Here are 19 portraits I recently shot at my studio that art director Boo Davis later converted into this “collage” styled cover for the magazine Seattle’s Child. I love doing this type of photography and I’m really digging the overall commercial photography look this cover has. It was a blast to shoot and it was super easy too! In this blog post I’ll share why and how a gray background can make all the difference on your next shoot.
Why Gray Is The Way
Three aspects that can make an editorial photo shoot tough: little time, small budget, and outside of asking your subjects to not wear heavy patterns or big logos you really have no control over what they’ll end up wearing. When it comes to photographing kids, this statement is even more true.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of using middle gray or what is known 18% gray for a background. If you’re not sure what middle gray is check out this great article about it here. With little effort you’ll be able to convert the background into any color you wish. See a great video explaining how the post process works.
Also try to changed the gray background into black, gray, or white during the actual shoot. You can do this by simply controlling how much light is hitting the background. Start by taking the light completely off of the background which should give you black. Next, add an even amount of light across the background and you’ll have gray. Finally, turn the light up or move it in closer towards the background and you’ll have a white background. Again, having so much flexibility and being able to work cheaply and quickly s why gray is the best choice when choosing a background. Give it a try on your next shoot!