White Background studio photography has long been a staple of high fashion magazines like Vogue, Harpers and Elle for very good reasons. Virtually nothing can compare to the clarity of high quality White Background (WB) studio shots. This longstanding studio technique was made famous by fashion masters such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Bill King and David Bailey.
But what makes WB so popular and why has it stood the test of time so well? Whether it be Fashion Editorial, Advertising or Catalogue, WB presents a blank canvas for the photographer to show their pictorial skill and the fashion in a multitude of ways. A plain white studio is no place for a photographer to experience a creative block; rather it’s a bit like a creative Olympics, a level playing field where the photographer gets to show their stuff!
Of course WB is not just great for high fashion it’s also very useful for catalogue work too. With fashion retail moving to the internet, modelling the clothing against a neutral backdrop like a WB allows for easy integration into the web sites online sales pages and makes updating the site while maintaining site consistency a simple proposition.
For more ambitious shoots like the work at the top of the page, a large studio area is required so the photographer has adequate space to model the lighting as desired. However a lot can be achieved in more humble studio set-ups and in these situations a little Photoshop clean up can go a long way in acquiring the desired result.
As a freelance assistant in Sydney in the late 80s I had the privilege of working with quite a few young photographers who had trained with some of the Masters mentioned above. Shooting White Background on film without the benefit of retouching is a great skill and being able to see and experience first hand the varied approaches to this staple of studio photography was a great education.
I hope you enjoy some of the simple examples of my WB work on this page. Please feel free to contact me about any fashion projects you may have in mind.
Sydney Australia 2008
0433 796 863