San Francisco Headshot Photography Backgrounds
What is a background?
Simply put, a background is what is behind the subject in a photo. It is usually out of focus, keeping the attention on the subject. Backgrounds can be backdrops — solid or printed materials used by portrait photographers — or they can be environmental, meaning the photo shows what the person is in front of. You can read more about environmental portraits here; in this article we will focus on studio backdrops, which are solid pieces of fabric or paper photographer's use for studio photography.
For business portraits, 80% of our clients choose a white backdrop. With adjustments to our lighting set-up, we can achieve a "soft white" or a "high key white" background. The white is very versatile and works with all skin and hair tones, and makes it easy to see the subject when the image appears small on screen. Fair skinned people, or those with light hair, may worry they will look washed out, but proper lighting and professional execution ensures everyone looks their best.
For companies who don’t want white, we have several different grays as well, from light to dark. A black backdrop, also described as “low key”, can be used with creative lighting techniques for more dramatic portraits.
If you have a brand color for your corporate identity, let us know and we can work with you to find a backdrop that matches or accentuates that color. If you have any backdrop requests that require us to special order a specific color, please provide us with that information at least two weeks prior to your headshot session.