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How to photograph a white background: 8 tips

Photography is a varied field, and you can use lighting and backgrounds to create all kinds of interesting pieces. White backgrounds are frequently used in photoshoots, but it’s hard to get the exact shots you want if you’re a beginner under these circumstances.

White-field photography requires a good knowledge of composition and the ways you can manipulate lighting in your favor. You also need to understand storytelling and exposition.

If you don’t know how to film this particular genre, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find eight tips that will help you take better white background photos.


1. Consider negative fill

You may have heard of the term “negative fill” before. In short, you can use this tactic to add contrast to your main subject.

When using a negative fill, you need to find a way to block light from entering your image. Don’t worry, though, because it’s not as complicated as it looks. There are several tools you can use to help you achieve a negative fill and create the exact type of image you originally intended.

V-flats are a popular option, especially if you intend to shoot a portrait against a white background. If you don’t want to use a V-flat, you can use floppy disks, trees, and many other objects.

2. Get the white balance right

Sometimes all you need is a subtle tweak to turn your photos into something special. Perfecting your white balance can automatically enhance your photography, and focusing on this area is especially important if you plan to shoot against a bright white background.

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You can use one of several methods to change the white balance on your camera. Many devices have out-of-the-box settings, such as cloudy and sunny. You might get some use out of it, but the results can also be disastrous.

Adjusting the Kelvin meter on your camera is perhaps the easiest way to change your camera’s white balance for white-field photography. You can also photograph your background or a white sheet of paper in the frame of your choice.

3. Don’t forget to include shadows

Shooting against a pure white background has many similarities to capturing images in bright lighting, and both are quite difficult. Using shadows is one way to create better images in the latter situation, and you’ll need to incorporate them as well if you want to enhance your white background photography.

If you don’t include shadows in your white background photos, your image will look quite one-dimensional. Make sure your subject has the right level of lighting to create shadows, and remember to choose an angle where you can maximize them.

You can also increase the shadows in your photo during the post-production process, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.

4. Put some distance between your subject and the background

When shooting against a bright white background, the main goal is to make the subject and the background work in harmony, rather than against each other. One of the easiest ways to do this is to put some distance between the two.

If you’ve ever seen a photo where the subject is too bright and looks like it’s part of the background, the main reason is that it was too close. You may need to experiment with distances; the easiest way to tell if your subject is far enough away is that your photo won’t look flat.

5. Don’t use a white background if it’s not appropriate

Even if you master all the technical aspects of white background photography, your image will look a little weird if you don’t portray the message you want. Whether or not you should use this type of photography depends on your goals and objectives.

Whether it’s white, yellow, or something similar, brighter backgrounds make sense if you want to take more uplifting photos. A white background photo shoot makes sense if you’re shooting for a brand with fun and dynamic marketing or if you’re going to take portraits where the person looks happy.

On the other hand, white backgrounds aren’t the best choice if you want to get a serious message across. Think about the emotions you want to convey before choosing the location for your photo.

6. Correct what you need in post-production

In most cases, you’ll probably use an editing platform like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One to edit your white background photos. You want to limit your workload by getting the basics right on the go, but editing software can help make your photos stand out.

While editing your photos, you can modify several areas of your photo. In addition to editing shadows, you can hide certain areas of your images and add detail to lights, shadows, and more.

Note that a badly taken image is often irreversible. If your highlights are too overexposed, for example, you’ll struggle to resolve these issues in post, no matter what editing platform you use.

7. Get your configuration correct

To get the most out of your white background photography, you need to make sure you have the correct setup.

In addition to the white background, make sure you have everything you need to master your photoshoot. Think about any additional lights you need ahead of time, such as ring lights, and change 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 you’ll be shooting against this kind of background, think about how you can make your shot really pop.

If you’re capturing images of people, think about the colors they might be wearing. In the meantime, you might want to add textures if you’re taking product shots.

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 photos against a pure white background. Mastering a style of photography like this will take practice, but you can pick up some basics to improve your photos without much effort.

Before heading out for your photoshoot, take some time to think about settings, props, and lighting. Then it will be much easier for you to get the photos you want.


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