One of the biggest issues with newer photographers is nailing the background content. When you’re posing your subject, whether it is newlyweds, a high school senior, children, or the goat from next door that can scream like a human, everything behind your subject plays an important rule in some form or fashion.
First and foremost, color is key! When your subject is standing in front of a landscape or backdrop that’s colored, there’s a great possibility of it clashing with your subject’s outfit colors.
If shooting on location, take a look at your surrounding area and find the best scenery that will compliment your client’s outfit. If you have trouble with figuring out which colors work together best, you can study some color palettes or even study how other photographers compose their colors!
2. The Photobombing Tree
Look above your subject! None of your clients want to look at the beautiful pictures you took of them and see a big, ol’ oak tree sprouting out the back of their head! It’s Nature’s photobomb…real funny nature. If you have a problem with any element in the background of your picture, simply move your subject 10 feet to the left or right, whether it be an oak tree or the Eiffel Tower. I cannot stress this point enough.
3. Depth of Field
I’m not going to go too much in detail with this one because I plan to cover the whole aspect of depth of field in a later article.
When you place your subject in front of a wall, tree or anything else that would look cool, pull them away from it at least 15ft, if not more. By doing this, you will create the background to blur, making your subject stand out even more. This is a tip anyone can use! Even my iPhone camera can do this; so don’t be afraid to try it!
The reason for this background blur is aperture, which I plan to cover in another article as well.
Disclaimer: Some backgrounds look a lot better with detail, so putting your subject right against the background might not look to bad after all. Test it and see what looks best!
I’m sure you’ve heard it before: practice, practice, practice! You’re not going to magically be great at matching your backgrounds with your subjects. Go out and experiment with this!