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Headshot background ideas

As you prepare for your upcoming headshot photo session, one important factor to consider is the background. The background of your headshot can greatly impact the overall look and feel of the image, and there are countless options to choose from...

Headshot background ideas

These headshot background ideas are inexpensive and highly rewarding for those who use them. Remember to adjust to your clients. Do not force them to use a background they dislike, even if it matches theirs.

Let us start with the classic, shall we?

1. Black and white background

The good old black and white is still relevant today. Each effect adds its unique shine to a photo.

Simple white background

Plain white backdrops are popular since they are a neutral color that just shows the client as they are. Clean, simple, and minimalistic. This color works wonders for those searching for a multi-purpose professional headshot background. Everybody can use it for any occupation and situation! Just ensure the client wears a dark outfit to add needed contrast.

The dramatic black background

The black backdrop is also considered one of the best backgrounds for a headshot. It adds a dramatic feel to the picture, amplifying the clients’ personalities and making them speak volumes.

These work best for those who want their headshots to be more unique and entrancing, particularly for those who want a unique headshot. If the client wants to feel even more unique, recommend vibrant clothing (like a pink or white suit) and create that beautiful contrast.

In the same black background, a client can either look cool, calm, and collected or look very vibrant and eye-catching! Using a black background requires you to have a studio and a good understanding of how lighting works. So, keep that in mind, too.

2. A grey background

This background sits between the white and black backgrounds, offering a little bit of both worlds. A professional headshot background should be adjusted to the client’s skin tone.

If your client has a tan or brown skin tone, we recommend using this! Make it a little darker for a sense of drama and pop. It works like a black-and-white background; it is just more “toned” to those with a particular skin tone.

3. Textured backgrounds

Using texture as headshot background ideas is not a bad choice. They add a perceived depth and feel, making your photos more realistic. But in this case, balance is critical.

Why balance, you ask? Well, backgrounds should be nice and fitting for the client. They rarely become the highlight of a headshot for obvious reasons.

Textured backgrounds may have eye-catching color shades, so avoid making them too flashy. Some examples of textured backgrounds are a solid grey wall, a painted brick wall, floor drops, or even a curtain!

Different backgrounds provide different textures that should be taken into consideration. A plain, neutral grey wall gives a smooth surface, while a brick wall will give a rougher texture.

4. Strong lines and architectures

These may not be formal enough for corporates or applications, but they have a unique charm. As one of the best backdrops for headshots, buildings can be found anywhere. Most of them also have sharp lines that will lead the viewer’s eye.

Different architectures supply different impressions. Tokyo’s busy night city can make a headshot feel more modern. Meanwhile, the countryside shed gives a traditional, simplistic impression.

Also, look for patterns in the architecture. An easy example would be multiple columns. These will look astounding as a backdrop, just keep in mind to lower the f-stop, so it does not distract the viewers.

Knowing a location’s architecture and how its impressions change overnight and the day is a wise choice! Try new things and adjust your clients’ clothing to fit the location.

5. Natural backgrounds

We highly recommend adding natural backgrounds to your headshot background ideas. People have always loved how they look and the numerous meanings they can convey!

Regardless of your client’s needs and personality, a wide choice of natural backgrounds will always be available. It may be their backyard or a special place that means the world to them.

Keep in mind that taking these headshots will not be easy. Skill, preparation, and improvisation, according to the situation, are needed. It's a high risk, but a very high reward!

Ensure the background does not catch all the viewers’ attention; your client should be the highlight. We recommend using a large aperture and a low f-stop, but feel free to experiment!

6. The clients’ workplace

Using the clients’ workplace is also considered a professional headshot background. We have seen numerous headshots of chefs in their beloved kitchens or food trucks.

Either it is them posing with their utensils, or they are busy cooking during rush hour. Clients and the audience love it! It expresses their identity and beloved business. Many elements can tell their experience working there.

Play with surrounding elements and see which works best for your client. Scout the place to know what it looks like, how much lighting you should add or diffuse, and other factors. Focus on your client, and shoot!

7. Colored backdrop

Although underrated, this is also one of the best backdrops for headshots. It offers a wide variety of colors in addition to the usual red, green, and blue.

These work best for clients who are searching for a unique and less traditional backdrop but avoid a black background. Because of the variety of colors, you should adjust their clothing to the backdrop or their selected color palette. Make sure it contrasts so they do not blend into the background. Unless they purposely requested it.

In conclusion, headshots have a distinct purpose today. To achieve that, photographers need amazing ideas that do not distract viewers, which is why we made this article. Your choice of headshot background ideas can either make or break your photo. Choose them accordingly to match your clients’ requests. Proceed to guide them to look their best in the said idea!

Each backdrop has its effect, starting from a dramatic black background to a very natural background. The choice is yours and your clients alone. Have fun experimenting and mastering these headshot background ideas, and see you next time.

Š 2024