially ones that are beautifully decorated. You could even create your own forts out of them and no one would be able to tell. 😉



The beauty of shooting in your own home is having easy access to your wardrobe – experiment with various color combinations and find ones which enhance both your background and your subject’s attire. If you’re planning to shoot elsewhere, choose several outfits to use in case you come across an unusual (yet original) background. Use rental costumes and wigs to give your portfolio a fresh spark if you have the chance. If you’re shooting in a store, let artificial light be your background. Oftentimes, beautifully decorated light in shops will add an otherworldly atmosphere to your images. It’s also possible to create your own backgrounds in an editing program using other artists’ photo resources and overlays. Whatever you do, remember to use your backgrounds to the fullest and not let your fears bring you down.

No matter where you are or what time of day it is, remember to keep your mind and your eyes open. Before you know it, your images will be appreciated for their beautiful compositions and most importantly, for their eye-catching backgrounds.

Good luck!




Finding the Perfect Backgrounds for Your Photographs

There is always an element in photography that you have to think about with every subject, and that’s background. This is true in still life, product, fashion, portraits, and even landscape. There are a few background choices for each of these different types of photography. A background can be a wide array of buildings, walls, floors, color, landscape, greenery; the sky is the limit (literally.) It is always a good idea to know what to look for while location scouting as well.

Finding Backgrounds

A lot of your background detail also has to do with your depth of field. You can either control your background with a blurred or sharpness by a shallow or deep depth of field, depending on your subject matter. A shallow depth of field is popular in portraits, so your subject is your main point of focus. You can use a deeper depth of field though to enhance your background clarity and texture. Keep your subject away from the background and not right up against a graffiti wall and tree, this is because these textures and colors can be too distracting. Shooting your subject in wide open spaces with a shallow depth of field and will give you the ability to have a subtle background of light colors and textures. Graffiti is a great example for this because it is a popular choice for a fun and colorful background but can also become a little distracting to your subject so by shooting your subject away from the background you can still gather the color and design without too much detail. Other background choices that you can use the subtle color, texture, and pattern are brick walls, wallpapers, and colorful doors. Think about the landscape in your image too and the great environment you are located in.

Finding Backgrounds

finding backgrounds
finding backgrounds

A variety of angles can also help your background choices. If you are shooting down on your subject you can use various lines on the road, grass, or any other greenery around or even just the texture. Shooting forward onto your subject will give you space and environment area that you are in. Shooting up on your subject can make you a viewpoint of the sky, clouds, or anything else above your subject matter.

finding backgrounds

Finding Backgrounds

Food and still life photography gives you an excellent array of choices with colors, textures, and backgrounds and offers a great way to be creative. You can even make your backgrounds using various woods and papers. Another background choice for smaller subjects is scrapbook paper from your local craft store where you can purchase paper patterns that look like wood, marble, and other surfaces that you enjoy.

finding backgrounds

There are some things you will want to avoid in your background. By using these guidelines, it will help you avoid distractions from the subject of your image. You usually want the brightest point of your image to be your subject; this means that you will want to avoid brighter highlights in the background or colors that could be distracting such as bright oranges, neons, etc. Poles and tree branches are common objects that can get in the way of a great photograph and something you want to avoid, especially when shooting portraits.

If you are having a difficult time finding the right kind of background texture and color you can always Photoshop out your background and replace it with a new background. There are many Photoshop actions, and Lightroom presets to help you achieve this. This is also where green screen photography comes in handy. A green screen can help you knock out the background easier to replace it later on. This color is used because Photoshop can read the color much better to separate from your subject in post editing.

Finding backgrounds

When we are talking about the background, you always want to consider foreground as a factor in your photography. The foreground is a great way to bring depth into your image and also a good use of framing. You can achieve this by setting objects in front of your still-life images. Use trees or greenery in the foreground with a shallow depth of field, or any other creative factors to frame your image. If you find your foreground is too sharp in your image and becomes a distraction you can always blur this in post-production.

finding backgrounds