Photography is a varied field, and you can use lighting and backgrounds to create all kinds of interesting pieces. White backgrounds are frequently used during photoshoots, but getting the exact shots you want is tricky if you’re a beginner in those circumstances.
White background photography requires having a good knowledge of composition and ways that you can manipulate lighting in your favor. You must also understand storytelling and exposure.
If you’re unsure about how to shoot this particular genre, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find eight tips that will help you take a better white background photo.
1. Consider Negative Fill
You might have heard of the term “negative fill” before. In short, you can use this tactic to add contrast to your main subject.
When you use negative fill, you’ll need to find a way to block light from entering your image. Don’t worry, though, because doing so isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You can use several tools to help you achieve negative fill and create the exact type of picture you originally planned.
V-flats are a popular option, especially if you intend to shoot a white background portrait. If you don’t want to use a V-flat, you can use floppies, trees, and numerous other objects.
2. Get Your White Balance Right
Sometimes, all you need is a subtle tweak to turn your photos into something special. Perfecting your white balance can automatically elevate your photography, and focusing on this area is particularly important if you plan on taking pictures against a bright white background.
You can use one of several methods to alter the white balance on your camera. Many devices have ready-made settings, such as cloudy and sunny. You might get some use out of these, but the results also have the potential to be disastrous.
Adjusting the Kelvin meter on your camera is perhaps the easiest way to change the white balance on your camera for white background photography. You can also photograph your background or a white sheet of paper in your desired setting.
3. Remember to Include Shadows
Photographing against a pure white background bears many similarities to capturing images in harsh lighting, and both are pretty challenging. Utilizing shadows is one way to create better pictures in the latter situation, and you’ll also need to incorporate them if you want to improve your white background photography.
If you don’t include shadows in your white background photos, your image will look pretty one-dimensional. Make sure that your subject has the right lighting level on it to create shadows, and remember to choose an angle where you can maximize these.
You can also increase the shadows in your photo during the post-production process, which we’ll discuss in more depth later.
4. Put Distance Between Your Subject and the Background
When photographing against a bright white background, the main goal is to make the subject and background work in harmony together—rather than against one another. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by putting some distance between the two.
If you’ve ever seen a picture where the subject has too much light coming onto it and feels like it’s part of the background, the primary reason is that they were too close. You might need to experiment with distances; the easiest way to tell if your subject is far away enough is that your picture won’t look flat.
5. Don’t Use a White Background if It’s Not Appropriate
Even if you master all of the technical aspects of white background photography, your image will look somewhat bizarre if you’re not portraying your intended message. Whether or not you should use this kind of photography depends on your goals and objectives.
Regardless of whether it’s white, yellow, or something similar, brighter backgrounds make sense if you want to take more uplifting photos. A white background photoshoot makes sense if you’re taking pictures for a brand with vibrant and fun marketing or if you’re going to take portraits where the person looks happy.
On the flip side, white backgrounds aren’t the best choice if you want to portray a serious message. Think about the emotions you want to convey before choosing your photo location.
6. Fix What You Need to in Post-Production
In most instances, you’ll probably use an editing platform like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One to retouch your white background photos. You want to limit your workload by getting the basics right when out and about, but editing software can help make your pictures stand out.
When editing your pictures, you can alter several areas of your photo. In addition to modifying shadows, you can mask certain areas of your images and add detail to lights, darks, and so on.
We should point out that a badly-taken image is often irreversible. If your highlights are too overexposed, for example, you’ll struggle to fix those issues in post, regardless of the editing platform you use.
7. Get Your Setup Right
To get the most out of your white background photography, you must ensure that your setup is correct.
In addition to the white background, ensure that you have everything else you need to master your photoshoot. Consider any extra lights you need ahead of time, such as ring lights, and alter your camera settings to maximize your surroundings.
8. Consider Props for Your Subjects
While techniques like negative fill can add contrast to your subjects against a bright white background, you can also use props. If you know that you’re going to shoot against this kind of background, think about how you can make your picture really pop.
If you’re capturing images of people, think about the colors they can wear. Meanwhile, you might want to add textures if you’re taking pictures of products.
Taking a White Background Photo Can Be Tricky, but These Tips Will Help
You should now have a good idea of how you can take better pictures against a pure white background. Mastering a photography style like this will require practice, but you can get a few basics right to enhance your shots without trying too hard.
Before heading out on your photoshoot, take a little time to consider settings, props, and lighting. Then, you’ll find it much easier to get the shots you want.