How to Add Color to a Grey Background in Photoshop

Adding color to an otherwise boring grey background in Adobe Photoshop isn't terribly complicated. In this short video tutorial, I'll show you how to accomplish that in just a few short steps.

If you're like me, at some point in the past, you've painstakingly spent hours adding color to your images in Photoshop. Granted, I always recommend doing your best to "Get it right in camera," but then there are days where you decide to shoot five beauty editorials in a Vegas Hotel room on a whim - sans colored backgrounds. When you're working with less, it's always great to have a trick up your sleeve in a pinch. In the video above, I'll show you how to change your grey background in a few simple steps.

If you're interested in seeing how I did this shoot, look no further: BEHIND THE SCENES.


1. Start off by creating a clean selection of the background using 'color select.'

2. Use a Curves Adjustment layer in order to add a color to the background.

3. Mask out an areas of your image that you do not want effected by your changes.

and you're done!

In the event that you're unhappy with the changes that you made using the curves adjustment layer, you can always substitute the curves adjustment layer with a hue / saturation layer or a to change the overall color of your background (see tutorial below). I use these two techniques interchangeably depending on what I want the background to look like or how complicated my background is.

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Jeff Rojas is an American photographer, author and educator based in New York City. His primary body of work includes portrait and fashion photography that has been published in both Elle and Esquire. Jeff also frequents as a photography instructor. His teaching experience includes platforms like CreativeLive, WPPI, the Photo Plus Expo, and APA.

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very usefull Leff! Already changed my dull background to yellow and painted with brush areas which don't need to be affected) Thanks!

Very useful but bit complicated. I ran across this tool: and it happens to be much easier to use in my opinion, but I am sure your way is fine too :)