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Part of the struggle of wedding photography is finding the right background, however there are several options to choose from. Here you will find a few tips to help you discover what photo background works best for the day.

Keep It Simple 

Simple backgrounds are some of the easiest backgrounds to shoot; they are clean and make your subjects appear crisper.

Blur the Background 

By changing the depth of field, you will blur the background and give the photograph an effect of a more personal, intimate moment. This type of background is beautiful and works wonderfully with wedding photography. Blurring rids the photograph from any distractions that might be lingering in the background. It also creates great colors, shapes, and contrasts that are extremely softened and faded. This makes the background interesting but not so much that it takes away from the subjects.

wedding couple

Use a Backdrop

Bringing your own portable, solid colored collapsible backdrop is another option that will produce flawless shots. Using a controllable photo backdrop eliminates any guesswork of what background to use for the wedding portraits. This method can be used for some of the formal, headshots of the bride and groom together before the ceremony but should be mixed with other types of natural backgrounds to add variety to your overall shoot.

Take Advantage of Any Light Patterns

Natural and artificial light can both add a great quality to the background by highlighting the subject and darkening the background. Light adds a dramatic effect to photographs which can work perfectly when photographing the bride or the bride and groom. Use the natural shadows to create a dramatic background or use it to highlight the couple, but keep in mind that you must work quickly since natural light moves fast. 

Avoid Distractions

Anything that distracts from the subject is not good, that includes any busy patterns that appear to be coming from behind the subjects. And, or course photo bombing (having unwanted people in the background) is a no-no as well unless it’s an intentional candid.

bride groom

Parks, Beaches, Building Steps, Gardens

Outdoor scenes like these are great to use for backgrounds. They add depth, they are subtle, they blur well, and they are aesthetically pleasing, so why not use it to your advantage? With these types of background, there’s limited distractions. Pay attention to where you position your wedding party or bride and groom and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Use Architecture to Your Advantage

Architecture works beautifully at weddings. Use the architecture of the church or a building near by to frame your subjects, or let them lean against the pillars and let the rest of the building fade into the background. The best part, it incorporates the place of their big day, which will create a lasting memory of their special day together.

Photoshop a Background in Later

Photoshop is a common tool for retouching digital photos but it can also be a great tool for inserting a background into your portrait later. This technique has become a fairly typical approach to make really interesting photographs. This allows the photographer to have more control over the background and change it as needed. You’ll end up getting exactly what you want out of the photo instead of trying to find the right background while on site. It also is a fallback solution to undesirable weather conditions the day of the event.

All of these methods can make for wonderful photographs that the bride and groom will be able to cherish for years to come. Remember; don’t depend on only one method when shooting. Use a variety of backgrounds to add more depth to your work, which will make the photographs more alluring. There are many ways to choose a photo background so talk to the bride and groom about what they want in their portraits beforehand, then make some judgment decisions based on the weather conditions the day of. Some of the best shots are captured in the moment and not planned at all! 

Cheryl Woods

Cheryl Woods is an accomplished photographer, designer and branding consultant with a career spanning 20+ years. Her photographic work includes editorial, fashion, portraiture and product photography for major companies in the consumer products field including QVC and Hanover Direct. She received a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Media Design from Full Sail University. Cheryl's work has been exhibited at the Lowes Museum of Art in Coral Gables, FL, The New York Independent Film Festival and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Check out her website here!


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