Wisdom Wednesday – It’s Not Easy Bein’ a Green Backdrop

For this week’s Wisdom Wednesday we decided to do a bit of a St. Patrick’s Day theme considering it is tomorrow! (Time to pull out that green sweater in the back of your closet!)
In this blog we will be covering tips for taking photographs of subjects in front of vibrantly colored backgrounds. In order to stick with our St. Patrick’s Day theme, we will be primarily using green backdrops as examples

Let’s get started on some tips for mellowing out those bright backgrounds shall we?!

Crop Till You Drop!

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Backdrop: Garden Hill Park

If you are working with some cute subjects like these, there is no reason not crop that photo to really make them the overwhelming focal point. This green backdrop is by no means overpowering, but it could be slightly more distracting if the image was showing more of it. Just be careful to not crop too heavily as you don’t want to destroy the balance of the photo.

Use Lighter Multi-toned Backdrops


Backdrop: Green Teal Blue Wood

Everyone loves a colorful background, but you don’t always need the colors to be eye shattering! In this photo we can see a nice green, blue, purple toned backdrop all on the lighter side of the spectrum. Using multiple tones can really help to balance each other out and soften the overall image. Also, that adorable lime green bow tie is the perfect way to have fun with colors and draw the focus to your subject!

Embrace the Vibrance!


Sometimes you need to throw everything out the window and just have fun with colors. This cute baby holds their own in the bright lime green but the contrast is by no means subtle. We do not suggest every photo you take being this attention grabbing and bright, but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of them thrown into your shoots!

Let the colors create a mood!

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Backdrop: Garden Hill Park

The different colors in this photo are all bright and powerful, yet they are also setting a nice mood for the picture. The green backdrop, yellow tire, and red flannel all create a very “farm-esque” mood which totally works when they are all working together in harmony. Feel free to experiment with different colors and see what mood they can create for your photos


Black is the color of authority and power.


Innocence and purity. White reflects light and is considered a summer color.


The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love.


It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing.


Green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color.


Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color


The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic.


Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful.

Blur baby Blur!


Backdrop: Birds on Trees

For colorful or busy backgrounds it can sometimes be your best bet to blur them in order to draw the attention to the subject. As we can see, this backdrop is both brightly colored and quite busy with the birds, but your eyes immediately go to the two sleeping angels. The blurring of the background can be achieved with your camera’s lens or in post if necessary!

Balance the background with the clothes/props


Backdrop: Green Moss

When working with bright and busy backgrounds it is also important to not create too much more excitement for the eye with the subject. As you can see in this wonderful photo, the background is quite vibrant but Baby Rock Photography kept the baby very minimal in order to balance out the picture.

If the baby was wearing a ton of different colored clothing and there were some extra props thrown in, it would completely take away from the elegance of the photograph. Always be mindful of how busy your overall setup will look to your audience!

Be Mindful of the Subject to Background Distance


In these two photos we can see that the subject is at different distances with the background. A greater distance can be beneficial if you are looking to blur the background or simply want more control over the different aspects of the photo. It can be much easier to change the vibrance of just the background in photoshop if there is a clear distinction between the background and subject.

That is not to see we discourage close background-subject distance photos, it may just be something to keep in mind on your next shoot with a vibrant background

Compliment eye color!


Backdrop: Solid Aqua Diamond Cloth

Using a nice vibrant backdrop can be a great way of amplifying a subject’s beautiful eye color! While this backdrop is not green it was just too cute to pass up and perfectly exemplifies the amazing impact of matching a colorful background to the subjects eye color!

As always, we hope this installment of Wisdom Wednesdays was insightful and can propel your photography career to new heights! Using vibrant colored backgrounds and backdrops can be a ton of fun but also takes practice! Never be afraid to take on challenges with your photography and always remember to have fun!

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Until Next Time


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