20 Сreative and Easy Portrait Background Ideas

If you no longer want to deal with boring white backdrops, a colorful background can do wonders for ensuring your portrait photos look captivating and intriguing. I’ve put together a list of the most unusual and easy portrait background ideas that will help you create more interesting portrait photography and stand out from other photographs. This list includes cheap ideas that involve a bit of DIY and even some free ideas that only require a bit of effort on your part.

1. Metallic Streamer Wall

portrait background ideas party streamers

This isn’t just a creative background for portrait photo idea, but also one of the most popular photo booth ideas. Colorful party streamers require minimum effort to be set up as a backdrop. All you have to do is attach them to a wall with the help of masking tape while ensuring they cover the entire surface that will be visible in the shot.

portrait background ideas party streamers

The thing I like most about this background is its versatility. Regardless of whether you want a colorful background or a more subdued one, there’s no shortage of possible color options you can pick from, making it easy to find a color that suits your model and their attire perfectly.

2. Nature Backgrounds

portrait background ideas nature

A relaxing stroll through nature can inspire you with a plethora of potential backdrop ideas for outdoor portrait photography. Achieving a result similar to what you can see in the example is rather easy, as you merely have to ask the model to pose in front of a bush or tree while you compose the shot and use the leaves, branches, or flowers as the background.

portrait background ideas nature

A botanical garden represents a terrific photography location to visit if you’re interested in having access to a variety of interesting backdrop options.

3. Bokeh Blur

portrait background ideas bokeh

Adding a bokeh blur to the backdrop of your portraits is a valid stylistic choice that can help you receive visually captivating, professional photos. Bokeh photography allows you to focus all of the viewer’s attention on the subject while establishing a magical, somewhat romantic atmosphere in the background. Be sure to get a lens that lets you set an aperture of f/1.2-f/4. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is a fantastic model for this purpose.

portrait retouching by fixthephoto before after portrait retouching by fixthephoto before after

Portrait photos require attentive, meticulous retouching since you have to work on a long list of facial features while also ensuring both the background and the model’s clothing look their best. If you lack the skillset necessary to edit portrait images, consider reaching out to our service. Our experts will improve the body shape, enhance skin, and get rid of both small and large flaws while making sure the result looks realistic and natural.

4. Flower Wall

portrait background ideas flower wall

This is one of the most beloved wedding photo booth ideas for establishing a tender, feminine, and romantic atmosphere. Feel free to purchase similar artificial flowers and put together such a floral backdrop in your studio or outdoors. You can pick any type of flowers or colors you want – there’s no need to limit yourself to pink and white roses.

5. Paper Chain Backdrop

portrait background ideas paper chain

While this DIY photo backdrop requires the largest time investment of all the ideas in this article, the result is more than worth it. If you want to save time on creating the paperchains, you can buy paper chain strips that will reduce the time you have to spend on this background by hours.

portrait background ideas paper chain

One of the best things about this idea is that it can be adjusted to fit any color scheme you have in mind. You can hang down the paper chains to create a wall or spread them chaotically like in the second example.

6. Water Background

portrait background ideas water

Water’s reflective surface makes it a fantastic background for portrait photo idea. Taking a photo of the model resting on top of a body of water is also among the most unique portrait photography ideas you can come up with.

7. Multiple Paper Backdrop Combinations

colored paper portrait background ideas

When doing studio photography, most photographers stick to single-color backdrops but you can also achieve terrific results with the help of various bright seamless paper backdrops. There’s no limit to how creative you can get with this idea, as you can begin with two paper backdrops and increase that number with as many different colors as you want. To make the scene even more interesting, you can add some paper rolls next to the model, as shown in the photo above.

If you’re using two colors for the background, you should consider splitting the photo in half either horizontally or vertically. When doing so, be sure to pick complementary colors.

8. Tassel Fringe Garland

portrait background ideas tassel fringe garland

Tassel fringe garland is often employed for putting together a visually-captivating wedding photography backdrop or event photo booths. It’s also one of the most convenient background ideas for portraits if you’re into DIY and want to save money on expensive decorations and props.

9. Aluminum Foil

portrait background ideas tinfoil

Tinfoil can enhance your images with a beautiful shine effect. However, when setting it up, be very mindful of how the model is lit since tinfoil is a highly reflective surface that can overexpose the shot if you’re using a lot of studio lights. DIY tinfoil backgrounds look best when paired with soft natural lighting received from a large window.

portrait background ideas tinfoil

In its original shape, tinfoil can serve as a beautiful silverfish background. Alternatively, you can crease it to add more texture to it or create a bokeh effect to focus even more of the viewer’s attention on the subject. It’s also possible to colorize the tinfoil with the help of color gels to make it better fit your desired color scheme.

