They may not be the main focus of a photograph but backdrops and props not only enhance an image, they can improve it in many ways by simplifying the background, placing the emphasis on the subject.
A scenic background can be as much an important part of the photograph as the person standing or sitting in front of it. Then again, using that same background, unlit and barely visible, the subject becomes more highlighted and the background is reduced to a supporting role.
If by selecting the right background, the person being photographed feels special, it helps the final product and ultimately your bottom lone. By working with different colored but neutral backdrops but you can experiment with different designs and textures so you’re ready for anything. When shopping for backgrounds try to find one that complements the subjects without competing with it and that’s why the most classic of all backgrounds is solid color seamless paper such as are available from Savage Universal as used in the illustration.
I is for Improvise. Props to my wife, Mary, for using a milk crate as a prop for this photograph on Savage white seamless paper background but she only made two images using the crate and I would have liked to have seen the model’s right arm and hand. Some photographers will ask, “where’s her arm?” but I still like the photograph.
Lighting was from a Dynalite SP2000 power pack and a four-head setup with two large Chimera lightbanks on the subject and two raw heads that pumped lots of light onto the background. Camera was a Canon EOS 60D with EF 85mm f/1.8 lens and an exposure of 1/125 second at f/11 at ISO 100.