In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
I purchased this for a Christmas party at my daughters school and it was a major hit with the kids and teachers! They set it up the evening before and on the day of the party I didn't notice any wrinkles. The props were so much fun and such a nice bonus! I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality - with the price being so affordable, I wasn't sure what to expect but it looked amazing and can be used for years to come.
You can channel our cavemen ancestry with Custom Photo Prop’s Faux Fur Mat, safe in the knowledge that no animals were harmed in their making. These synthetic mats are PETA-approved, machine-washable and hypoallergenic. They can be ordered as a basket stuffer in a 20 x 32-inch size. It’s sold as a 15 x 15-inch layer or in 3 x 5-foot and 5 x 6-foot sizes. They’re super comfortable on baby’s skin as well.
I've included what the backdrop look like without people in it, and also what it looks like with several different kinds of skin tones so those of you who are thinking about buying this can take that into consideration with your potential clientele. As you can see, at least with just a horseshoe flash, people with darker skin tones definitely looked better with this backdrop.
We used this backdrop for an at-home photo shoot with a newborn. It worked great for us, the only downside is that it is folded when it comes and came with instructions to get the creases out adding some more work than just opening the package and taking pictures. Regardless, it flattened perfectly fine in about 10 minutes and we’ll be using it again so it was definitely worth it for the price and effort.
The backdrops used for photography are usually made of lighter material which makes it easy for the photographers to carry them around while traveling. The backdrops are usually hung as panels or can be easily draped over anything to give a particular effect. They can also be suspended from background stands by using clamps. Depending upon the type of effect needed by the photographer, the type and size of backdrop can be selected from the wide variety available. Since backdrops require some support, there are many types of background supports available that are well-suited for location work, or even sophisticated permanent studios.
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This kind of fabric has an amazing quality that absorbs light from flashes around the studio. It enables you to have a pitch-black (if using black velour) portrait background that will not reflect the light from your flash or lighting equipment. This way, you don’t have to worry about the direction of light affecting the background because it leaves no detail.
If you do many in-studio portrait sessions, you probably have a lot of space set aside for background materials, props, and supports. Add to your stash with canvas backdrops for photography, and selections made of durable, low-maintenance materials, such as cotton and wrinkle-resistant polyester. Several backgrounds come on rolls so you can mount them to autopoles and smoothly swap out designs between poses. Seamless paper works particularly well for everyday needs, as you can roll sheets out to the desired length and then reuse or trim away pieces for easy recycling. Muslin photo and video backdrops feature non-reflective surfaces that diffuse light more naturally, which can help keep the focus on your subject. If you prefer materials that allow for fast and efficient cleanup, vinyl and PVC backgrounds are a solid choice, especially when you use them in potentially messy situations involving pets, babies, and toddlers.