Some of the iconic portrait photographers, like Annie Leibovitz have a very common look for their studio portraits, they are shot against a hand painted textured backdrop. You know what I am talking about. Those gorgeous backdrops with random soft patters. Those backdrops are hand painted on canvas (just like works of art), and show great details and spectacular color.
Sadly, they are also very expensive. This is why you may want to look at creating those digitally with a pre-shot backdrop.
The trick is to start with a good photo and to use the right blending mode. If you opt for the image manipulation backgrounds, there are curently 5 options to choose from: Feathery Brown, Dark Brown, Deep Blue, Rusty Grey & Decayed White. Here is how you pull that off:
Start with a photo shot against a white or a grey (or other neutral backdrop)
Place a background over a photo with a white or gray background
Set the layer blending mode to soft light
Apply a layer mask and mask out the general figure using a brush (even a hard one). You don’t need to be very precise, and don’t worry about the edges, just don’t bleed out of the main body.
Now set your brush to about 20% flow and even out the transitions created by the hard brush. Here is the nice thing. If you contrast is right, you don’t actually need to mask the edges. They are dark so they stand out anyways.
Here is a quick before and after for you:
If you want to try this yourself, head over to Image Manipulation Store and grab a backdrop.