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If You Need a Bigger Backdrop for a Photoshoot, Try This

Have you ever had a great background you want to use for an image but it just isn't big enough? With this combination of techniques, both in-camera and in post-production, you can make it seem as if it was big enough.

I have had some testing shoots over the years. The ones that are particularly stressful are usually those where I have a small, uninspiring space to shoot in and not much time to do it. What makes it worse, these are often for editorial pieces for lesser-known subjects or private clients in a working environment, so I want to impress.

One way of making a space look nicer than it is is to use a custom backdrop. There is a wide selection of great printed and hand-painted backdrops out there for all budgets. However, for it to be portable and/or affordable, you're going to have to sacrifice on size. This means, your subject is likely going to be larger than the backdrop, particularly if it's a full-body portrait like in this video. One way of overcoming it is to combine some moving of the backdrop when shooting with some of Adobe Photoshop's great automated tools for blending and merging, as well as content-aware fill.

What do you do if your background isn't quite big enough?

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Thanks for this tutorial, I was not familiar with these PS features! My question is: the model looks perfectly still in both images, just like a statue. What if it moves and the subject can't be perfectly overlapped like Glyn did here? I wonder if I can take more shots by moving the background, regardless of the model's pose. Thanks in advance!

Same. I have a couple of different methods to achieve this, but this seems faster and more efficient.