Shooting indoors, especially in somebody’s home, often leads to some rather dull backgrounds. Usually, you’re stuck with just a bare solid coloured wall. But whether you’re using flash or continuous light, there are things you can do to make things more interesting.
This video from photographer, Svitlana Vronska shows us one way to make things more interesting. With the help of a large sheet of white board from the dollar store.
Essentially, Svitlana is making a gobo or cucoloris (Cookie). This allows her to cast a shadow onto the subject and the wall behind her. The process is very simple. Take a big board, draw out your design, then cut some holes. The goal here is to create a realistic portrayal of real world environments. Windows in your house, the venetian blinds covering it, or great big church windows.
A very inexpensive and effective way of adding some interesting light to the boring plain wall. You don’t have to use the same light source for both the background and your subject, either. You could simple have this on the background with a second light hitting your subject separately.
Of course, there are other options, too. You can put pretty much anything you want between your light and your background to create an interesting look. See how Joe Edelman does it with dog toys and toilet paper. Or, you could go with something like the Light Blaster, which offers a great level of control.