The right backdrop for a portrait is as important as the harmony to music or the right side dish to a great entrée. You may not notice a backdrop but something about the subject of the portrait will be enhanced when you select the right color for the background of the photograph.
Your professional portrait photographer should offer several selections and work with you to pick the right backdrop.
For example, a black background may seem very neutral but in fact says a lot about the person in the photograph. This color can lend an air of mystery and elegance. Lighting will be important to ensure that hair color does not disappear into the background (brunettes, this is meant for you) and that clothing will pop against the darkness.
Grey backgrounds will actually be more neutral than black and draw the eye to the portrait subject. Juxtapose this with brown, also a good neutral, but with a more casual feel than grey.
At the other end of the scale, red is a color that does not hide. Think of how it can warm as subject dressed all in white or bring fire to rosy cheeks. A strong color choice can reflect the personality or character of the portrait subject, expressing energy and vibrancy.
Again, a portrait is about light and colors like blue can make blue eyes bluer. It’s difficult to say how a particular color will impact a picture because the photographer’s skill with lighting equipment and his camera can make a very big difference. Again, a professional photographer can use all the tricks of the trade to bring out the physical and spiritual characteristics of the portrait subject.
For example, pink may be associated with women but men can benefit from the way that particular color highlights their skin tone, perhaps making them seem younger or more vital. At Premier Portraits Studio, we've often received compliments that focus on the subject and, when someone points out the background, heard, “I didn't realize that it was pink!”