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Best background for dark skin ?

dalowsons 12 89 Australia
30 Aug 2006 11:42PM
Hi all,

Without being too non-PC, I am doing some portraits this weekend with an Indian gentleman who I have been told is quite dark skinned.

In my teeny studio, I generally shoot against either a pure white or pure black background, although I may have a grey / blue option as well.

Has anyone had any experience with darker models (either African or Indian) and found a particular preference for a darker or lighter BACKGROUND to enhance / bring out their skin tones ? I don't want my subject to blend into the background too much, but I am also worried about excessive contrast betweeen a light background and dark skin.

Any advice / voices of experience appreciated Smile

Thanks !


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scottishphototours 12 2.6k 2
31 Aug 2006 12:04PM

I've used a sand-coloured background for dark-skinned people before that worked really well. Lastolite do one - look here - "Arizona" looks good.

Failing this, go and get yourself a very large cardboard box and a couple of tins of spray paint (off-white and darkish-brown tones) and make yourself one ! - I did this in the past and it works well.

muzzeyman 12 293 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2006 3:18PM
I've photographed an Indian girl against a grey/blue marble effect backdrop and that worked a treat.

If you shoot the gentleman against a black background then you can achieve some really great moody shots, if you've got a snoot or honeycomb. But I suppose that will depend on what your client wants.

dalowsons 12 89 Australia
31 Aug 2006 6:17PM
Thanks for your suggestions, I really appreciate your time.


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