Green Screen Lighting Tips For Removing Spill

I received an email the other day from one of our Digital Background Secrets 3.0 students asking a lighting question. The question was “How To Remove The Green Spill On My Subjects When Using Green Screen?”.

So…I decided to write this post and create a short video explaining a few tips to help.

When using a green background or any color for that matter…you will usually get some light that reflects back onto your subject. It’s normal and in some cases this is fine. For example…when using a white backdrop, you usually receive some nice soft light reflecting back on to your subject. This looks nice and depending on how much power your lights have or how big your soft box is….it can give the subjects a nice soft glow.

But…when using a Green Screen Backdrop you will sometimes get a green cast that shows on your subjects hair and skin. This is a dead giveaway that the image was shot on a green backdrop and in will not look good in your final portrait.

Here’s Some Tips!

  • Tip #1 – First…you always want to have your subjects at least 4 feet away from the background. If you can move them even further away…that’s even better. Remember…the Green Backdrop is like a reflector when light is fired from your strobes.
  • Tip #2 – Make sure that your backdrop is not as wide as the room you’re photographing in. You want the light that is hitting the backdrop to fall off the sides and escape. Having the backdrop not as wide as the room will help the light escape and not force it back on your subject.
  • Tip #3 – Lastly…if you are lighting the backdrop with additional strobes (I think you should), you want to make sure they a positioned to cross an just touch the backdrop. In the video below I’ll explain in more detail. The key is to not position the lights so they push more light creating more light that reflects from the green backdrop.

This is why when having your subjects further away from the background…it will make it harder for the reflection of the backdrop to spill onto the subject.

If you take these simple tips when lighting your Green Screen, you will have less spill and less headaches when editing. Trust me…it will make your life a lot easier :-)

Watch the video below that explains how this all works.

Here’s the lighting diagram that I share in the video. Feel free to bookmark this page or print out the diagram.

If you don’t already know…I created a complete course called Digital Background Secrets 3.0. In this online class, I reveal my secrets that help me create professional portraits everyday. You Can Check it out….HERE!




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