Most companies I work for when shooting portraits of their employees tend to like white background. Maybe because it is easy to use if they all have the same white background all the time.
When I set up a small studio on location at their office, there is often a white wall I can use as background, or a white door, or a projection screen. Bringing a large roll of background paper is something I try to avoid if I can.
But, sometimes you have to use a yellow room.
Last month, I found myself in a conference room whitout any white walls, white door or anything white. I had to cover up large parts of the room with black textile just to be sure that the yellow/beige walls didn’t tint all the portrait too much.
This was especially important as this was just one office out of fifteen I worked in for this client, and the portraits had to look the same, regardless of where they were taken.
But, it just took a little time to create a white background (at least white enough to make it so much easier in post production when I made the background completely white).
Copy paper + tape = white background
A roll of office tape, some copy paper borrowed from their printer room and a few minutes taping them to the wall around where the heads would be, covering the whole wall was not necessary.
Most of the times when clients wants portraits (or anything else for that matter) on white background, it is easier and much fast to make the background white enough and fix it later in Photoshop.
Trying to get the background completely blown out in a small conference room will probably ruin the portrait with all the light bouncing around, but if the area on the background around the hair is not white enough, the masking will be really hard and probably produce a result that looks bad with dark areas behind blonde hair.
In this case, the people I took portraits of had to stand not even one meter from the background, so it was hard to light the background separately.
But, with a softbox and some white paper, it made the work in Photoshop so much easier.
Trying to make a yellow/beige background white behind blonde hair is not fun, and this little trick helped a lot.