10. Old Metal Tray

portrait background ideas metal tray

Metal trays aren’t just great product photography backdrops, but also an interesting consideration for portraiture as long as they are suitably big. If you want to make such a background livelier and more captivating, you can decorate the tray with flowers or other fitting props.

11. Solid Colored Background

solid color portrait background ideas

Uniform, single-colored backgrounds are often all you need for a quality portrait photoshoot. Professional-level backgrounds can be divided into several types: paper background, canvas background and textured muslin background products. Their diversity also makes them one of the most versatile portrait background ideas if you’re working with a lot of different subjects.

solid color portrait background ideas

While it might seem bland, such a backdrop enables you to get more creative with the model’s attire and props. Muslin backdrops are available in different colors including white, red, black, and green.

12. Sky Background

portrait background ideas sky

Whether clear or slightly cloudy, the sky is a beautiful background that is also completely free and easily available. Moreover, if the current weather isn’t suitable for a photoshoot and the skies are overcast with grey clouds, you can still take the photo and later replace the sky in Photoshop.

portrait background ideas sky

The best thing about this background is that it changes every day and even every hour, allowing you to establish a broad range of moods for your portrait images. Don’t limit yourself to daytime photoshoots, as you can also receive unusual color combinations during the golden hour, at sundown, or sunset. However, remember to lift the shadows from the subject during post processing since otherwise, it will look more like a silhouette.

13. Patterned Wallpaper

portrait background ideas wallpaper

Occasionally, a complex backdrop like a patterned wallpaper can serve as the perfect addition to your portraits. The biggest benefit to such an idea is that you can often find such a background in your own house.

When taking portrait photos with a busy backdrop, ensure you’re focusing the lighting on the model rather than the wallpaper. The image above s a great example. The model is standing near the window so all the light is shed on her, emphasizing her stature and facial expression.

14. Fluffy Rug

portrait background ideas fluffy rug

If you check what kind of times you have in your house, you’re likely to end up with a ton of textured portrait background ideas, like the fluffy pink rug in the example above. Such rugs look particularly fitting when doing children and newborn photography.

15. Hanging Curtain Background

portrait background ideas curtain

This is a great option if you’re looking for cost-efficient and simple headshot background ideas. Place the curtain onto a photo stand to make it look like a high-end studio background. You can also experiment with a DIY take on this idea that requires you to hang the curtain from the window and attach it to the wall.

By stretching a curtain this way, you’ll create an array of interesting folds and textures. After you’ve finished the photoshoot, you simply detach the curtain and return it to its rightful place without having to clean anything.

16. City Murals

portrait background ideas mural

If you’re interested in a colorful, urbanistic backdrop, then a street mural is probably the best background for portrait photography that you can come up with. Street art and graffiti are a great option for city and wedding portraits, as such murals often become just as important a part of the scene as the models themselves so don’t be afraid to feature them prominently.

You should also consider having the model interact with the mural if possible. For instance, you can try out one of the popular Instagram poses, where the model stands near a street painting of pair of wings to make them look like they’re theirs.

17. Rainy Window

portrait background ideas rainy window

Windows with raindrops on them are a fantastic background for moody portrait photos. You can also experiment with double exposure photography by taking photos of the model through a window.

Even if rain isn’t falling during the photoshoot, you can create such an effect yourself. A regular spray bottle can beautifully add water droplets that resemble rainfall and will do wonders for complementing your backdrop.

18. Tile Background

tile portrait background ideas

Tiles are commonly employed as photography backgrounds and are incredibly versatile because they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. You can either use the tiles in your home or go around the city streets to look for suitable options.

19. Brick Wall

brick wall portrait background ideas

A brick wall photo backdrop is one of the most popular options employed by portrait photographers who want to add a bit of color, texture, geometry, and character to their photos. It’s a win-win option that is equally well suited for professional and casual portrait photos.

20. Cracked Paint Wall

cracked paint wall portrait background ideas

While some might find the idea of a cracked paint background weird, it’s actually a lot more interesting than a regular solid wall. If you’re struggling to find such a wall, you can always make one yourself.

To do so, apply 2 coats of a stain-blocking primer to the wall while allowing the initial layer to dry out before applying the second one. The primer will act as a foundation that will be used for the cracked finish. You can also pair this backdrop with a photo manipulation idea titled “Cracked Face” to create a coherent, artistic look.


portrait lightroom presets for portrait photography

An interesting background is only part of what makes a portrait photo successful. If you want to ensure your image is popular online, you also have to provide proper editing. Take advantage of this bundle of Lr tools to improve the look of your images like a professional by applying instant effects. The provided tools allow you to transform even a completely bland portrait into a portfolio-level photo.

The enhanced image will look vivid, colorful, and eye-catching. The only thing you have to do is dedicate a few minutes to learn how to install Lightroom presets on Mac & Windows, and then you can start applying the desired effects in a matter of seconds.