Photography backgrounds can be taken for granted at times or, more often than not, completely overlooked. Sometimes people search long and hard to find the perfect background for their subject but forget what is most important – getting rid of distractions in the background, so your subject stands out better. One of the wisest decisions you can make is to invest in a good quality, neutral background that can be used with various subjects. If you are wondering, “what is the best backdrop?” then look no further! Here we have tips photographers like Ashwin Khubchandani use on a day to day basis.
Backgrounds are very important because they provide an overall feel to your work which should be toned down or changed depending on what you are photographing. For example, if you are photographing a stern looking gentleman, then an elegant backdrop would suit his persona. On the other hand, if you are photographing a little girl who loves to play dress up in princess dresses, then perhaps a whimsical or fairy-tale backdrop might work best for her.
It is important to remember that your background should not detract from your main subject. It should not be too distracting and catch people’s attention as to what is happening behind the subject. Still, at the same time, it should be bold enough to completely overshadow your focal point because that is exactly what a background does – it provides a context for you to place your subject into.
A good way of finding backgrounds and incorporating them into your photos is to look around you and observe the world. Look at backgrounds that you encounter every day, such as walls and doorways, and pay attention to how they can be used. Doors can be good for placing subjects either side of it or in front of it with an interesting edge on one side. That door might lead you through the rest of the photo and give a good context for your composition.
Wall textures can be very useful, especially if you have a nice clean wall that has an interesting texture. You don’t necessarily want distracting backgrounds as such but ones that help tell the story of where your subject is or what he or she is doing without completely drawing attention to itself.
If you do already have a background ready for your subjects, remember that they can go wrong, too, so it’s important to be patient and take the time to get the perfect match between subject and setting. Have patience with them until you find something that really works!
When choosing backgrounds, be careful of repeating patterns as they can be distracting and diminish the attention that should be paid to your subject. If you want a more dominant background, choose one that isn’t too busy, so it doesn’t take away from your photo.
Start by photographing things around your house – this will give you an idea of what kind of backgrounds work for different kinds of photos. You’ll soon find yourself searching for those perfect backgrounds and finding exactly what you need to make your photos stand out.
Remember, use the backdrop as a way to complete the story of what is happening in your photo by providing context rather than stealing attention away from your subject. Gently placing it within the scene will give you an excellent foundation for building your composition.