What background colour to use

When we talk to a milliner about a shoot one of the first questions we ask is about the colours of their hats. We do this because it is important to match the right background colour with the hat, a complimentary colour to make it ‘pop.’ The background is important because of how it will make your hat stand out.

The default for many portrait photographers is white. This is not a bad colour but it can present a few issues. White can ‘wash out’ the skin tones of the model. Similarly it is not a great colour if your hats are say, cream.

Many portrait photographers use white as a default because it makes editing easier. Also if white is used the next issue can be ‘fall off’ from the flash light. This can lead to a slight grey tinge to the background making it what we call ‘dirty white.’

We use a variety of background colours that you can see on our millinery page. As a general rule it is worth looking at colour wheels and complimenting your hat colour with the corresponding opposite colour for the background.

That said we have so many background colours that we can also experiment on a shoot day. We always have three colours set up and can swap them around with an additional 5 we have in stock. It is not an exact science and as with all creativity experimenting is important. For example when we did a recent shoot for Miss B Millinery we managed to work a blue hat against a dark blue background by how we set up the lighting.

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