Steve Glass Photography
It's not your picture, it's your image.


Headshot Backgrounds

Having a slightly different or even unique background is a great way to have your headshots add to your brand. Here are some ways you can achieve that.

Different Color

The “go to” color is some shade of gray or even white. It attracts the least attention to itself. You can't go wrong. For other than gray I favor Savage Paper's “Blue Mist” which has some color but is still low in saturation and unobtrusive. To see a variety of colors go to Lemonade, mint green, and ivory are some nice choices. In general, for a business headshot, you don't want a background that is too saturated.

Texture and Vignettes

Adding some texture, a hint of color, and a bit of vignette in post production incurs a small upcharge for the extra work, but the yield is a unique one of a kind background that is consistent and replicable from subject to subject and over a period of years. The upcharge is for “masking” the subject out of the tint and texture. It's not a full blown composite mask but it does take more time.


I love doing outdoor headshots and I think they're one of the better ways to have consistency yet uniqueness to each headshot. If you're in a high rise meeting at a public park works well. Then again if you're in a highrise you have other options.

View through the window

If you have a great view through one of your office windows this brings a nice urban feel to an image. It's a dynamic way to add interest and uniqueness. If you have a view to some iconic buildings so much the better. Results vary from floor to floor. You can also create this look in post production by compositing a background in.

Environment At Your Office

Your office, building lobby, atrium, or some other feature Maybe your office is a modern open workspace with open ceilings, bricked walls, sitting areas, etc... This could be appropriate to your brand and it's a great way to add uniqueness and continuity to your customer's experience. Maybe there's a common area in your building. This could be a lobby, atrium, outdoor area, or some other building feature you might be able to utilize. Check with your building management. I have the proper insurance required for shoots in common areas. These are some of my favorite. 

Pre-Printed Custom Backgrounds

The background can be printed on canvas or even a pop-up screen that you might see in a vendor booth at a convention. You could print anything you wanted on the screen. It could be a blurry office, your logo, company colors, or some other design that works with your current branding. If you're an international company you can get many of these backgrounds printed and ship them where needed. In this way your headshots have great continuity.

“Green Screen” or “Cut Out”

So you want the perfect city-scape? Well we can do a full blown composite. I don't actually shoot against a “green screen” like you see in movie extras. For still photography it works out better just to light carefully and shoot on a shade of gray that provides enough contrast to “cut out” the subject and then place that subject on a background. Composites always work better if you pick the background ahead of time. Light and shoot with the background in mind and it will always look better.