Headshots at Home - Part 3

 

Studio portrait photography still creates a massive buzz amongst our customers who're looking for a nice big canvas to hang in their home. In this series we're looking specifically at how you can save a fortune by investing in a small amount of gear and shooting your family's photographs at home, rather than paying high street prices. This week we'll talk about backgrounds and how to create a quality shot with the least amount of fuss.

 

Background basics

 

Traditionally, the background for a studio headshot would be white. This is the classic look you'll get if you go into virtually any professional studio. Does that mean that it's desirable or even essential today? More and more professional and highly accomplished amateurs are turning their backs on the safe and boring white background in favour of much cooler options. White still looks very clean, but it is kind of boring!  It's also almost impossible to use well with a single flash - grey is definitely the new white...

 

The beauty of grey

 

 

As you can see with this shot of Laura, grey is subtle and classy. In a small home studio environment it's hard to control ‘wrap’, which is the technical term for the light that bounces back off of the background onto the rear of the subject. Wrap can pull contrast out of the shot and create harsh highlight edges. The beauty of grey is that any unlit white wall will work.

 

This shot of Laura was taken against this type of wall, but you'd never know. If you don't have a white wall, simply pin a white sheet up against a wall or over your dark curtains. As long as you throw that wall or sheet out of focus nobody will ever know. Still can’t find anywhere suitable in your house? For a one-person headshot, you can use the white side of a 5 in 1 reflector or a sheet of white foam board from a craft shop. Think creative – there’s always a simple and cost-effective solution to be found.

 

What? You still want white!

 

Okay, okay, we get it, white is still very popular and your family are dead set on the white background look. Of course, this is possible within the confines of a home studio, but requires a bit more gear. Don't panic! Head back to eBay and pick up another of those great Yongnuo flashguns we raved about, a cheap umbrella adaptor and a lightstand – and next week we'll show you how to turn that background pure white...

 

In other news

We have just introduced new saturday delivery options! Order before 3.pm on a Friday and you can get your photo canvas the very next day for only £2.99!