Sydney businesses are always busy, especially those where staff need to go out to clients’ during the day. Sometimes it’s not possible to go on location for a lifestyle headshot. One option some professionals use are background replacements.
What is background replacement?
Sometimes a small business with multiple locations really wants to do an outdoors headshot session, but find it hard to get everyone out on location. At times, if we photograph carefully and with purpose, we can use a photograph with a plain background and replace it with the outdoor scenery required.
This technique seems increasingly popular with Sydney headshot photographers lately. We’ve also seen attempts that look like a child took some scissors to a photo. We’ve seen this mostly in the Real Estate industry, where staff are commonly on location all over Sydney and cannot attend a session at a set time.
In this case we used a generic background as an example, but it would work especially well if we go to the real location and capture a few varying shots of the scenery to be used.
You can get two looks in one session. One has the original background, done in your office, and the other with the background replaced. They can be used in different situations, and when done well people won’t notice the edit. For example, below are the original studio shots from the session.
Also if you get new staff, one of the problems with an outdoors session is that as seasons change the light at the location will also change. With this technique we have a library of backgrounds that we can reuse so that everything matches up.
The technique is deceptively simple. Phone apps even promise to do it in 1 step. There are many traps if you don’t know what to look out for.
Sometimes the light just doesn’t make sense. For example it’s a bright sunny day in the back, and the person’s face has shadows that fit a cloudy day. It just looks strange, but most people wouldn’t be able to put words to it. Instead of thinking the editing is bad, they just think you somehow make them feel uncomfortable – not what you wanted your headshot to do!
There might be white halos around the hair, or areas of whispy hair that wasn’t blended properly. It makes your effort look childish, and again affects your brand image.
While these work for small profile shots, we recommend you use them sparingly for larger shots or in print. Some people will recognise the replacement.
Lighting direction, color, and many other factors come into play to achieve a believable photograph that withstands more than a passing glance.
Like all tools, it must be used carefully to generate the benefits you desire.
Indoor Background Replacements
Indoor backgrounds are a little more successful. Because indoor lighting is studio lighting, we can more confidently match all factors when creating the final composite image.
With a given background, we vary heights and sizes. This simulates what the angle of view would have been according to each person’s height.
Here are some shots taken on a blank wall, then replaced with a kitchen background. They stand up well to scrutiny.
Professional background replacement is another technique that we can use to help busy Sydney SMEs show off their brand in a consistent way. It’s most effective in industries where staff are often on the road, but also need a connect with their local community.
Valent Lau Photography provides Corporate Headshot Photography at your business location. Contact us now and let us help you make your best first impression.
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