Digital backgrounds are a fabulous way to add variety to your client galleries. They can help you to add a “wow factor” without the financial expense or time needed to create your own custom props. They can also be useful if you’ve found yourself unable to capture the variety you would typically like from a session.

Whilst convenient, they do still require skill and attention to detail. So understanding of lighting, posing and camera skills are still essential.

USING DIGITAL BACKDROPS SUCCESSFULLY

One of the keys to successfully using digital backgrounds is to study them carefully, paying attention to the direction and style of lighting used in the setup. Being able to closely emulate the lighting when you photograph the subject you’ll be compositing in, will make for a more realistic finished image.

If you’re new to digital backdrops, see Kelly’s Digital Backgrounds online class which includes a set of 4 backgrounds for you to learn with, and use for your client images.

MULTIPLE LOOKS FROM THE SAME DIGITAL BACKDROP

Whether you are purchasing digital backdrops or creating your own, you’ll probably want to be able to use them numerous times for different clients. So it’s ideal to have some editing options which allow you to customise them somewhat. This will enable you to use them multiple times, but with a variety of finished looks.

*(Check the Terms of Use from the digital background’s creator regarding any limitations on changes to any products you purchase.)

CHANGE THE DENSITY

Does your backdrop lend itself to being significantly darkened and lightened? If so, apply a simple Curve or Levels adjustment to do this in a manner which suits the image. You’ll likely need to mask the subject so that their skin tone isn’t significantly altered.

ADD TEXTURE

Texture packs such as Kelly Brown’s Texture Collections are a simple yet creative way to add variety to images. Experiment with texture types. And adjust the opacity and blend modes you use to apply them until you find a mix which complements the image and subject.

Variations to the same digital backdrop using 4 different textures

In this free 9 minute tutorial video, Kelly demonstrates several Photoshop editing methods to apply textures to your images. You’ll see the endless variety of results you can create with these techniques.

ADD A CUSTOM COLOUR TONE

At the end of your edit, do you finish your images off with a custom colour tone? Colour toning actions such as Kelly’s Colour Harmony Action Set are another way you can add variety to your gallery. Always choose a style which suits the mood and subject of your photo, of course. You don’t need a drastic change, but it’s nice to elevate your images to the next level, while still reflecting your own style.

And again, with the endless combinations of colour tones you can create from an action set, they’re a perfect method of customising digital backgrounds.

As you can see, it’s not hard to customise digital backgrounds with the help of density changes, textures and colour toning.

If you’ve purchased any of Kelly Brown’s digital background products, we’d love for you to share your variations in the Newborn Posing Facebook Community.