There are many options for backgrounds for a headshot. However, whether this is an executive, actor, or casual, all backgrounds must have one thing in common there aren’t any distractions behind your subject.
Brick backgrounds have become popular in the past few years and can work. However, since they are rarely solid, the pattern of the bricks is much more distracting than something like brush strokes or solid.
A counseling center’s colors for their logo were teal. So I went to the fabric store and found a velvet-like fabric in teal to use as the background.
Now, this is the same background in the two side-by-side photos. The difference in the look has more to do with how I lit the background. How much light do you put on the background compared to the subject and evenly lit or with spot?
This background is the same in these two headshots. One on the left, I only had the light on the subject. The background is white and lit by the spillover from the leading light. In the right photo, I put light on the background to be sure it was white.
I would say the least often chosen is black. If you prefer it, you must use a hair light to help create a separation between the subject and the background. The separation becomes a merge if the hair or clothing is black. On the other hand, black can look quite good, as seen here with the tuxedo and black background.