The importance of choosing a background for your shots

The importance of choosing a background for your shots

The importance of backgrounds in Street Photography

NOTE: This is a Guest Blog post written by Mario Mancuso for


Every time we take a picture, most of our attention is on the main subject.

Certainly we must be careful to place it properly in the frame and position ourselves correctly in relation to the subject, we must avoid cutting off important parts of the photo. After all this attention to the main subject of the photo, we should not forget the background.

When reading numerous books and blogs written by professional photographers, I often encounter the claim that a great subject requires a great background. Very often we focus exclusively on the elements we are most interested in which is what our eyes are seeing. So, when we photograph, if we do not make an explicit effort to consider all the other elements that make up the scene, we risk including something that will ruin the final result.

The background is of fundamental importance in the composition of the image emphasizing the subject, improving the photography, or if not adequate, it may cause irreparable damage to the image, making it chaotic.

How to avoid taking photos with the wrong background?

Before each shot, you should examine the entire scene and make sure that nothing in the background can have a negative impact on the photo. It is important to have in mind what you want to communicate with the photos, what items you want to highlight, what the tone should be and how the background affects these aspects.



Before taking a photo, we must pay attention to the overall scene you are framing, not just the main subject.

What matters is that an element placed in the background also contributes significantly to the balance of the image, interacting with the subject of the photo.

Learn to consider the specific gravity of the background in the composition of the image, and the relationships that are established between the subject and what lies behind it, this is important especially in certain genres of photography as reportage and street photography.

In street photography evaluating all of these elements in a short time is not easy, I’m not able to do this yet, this is a good reason to continue my training.


  1. This article helps me a lot, much appreciated!
    Photography is a method of believing, of contacting, of adoring. What you have gotten on film is caught perpetually… It recalls seemingly insignificant details, long after you have failed to remember everything.

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