One of the differences between a snapshot and a portrait is the use of a backdrop. To create a pleasing portrait the focus is on the person only and that is achieved by isolating them and having a clutter free background.
You can create a backdrop for your images by using a blank neutral painted wall like this image.
But if you are like me and don’t have any blank or plain walls you can also create a backdrop wall. Different fabrics and colors will give you different moods. Dark backdrops are more formal and are more forgiving with poor lighting and harsh shadows.
This backdrop is a piece of blue fleece for making blankets and has a great texture.
My studio space is in my office and I had my husband raise the closet pole up higher and I can hang drapes or fabric from the pole to use as my backdrop. This backdrop is a black canvas curtain.
For a lighter backdrop I used a piece of white fleece which I also put under the child.
I also love to use tan canvas curtains.
A new backdrop idea I am using right now is textured wallpaper,one roll of paper can easily cover a wall section big enough to use.
For a temporary backdrop for parties etc.,you can use a colorful plastic tablecloth taped to the wall.
When you are taking portraits outside you can also be creative and get an interesting background by using brick walls.
The chainlink fence at the ball field also makes a great backdrop.
Be creative and use what you have,colorful quilts and textured blankets make great backdrops.
Check out my pinterest board for other creative backdrop ideas and then post a comment and tell me your favorite thing to use as a backdrop.