One of the most valuable tools in a photo studio is a clean and smooth background. High-volume operations have multiple sizes and colors at their disposal. They can be wide rolls of thick paper or dedicated paintable walls or coves that have no visible lines.

In the industry, we call this a seamless.

Typically, a white background is perfect for a professional portrait. Gray and black are effective too. In certain digital scenarios, a green screen is employed.

Mastery of this technique is important for repeatable results.

Imagine going to your favorite restaurant for their signature dish and discovering that the recipe had changed. That’s how a photo customer would feel if the photographer couldn’t match what had previously been done.

Those aren’t problems for me because my backgrounds are one of a kind. I don’t set them up, maintain them or even pay for their use.

Most people wouldn’t even notice that a little piece of untapped magic exists as a photography element.

The background of this portrait taken in St. Pete Beach was an old concrete wall. It had some strange coats of paint that had been aged by the Florida sun.

It wasn’t much until the synergy of the subject turned it into something memorable.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.