What Color Paint Is Best in a Photo Studio?


When it comes to painting a photography studio, there are two popular choices: black or white. White is the most common. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

White Paint

  • Painting a studio matte white allows flashes to bounce off of the wall, helping to illuminate the subject's shadows. Taking a high-contrast shot in a white studio can be difficult, though, as the flash floods, or washes out, the subject. Black screens or backdrops can counter this problem.

Black Paint

  • Painting a studio's walls black keeps flashes from bouncing off walls as black absorbs light. White screens and backdrops can counteract this effect. Besides being dark and gloomy, black walls and floors could lead you trip over black electrical cords and equipment. Paint the floor gray so you won't trip over equipment in a black studio.

Matte not Glossy

  • Whether black or white is chosen for the studio's walls, use matte paint, not glossy. Matte paint won't cause glares and reflections on walls from the flash and lighting. Glossy paint causes reflections from flashes and subjects.

The Mood of the Studio

  • A white studio is brighter than an all-black studio. After working in a studio for hours, a photographer may find a black studio depressing and it may affect his work or adversely affect the model's' behavior.


  • The floors can be painted the same color of the walls especially if there are coves or smooth curves between the floor and walls. If the studio's walls are white matte and have no coves or curves, use a neutral gray paint to cover up dirt.

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  • Photo Credit "JT016" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: ccperkdog (Jimmie Perkins) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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