When I want new portraits of my kids, I never head to the photography studio. Instead, I head to the kitchen or front room, where I get great window light. I’m willing to spend a lot more time than most photographers would with my kids to get just the photo I want, and I often photograph them right in front of a blank wall for an easy background. This can get old pretty quickly, though, so I’ve collected 20 different options for easy DIY backdrops you can use in your home.
Backgrounds, also known as backdrops, are a standard feature used in a controlled setting such as a photography studio. The ability to change backgrounds adds versatility to portraits allowing you endless possibilities in truly crafting an image. Backdrops are available in various types and are categorized based on the size and materials they are made of. These can range from simple solids to subtle patterns and even custom-painted, photo-realistic scenes. To effectively use a backdrop you will need stands and other accessories.
Photo Floors or as we like to call them Roll Up Floors are the perfect compliment to any backdrop. Lightweight, easy to roll for storage, and very realistic.  Photography floors are made of a thick durable neoprene rubber backed material which provides an anti slip faux flooring mat.  Whether you are looking for a faux wood photography flooring or trying to bring the grass fields indoors, there are tons of options.
I would definitely play around with it. Your not going to want to go too wide with 4 because odds are they will move around a bit and you’ll end up with some soft faces. Some key things to remember would be try to keep their faces all on the same plane of focus, that will allow you to shoot a little wider. Generally with 4 kids I would aim to shoot around f/4 but certainly play around. At that aperture you may want to consider moving them further away from the background. Keep in mind the closer you are to them and the further away from the background they are the more bokeh you will get!
Made from styrene, a wrinkle-free plastic, this versatile backdrop can be used as a light table, prop setup or a seamless background. Props or people on the other side of the backdrop are seen as shapes and eerie silhouettes. Placed in front of a light, it delivers a frosted glass effect. You can cut Translum with scissors, so you can whittle down a roll into any shape you desire. It’s available in three grades: lightweight, for a soft light effect with a 3/4-stop light loss, medium grade that eliminates most of the shadows and delivers a 1.5-stop light loss and a heavy grade that knocks back two stops of light (this grade is recommended for shooting tables and is cleanable). Medium and lightweight grades are sold in 60-inch x 18-foot rolls while the heavyweight grade is available in 54-inch x 18-foot rolls.
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.
With a 20 or 24-foot long backdrop you’ll be able to cover just about every style of portraiture and product photography. These backdrops are great if you want to photograph a larger family full-length, or have a video shoot that requires movement. These long backdrops are great for when you want to pull your subjects far from your backdrop as well.

Want to tweak one of our images? Have your own custom image you'd like to print? The possibilities are endless and our customer service department is ready to help. We print using forced perspective to help give you the most realistic image possible so that your portraits will look realistic as if you were actually on location. If you have an image that you own or have rights to, we'll help you get it formatted correctly for our printing process. Email us your artwork to start the process. If you're wanting a custom Hollywood style photo backdrop with your logo(s) repeated all over it, we do that too with one of our step and repeat backdrops!
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