I’m often asked how do I create my backgrounds for studio portraits. An easy way to add interest to images is by using a digital texture or overlay with Photoshop or your favorite photo editing software. By using digital textures I can avoid purchasing expensive canvas, fabric or paper backgrounds thus saving money and space in my studio. This keeps my photo shoot production costs down and enables me to offer more variety and pass along savings to my clients.
In this children’s portrait session I photographed the young girl on a plain grey background and added the color and texture into the background during the editing process. As you can see in the behind the scenes photo from the photography session, my standard medium grey backdrop is behind the
subject. I used a two light setup, with a Stella 2000 LED continuous light bounced into a shallow Elinchrom umbrella to create my base layer of lighting and then bounced a Stella 5000 continuous LED light into a deep silver lined Elinchrom umbrella to feather light across her as the main light. During the editing process I added Texture #18, a weaved canvas like texture overlay from my Texture Set 1 collection, using the “soft light” blending mode in Photoshop. Using a layer mask I brushed the texture off of the subject so that it was only visible on the background.
In the image below you can use the slider to see what the portrait looks like before and after retouching and the addition of the texture overlay.
100 Digital Textures and Backgrounds for Photographers
I have curated a special collection of my top 100 favorite digital textures and backgrounds for photography and made them available in my online store for photographers to use in the personal and commercial projects. Use these textures as layered files and choose different blending modes (I usually use overlay, soft light, normal or multiply depending on the individual image and effect I wish to achieve) in your Photoshop or other editing software to add interest to your images. The final look will vary, depending on the colors of the background image you are using and the layer blending mode chosen. You can also use layer masks when adding textures, convert the textures to black and white or alternative colors, or use them at 100% opacity as backgrounds in composite photography images for unlimited creative possibilities. You can purchase my Texture Pack from my store and use them in any of your photography projects.