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Portrait Lighting: Colored Backgrounds

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[tps_header]I’ve always loved shooting on a red background. Red is the most prominent color and it can help make your subject pop, especially if she’s wearing black with red lipstick, as our model Marissa is.

The challenge to getting a good, rich, colorful background is to keep your main light and hair light from spilling onto the background, contaminating it, and washing out the color. You must be very careful about how you aim your lights, and take extra precaution by using grids, gobos, and feathering techniques. [/tps_header]

Step One

portrait tutorials colored background

Let’s begin with the fill light placed next to and above the camera, making sure the catch light shows up in the center of both eyes. This will help keep the eyes from being too dark, and also give us detail in the shadows. I’ve chosen a 7′ octabank to provide a soft fill.

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