One of the first things I tried as a new photographer was learning everything I could about digital backgrounds. I have always been interested and drawn to composites. Heck! I love them so much I opened The Educated Shutter Digital Backgrounds! Before I even picked up a camera, I was learning about how to create my own composites using stock images. That must be why I was so surprised to find out that there are a decent amount of photographers who don’t know what digital backgrounds are and how they could be useful for their business.
I have been creating and saving digital backgrounds for a long time. I always like having them on hand just in case I ever need to “use” a location again that I can’t physically go to. They’ve also been a huge help with Mini or Themed sessions. Eventually, I decided to open The Educated Shutter Digital Backgrounds to share my stock with other photographers.
You should try one of my backgrounds for free. Practice your skills and see if composites are something you are interested in!
Get Your Free Digital Background
I have received more than one message from others telling me that they are interested in composites but they are not sure what a digital background is or how to use it.
That is why I have decided to have an informational series on the blog. In this series, I am going to go over what a digital background is, tips for using one, what tools I need to create a realistic composite, and how to shoot a subject with a digital background in mind.
What is a digital background?
A digital background is what it sounds like. It is a digital image/version of a location. Using your background image, you can “transport” your subject to a place they have never been. These types of backgrounds are often used by photographers for composite images.
Okay, that is great. But what is a composite?
Composites are images that are created using other images/elements that may not have been there in the original image. This is great for creating portraits for clients that are not possible in the real world like making someone into a mermaid, helping them ride a killer whale, or show them scaring away dementors with their patronus.
How can learning how to use digital backgrounds help my business?
I have been able to offer something different to my clients by learning about composites and digital backgrounds. Using these tools helps me stand out from many of the local photographers in my area. I am able to offer a service that most of my competitors aren’t or don’t know how to offer.
I can make my client’s dream come true (digitally).
Everyone has something that they always wanted to do and often it isn’t physically possible. I have transformed a little girl into Alice from Wonderland, helped another girl be Little Red Riding Hood, made a couple fulfill their HP nerd dream, and let a little boy get close to giraffes.
Offering these types of images not only gives me an edge over other photographers, it also gives me more options for minis or themed sessions.
I’ve used Christmas prop styled digital backgrounds for Christmas Minis before. It was a great success! Not only did I not have to purchase and cart around props, my clients loved the surprise image in their session.
I have also seen people use prop styled digital backgrounds for newborn sessions because they did not have the materials, space, or money to create an elaborate setup of their own. Parents love them!
Digital backgrounds allow me to “take” my clients to scenery that may not be possible in my area. I’ve had people request images in lavender fields or on the beach. I can supply that.
Do you still have questions about what a digital background is? Ask me in the comments or feel free to shoot me an email!
Make sure to keep checking back to see the other posts in my Digital Background series!