Four Background Styles For Your Headshot

I wanted to create this article to help my clients understand different suggestions for backdrops.  Of course on white, on black is obvious, but when it comes to environmental or gradated,  people have the tendency to feel overwhelmed and confused.  So with that said let’s break it all down with some visuals and logic behind each choice.

When planning your headshot it is wise to think about where this headshot will be placed and what the image says subconsciously to the viewer looking at it.  If you are a lawyer for example I may suggest a white or gradated background.   If you are an actor I would say all four backgrounds could work perfectly fine.  It is a matter of preference.

For the majority of people they either go with white or environmental.  However gradated and black can make things a little interesting, again its up to you!


On White is the most popular choice for a background because most websites out there are white.   For the example on the right I made the subject black and white, but it also works in color just fine. 


On black is very theatrical and I find a perfect background for creative professionals such as a creative director or perhaps an actor.  It is rare to see a website with a black background, but in the event you have such a website, this background would work perfectly with your theme.


Gradated is a classic dark to light background and mostly used for the high executives,  lawyers and CEO’s  etc.   At times I like to use it for artist such as actors, painters etc. 

Its professional and provides a nice variety in tonality as a backdrop. 


Environmental is also perfect for lifestyle portrait and is shot either indoors or within an outdoor setting. 

Most of the time I like to blur out the background to focus on the client, however not always.  Sometimes I will photographed a person in a conference room or perhaps in their office with the cityscape in the background or use an office plant for that splash of nature. 

Environmental is a preference that can be used for just about any working professional.  It is often most desired for its colorful surroundings, the  feeling of openness and creativity.  


For more examples check out my Portfolio Page

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