A screenshot of a how to add white background in Photoshop

As a wedding photographer, there are many reasons to learn how to add white background in Photoshop. If you are wondering whether this photo editing technique deserves your time and effort, then we’d like to draw your attention to all those stock images with white backgrounds. Images with white backgrounds are not only much in demand for commercial purposes, but it is also easy to blend them into different layouts. Not just that, a white background even makes it easy for you to replace it with another background image or color. Below, we will discuss in detail why you may want to add a white background and the steps necessary to perform this action.


infographic stating photoshop allows you to add various effects to your wedding photos

Here at ShootDotEdit, we specialize in wedding photo edits for professional photographers. Though we believe in the phrase “Do what you do best and outsource the rest,” we know how important it is for you to have knowledge about what post-production processes entail.

That includes understanding the specifics behind certain effects, such as how to add white background in Photoshop, add grain, and more in Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop allows you to add various effects to your wedding photos. Because once the edited images come back from a post-production company such as ShootDotEdit, as a pro, you might want to add your final touches that depict your signature style to the images before handing them over to clients.


The first area where we will start is to ask why you would want to add a white background to your images in Photoshop. There are several reasons you might need to learn how to insert white background in Photoshop. See a few of those reasons below.


infographic stating removing distractions from your images helps create a more powerful shot

One of the reasons you might add a white background in Photoshop is to remove distractions. Removing distractions from your images helps create a more powerful shot. It also makes your clients look their best, which is why they hired you in the first place. Plus, removing distractions helps place focus on your couple (they are after all the most important part of the image).


A second reason for learning how to add white background in Photoshop is to fix color issues. There are several color issues that could occur in your images. One major issue is when you have a white background at your location. In your past shoots, it is likely you have encountered this. When you shot the photos in front of a white background and viewed the images, you might have noticed the image was just not right. Why is that, exactly? There are a few reasons:

  • The white background no longer looks white

  • Your subjects (clients) are too bright

Each of these scenarios causes unwanted issues in your image. Or, the issues take away from the impact of the image, leaving you with less-than-desirable results. And that’s why it is equally important for you to learn how to create a stellar background that complements your subjects and enhances the quality of your image.

Suggested Read: 7 Tips For Selecting The Perfect Background


infographic stating when you want to tweak your logo or graphics, having the skills to create a white background could come in handy

As a photographer, you do not necessarily need to have the expertise of a designer. But, you do need elements of design to promote your wedding photography business. When you want to make small changes to your logo, website, or other graphics, having the skills to create a pure white background could be beneficial. This is why we put together steps to help you add in a white background to your images in Photoshop.

However, do keep in mind that not all images are ideal for creating a white background in Photoshop. Although it is good to know how to add white background in Photoshop, make sure you choose images that would benefit from this adjustment and make them stand out even more. Some of the examples above, such as removing distractions, are ideal reasons to perform this action in Photoshop.

However, it is important to think about what you need to remove from the image and how it will affect the subject(s). If you create a white background for your image, but it cuts off part of your bride’s hand or her dress, it might be best to think of a different solution for that image (such as blurring or vignetting to help remove distractions).

Suggested Read: Behind The Scenes: Professional Photographer's Edit Stories


Although Photoshop may take time to master, creating a white background is simple. We outlined the process in 9 simple steps. Unlike removing a white background in Photoshop, which could be a tad bit complicated, adding one is simple. Here is the process for creating a white Photoshop background.


The first step you need to take to make background white in Photoshop is to open the image. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Click “File,” then select “Open” on the top menu.

  2. Select the image file. Your image will appear on the screen ready for you to make adjustments as needed.


an image of adobe photoshop openImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

The next step is to duplicate the layer. What are layers in Photoshop? According to Adobe, “Photoshop layers are like sheets of stacked acetate. You can see through transparent areas of a layer to the layers below. You move a layer to position the content on the layer, like sliding a sheet of acetate in a stack. You can also change the opacity of a layer to make content partially transparent.”

To duplicate the layer, take these steps:

  1. Open the “Layers” window.

  2. Rename the layer based on your current naming convention. This will differ for every photographer. It is important to keep your naming conventions similar so you maintain organization and consistency.


a screenshot of adobe photoshop with color levels window open

Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Now that you have the new layer, the next stage in learning how to add white background in Photoshop is to follow these steps and create a white background for your image. If needed at first, take your time on these steps so you receive accurate results:

  1. Click “Image” on the top menu, hover over “Adjustments,” and select “Levels.” This will open the “Levels” menu.

  2. Adjust the sliders in the “Levels” menu until the image is pure white. Pull the white slider and the gray slider to the left to create a “pure white” look and to lighten the midtones.

