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.

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.
So why only 4 stars and not 5? I personally don't like the very top of the backdrop. If you look at the pictures carefully (I don't know if you can actually see this because I tried to crop these out), it looks like there are ceiling lights on a dark alley street. Scientifically, that's impossible and realistically, it looks WEIRD. But other than that, it's near perfect for what you're paying for.
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.
Muslin is a cotton weave fabric that holds dyes and paints with ease. These backgrounds are made of lightweight material and are clamped to a background stand or even draped over anything to transform the look of a picture. As the muslin is made of thinner and lighter material, it does not show wrinkles and can be used as a neutral background or as a dramatic one. It comes in many different sizes and pattern that range from 5x8 to 30x30 feet and solid color backdrop or designer series patterned design. Muslin backgrounds can feature replicas of old master paintings, abstract patterns or marbleized patterns. This material is very portable and fairly inexpensive making it a favorite with photographers.
If you're looking for photography backdrops suitable for outdoor or portable use, collapsible backgrounds are both economical and space-efficient choices. Many fold down to a third of their size, and come with convenient carrying bags so you have room to pack and protect multiple backgrounds. Several styles feature reversible designs, to give clients a choice of colors and patterns. Pastel pink and blue backgrounds work well for baby showers. Urban-inspired prints let kids and teens show off their more expressive side. You'll also find options in camera-ready, chroma-key colors suitable for special effects projects.
They are plastic, but very strong and the clamping power is quite good. The only annoyance is the little red pads on the end, swivel all the way around so if you are trying to attach something up high with one hand, sometimes they flip backwards and don't grab correctly. You just need to make sure they are facing inwards before you reach up high. I used all 6 clamps to attach a large king size sheet to a linco backdrop stand and it was enough - ... full review
The latest addition to our lineup, these are serious solutions for serious exhibitors who need much more powerful and attention-grabbing setups than backdrops or backgrounds: a single system and they will create the perfect walk-in booth for your expo or promotional event. They assemble swiftly, they're lightweight, durable, highly portable, and you can add vivid custom graphics.
Material:Thin Vinyl plastic cloth(not washable). Features: Light absorbant Non-reflective.No pocket Type: Computer-printed for realism. For: different sizes for wedding, audlt, children, holiday party etc. Vinyl cloth backdrops is our latest and greatest computer painted wrinkle-free fleece-like fabric. This lightweight fabric will give you the intense vivid color that you have been looking for in a backdrop.
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.

Canvas backgrounds are made of a moderately thick, heavy fabric. These backdrops are mostly painted to look like classic paintings or have imagery of scenic realism. They are also known as roll drops or scenics and need a suspension system. Usually, photographers use motorized backdrop stands though background rollers can also be used to clamp the canvas. A good canvas backdrop can provide an amazing look to the photographers scenes and can even last for a longer span of time. These backdrops are also available with subtle patterns or even neutral backgrounds which highlights the portrait subject.
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.
It was higher quality then I had expected . One side is a very soft and silky/shiny material. The photo is only on one side , just to let you know . Needs to be ironed but ours broke and we do not have an iron at the moment. If the lines were out it would look absolutely gorgeous. Totally changed the feel of a room. Bought the 60”W by 80”L . Not disappointed.
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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.

Breaking news: Bokeh is in! With Lastolite’s Out of Focus Backgrounds, you won’t need to fiddle with your camera’s aperture to mimic that dreamy depth of field. There are a pair of double-sided backdrops in the Out of Focus line: one features a blurred seascape/autumn foliage, and the other sports summer foliage on one side and city lights on the other. At 4 x 5 feet, these backdrops should handle close to full-length portraits and will collapse to about a third of their size for transport. They weigh in at 3.3 pounds and come with their own carrying case. 
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