Cheryl Woods is an accomplished photographer, designer and branding consultant with a career spanning 20+ years. Her photographic work includes editorial, fashion, portraiture and product photography for major companies in the consumer products field including QVC and Hanover Direct. She received a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Media Design from Full Sail University. Cheryl's work has been exhibited at the Lowes Museum of Art in Coral Gables, FL, The New York Independent Film Festival and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Check out her website here!
This project is simple and doesn’t take very long at all, maybe about an hour from start to finish. After you’re finished, you will want to roll up the fabric and lights for storage until the wedding. Consider covering it as well, to keep and dirt or dust from settling on it. We covered ours with garbage bags since black dog fur and white curtains are not exactly friends.
Though I had an idea for the DIY photo booth backdrop a long time ago, it took awhile for me and my fiance to get around to constructing it. We decided we wanted a backdrop with a sheer white curtain and bright string lights. We settled on the string lights because of their warm vibe. Plus, we thought they tied in nicely with our loosely light-themed wedding.
The most simple way to hang a backdrop is by using wall hooks. This solution is suitable for people using smaller and lighter backdrops. 5 x 7-foot X-Drop Backdrops and 3.5 x 3.5-foot backdrops feature built-in grommets for use with hooks. While you can install these into your wall, we recommend picking up a pack of removable wall hooks to protect your walls. They are usually under $10 USD per pack.
Position these lights to point at the backdrop and use manual settings to achieve the “blown out highlights” effect. Make sure the light reading is at least 3 stops higher than the light on your subject. Light bounced off the blown-out background will also create a back-lighting effect on your subject, the degree of back-lighting depends on the angle at which background light are pointed at the background.
For gear, I used my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. My camera settings for most of the shots you saw were f1.8,  ISO 640 and shutter speed around 250. No flash. Just natural light. You really just need to play around with it a bit depending on your lighting situation and what not.  Be brave and use that manual mode on your camera or at least the aperture priority setting. I did test shots using stuffed toys while the little guy was napping so as not to “waste” any precious time with him and risk missing any good shots. If you have older kids that will sit still you can get some really cool shots! If only Mr. C was old enough for an M&M bribe. Mr Moose did well though…. Here’s a test shot…..
I shoot videos and portraits of classical and acoustic guitarists and have a small collection of backdrops I carry around. The StudioPRO 5' x 7' Blue Collapsible Twist Muslin is one of my favorites: convenient to transport, fast to set up and easy on the eye. It's a blue muslin marbled with random patches of white and darker grayish blues, almost resembling the sky with popcorn clouds. I love how it photographs and my sample is a little darker and more attractive and than the product photos.
This is exactly what I needed to help my small photography business get off the ground even more! Great product! Very strong stands, and yes, as other reviewers stated, the backdrops are muslin and are very thin, just hang all three or a thicker material behind it and it's fine! I took some really nice Valentines Photographs of my children to test it out! I'm a very happy photographer right now! I did see a few complain about the light fixtures breaking on them, I think the case might be that they are over tighting the bulbs, don't, and you should be fine! I also read a few complain about everything not fitting back into the bag, I did not have this problem, everything fit back in just great! A very happy customer here!! I've attached some of the photographs I took using the black background.
I was a little thrown off that it came folded up in an envelop, as this lead to some significant "creasing". However, I just laid the material flat, rolled it up and hung it vertically so gravity would pull the creases out. After a couple of days of hanging, it is pretty much wrinkle free. I had been a little concerned about other reviewers' comments about the image quality (digital printing) on the actual backdrop, but mine is perfectly fine. Again, my only "negative" is that the backdrop appears to have a greater "floor depth" than what I currently have.
The fabric has a slight odor similar to vinegar and evaporated milk but airs out if you leave it unfolded a few days. The fabric, as expected, is lightweight but decent quality cotton. By definition Muslin is lightweight cotton cloth and, yep, it's thin so a backing layer is necessary if used against a bright light or window (e.g., my uploaded image). It ... full review
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

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.
Stock up on extra drive components such as chains, switches, and weights, so you can quickly replace broken or missing parts. Be sure to keep plenty of spare clips, hooks, and brackets on hand so portrait backgrounds and video backdrops stay in place during shoots. Maintain clean and organized work spaces by storing paper rolls and mounting poles on wall-mounted and freestanding storage racks.
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