Using Coloured Backdrops to Brand Your Photos

Remember when we dissected the 5 C’s of content creation? We acknowledged that colour is one of the most effective ways to communicate the essence of your brand, as well as the importance of defining your colour palette to create consistency within your visual content (coincidentally, another one of those oh-so-important C’s).

So, if the first step is needing to identify what your brand colours are, then the second step is creating content that ties your colour palette together.

One of the best ways to do so — and one that has a significant impact on the overall look of your feed — is through your choice of backgrounds.

The backgrounds that you choose for your photos have the potential to add character and colour to your Instagram feed. A few examples would be flatlays styled on painted boards (in your brand colours, of course), colourful walls in your local ‘hood, fancy tiled floors or a perfectly distressed wooden table at your favorite coffee shop. It’s important to start paying attention to what’s behind the subject matter in your shots.

Creating your custom backdrops is an excellent way to create brand consistency and a signature look for your photos, and they don’t have to be expensive. They’ll help your content stand out in a sea of beautifully styled and shot images, not only highlighting your subject matter but also adding character to a photo and helping to tell your overall brand story.

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Coloured backdrops are one of my favorite ways to incorporate brand colours and the perfect way to create a lovely balance in an Instagram feed. There are lots of options to choose from.

I'm a big fan of the solid coloured backdrop, especially when you're showcasing something simple in your photo.  It's a great way to add personality and highlight the brand colours you’ve identified.

You have a few alternatives when it comes to coloured backdrops: coloured poster board is always an easy choice, or you can pick up a seamless photo backdrop, which will last for awhile, but you will need a stand for it. I've also used wrapping paper or even just regular-sized coloured paper if the subject matter is small enough.

Though it’s a good idea to keep your eyes out for sheets of coloured paper,  wrapping paper or seamless photo backdrops in your brand colours, it can be limiting to find that perfect shade. I recommend creating your own boards to use. They’re more durable than paper backdrops, can be made in a variety of sizes, and most importantly — you can probably find the exact colour you want at your local hardware or paint store, so matching to your brand palette should be a breeze.

It requires a little more DIY time, but if you want to have more colour options, I'd highly recommend painting your backdrops with these simple steps:

Determine what colours you need to create balance and consistency in your feed

Take a peek at your Instagram feed to get a sense of the overall palette and where any gaps in colour might be. Also use this opportunity to pull any inspiration for the type of content you want to create, and specific colour references as well.

Visit the nearest Home Depot (or hardware store of your choice) to grab a few sheets of hardboard.

The ones I use are white and coated on one side, brown on the other and come in three different sizes — 2x2 ft, 2x4 ft, and 4x4 ft. They’re all under $10, so I tend to grab a few at once and keep them on hand. The white side is great left as is for a white backdrop as well — or even to use as a light reflector in a pinch.


Then head to the paint section and pick out the colours you want

Instead of buying full cans, get the small sample containers used for testing out a colour. They're usually about $2-3 a pot, and will be more than enough, especially while you’re trying out colours and before you’re ready to commit to a larger quantity.

While you’re in the paint section, you'll also want to purchase a small roller, paint tray, and plastic sheeting

You'll use these when it actually comes to painting, so if you don't already have the supplies on hand from other projects, make sure you add them to your arsenal. Brushes will work as well, but obviously a paint roller will cover more area in less time, so that's usually the way I go.

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You can then go ahead and paint both sides of the board, and you have a 2-in-1 backdrop in your signature brand colours.

These are what I use most often for my Instagram feed, and I now have a collection of about six key colours that I primarily use for my brand photos.