How to Shoot Portraits With a Clean, White Background

By far, one of the most common types of portraits you will be asked to shoot are those with a clean, white background. It is a simple, elegant, and versatile look that will never go out of style. If you struggle with artificial lighting, this excellent video tutorial will show you how you can easily shoot high-quality portraits with clean, white backgrounds.

Coming to you from Daniel Norton with Adorama TV, this great video tutorial will show you how to shoot portraits with a clean, white background. These are undoubtedly some of the most requested portraits many photographers are asked to shoot. If you are new to artificial lighting, you might be surprised to learn that the white background is not created through color choice, but rather by blowing out the exposure of the background (in fact, you can even turn something like a gray background white with this technique). However, this can cause some difficult issues like loss of contrast and lens flares, but with some careful technique, you can overcome these to create high-quality portraits. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Norton. 

And if you want to continue learning about lighting for portraits, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"

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6 Comments

John Keane's picture

Always great content from Daniel. Thanks.

Lee Christiansen's picture

That would have been soooo much easier and quicker if he'd used a meter.

Eeswar Creative Studio's picture

Thank you for this information.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

That's a surprising video... What I know from my very early studio lighting courses is that there are around 2.5 stops between medium grey (what TTL measures on white) and commercial white (#FFFFFF, 255,255,255).

He is doing "at least 4".

Tony Clark's picture

It's always interesting to see how others light their subjects, we may do it differently but get similar results.

Bill Foster's picture

Great video! Zack Arias also has a great 2 part video on this. https://youtu.be/Y2415wV8mE4