 As you adjust the sliders, you can include faint shadows to create a better look for the edges. Adjust the shadows as needed to match your unique photography style. Your wedding clients will expect images that have your style they saw on your website, blog, and social media platforms.

Related Read: How To Make A Logo Transparent In Photoshop


With the first layer (the one that you adjusted the sliders to make pure white), add a “Layer Mask.” Select the first layer. This will let you paint a portion of the duplicate image layer to reveal the layer beneath it.

Related Read: How To Add Texture In Photoshop


After you create a “Layer Mask” for the first layer, the next step is to select the “Hard Round” brush by using these guidelines:

  1. Click on the “Brush Tool” on the tools panel. You can also press “B” on your keyboard.

  2. Select the “Hard Round” brush style and set its “Opacity” to 100%.

The “Hard Round” brush will help you apply the white background to larger areas.


Now that you have selected the “Hard Round” brush, change its color with these steps:

  1. Select the “Layer Mask” by clicking inside the white square that is located directly to the right of the first layer.

  2. Change the brush color to “Black.”

Related Read: How To Use The Liquify Tool In Photoshop


a screenshot of adobe photoshop image editing

Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

With the brush style and color chosen, paint over the background. Follow these steps to achieve this:

  1. Paint out the background around your clients. This step requires precision. As you paint, you will see the area lighten while everything else stays dark.

  2. Build up the “Black” on the “Layer Mask” by releasing it and then clicking it again. This will allow you to build up darkness and brightness only where it is necessary.

Press “X” on your keyboard to switch from “Black” to “White” (and vice-versa). This is helpful if you make a mistake and need to paint over the area at any point during your process. Once you are all set with the brush, save your progress. This should result in a “pure white” background for your image.

the pre-edited image of a couple in a grassy field
a couple in a grassy field with white sky background

Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Now, here’s a quick tip on how to add white background in Photoshop. There is a way for you to check to see if your background is actually pure white. After all, you will want to make sure your efforts produced accurate results. Follow this step to do so:

  • Select “Threshold”

  • Drag the histogram slider (located in the Properties tab) toward the right. This will allow you to see if the background stays pure white.

  • If the background turns black, you will know it is not pure white.

As an alternative option, you can also look to see if there is a spike in the histogram. This spike will be located at the right edge. If it is not hard against the right edge, the background of your image is not pure white.


Not every image will need this, but be prepared to perfect the edges of your photo once you perform the steps above. To do this, zoom in on your photo all the way (to 100%). Create a new “Layer Mask” and set the color to black. Instead of using a hard edge like the steps above suggest, change the opacity to 50%. The softer brush edge will allow you to paint out any missed parts without creating new sharp edges.

Quick Tip: After you clean up the edges of your photo, crop the extra white space if needed. This can help you place additional focus on your couple or the main subject of your image.

Related Read: How To Reduce Noise In Photoshop


infographic stating after editing the images, save them in Photoshop and then export to your image-hosting/storing option

Like all processes in your post-wedding workflow, once you make the changes to your image, be sure to save it. This includes using your naming conventions to save it in Photoshop and then export it to your image-hosting/storing option. This is an important step to take to make sure you maintain an organized workflow and that it is easy to find your image once you need it again.

When you learn how to add white background in Photoshop, you can create the images you desire and deliver them to your wedding clients. Though certain parts of this process can be tedious, the more you practice, the easier it will become. Photoshop can help you make some of the changes you desire for your wedding photography, even after the photos are color corrected by an expert.


Post-production software, such as Photoshop and Lightroom, can help you organize your post-wedding workflow. The more organized you are, the faster your workflow will be. When used correctly, the software can help you speed up the time it takes to adjust your images. Depending on the edits that suit your style the most, you could make adjustments to your editing processes. If editing your images from start to finish is taking up too much of your time, you might want to delegate this part of your workflow to an expert. This will not only allow you to do creative edits to a select bunch of images but also save your time. To learn more about how to use photo editing to your advantage, head to our blog section.

Further Read: Professional Photo Editing Services For Busy Wedding Photographers

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about giving you back consistently edited wedding images, so that you can then add your finishing touches to those and impress your clients with outstanding images. To learn how we can do that for you, check out our pricing page.

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