Choosing a Headshot or Portrait Background Style
There are two main options when it comes to the background used for your photo session. One is not better than the other, its more of a personal preference or style choice.
One consideration when choosing a style or background color is based on the color of clothes you plan on wearing. If wearing dark clothing, you would normally want to have a lighter background so you are clearly separated from the background and your clothes do not disappear into the background. If wearing light/white clothing, choosing a darker background provides separation from your light-colored clothing.
Another consideration is logistics. A traditional style is generally simpler to prepare and setup. Environmental background usually means on location somewhere and requires the photographer to bring equipment, lights and necessary gear. Advance setup time is needed and it may involve an additional charge due to setup time/logistics.
A final consideration is usage. If this is a headshot for social media/resume or project, we would recommend reducing the number of distracting objects in the background so the photo background is not distracting and the main area of focus for the viewer is YOU!
A traditional style portrait/headshot uses a solid background, commonly shot in a studio, but they can also be often shot on location. These usually involve a solid colored wall or background and can be splashed with a little light to provide some gradient or changes to color. Common background color favorites are pure white, grey and black, but other colors are available. The example below shows how a little lighting can help separate the client's clothing from a dark background.
This style/background incorporates the natural surroundings. This could be outdoors, which includes trees, scenery, mounting, beach, etc. This could also be indoors in an office or home where you want some type of natural background as part of the photo.