For our session I tried to keep Mr. C about 3/4 of the way up from the lights on the wall and towards me (right around where you are seeing the garland and red ornaments in the above photo).  I was sitting only as far back from him as I had to, to get what I wanted of him in the frame (keeping in mind the three criteria above).  Using the garland and ornaments for props helped because he just played with them wherever I set them down.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a backdrop size, including the size of your studio and the size of your subject. Portrait subjects should typically be pulled at least 3’ away from your backdrop to prevent shadows and allow for easy lighting. Of course, this distance your subject will be from the backdrop will be altered when taking overhead or backlit/high key shots. Below, we’ll discuss both the length and width restrictions of common backdrops.


This was a great value for the price. The backdrops photograph well, the lights are great and the stand is good. The stand didn't come with instructions to put it together, but wasn't too difficult to figure out. The backdrops did come with some wrinkles from being folded for shipping, but I have them rolled up together on a wrapping paper roll and they seem to be much better (and I haven't even ironed them yet.) I would recommend this product, especially for beginners like myself.
Some canvas backdrops include subtle patterns that provide an interesting but neutral background that doesn’t compete with a portrait subject for attention. Darker backgrounds can be used for low-key lighting, while a lighter, well-lit photo background can create a completely different high-key mood. Canvas backdrops at Adorama range in price from around $135.00 for a 5×7 to $270.00 for an 8×8-foot cloth.
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.

Display your photographic backdrops, floors, and floordrops using durable support equipment and accessories. You'll find a variety of stands and support kits that come with everything you need for mobile photography projects and studio setups. Many styles feature telescoping crossbars and adjustable bases to suit a variety of image heights and widths. Some support systems also feature multicolored chains so you can easily select the right background for your needs.

At Backdrop Express we offer a wide selection of backdrop support systems, with options for every type of photographer. Whether you're a student, have limited storage space, or have been in the industry for many years and are just looking for an upgrade, we have a backdrop stand to meet your needs. All our backdrop stands are secure, reliable and professional-quality! These easy-to-use and easy-to-store backdrop stands are cost-effective and versatile, easily supporting most standard photography backdrops, including muslin backdrops and seamless paper. Check out our wide selection of Backdrop Kits & save money when you purchase a backdrop with your backdrop stand!


The main cause of this working is distance. Notice how close the subject is standing to the background and how far away the main light is from the subject. In this example, the subject is approximately 2 feet from the backdrop and the main light is approximately 4 feet from the subject. If you're new to this, I would recommend starting with your main light a bit further back to make it a little less challenging. You will see why in a second.
If you’d like to do a little further reading,  here are a couple of links to tutorials that I found helpful before trying this myself. Prop Insanity has a great one with pictures of their actual studio set up using this type of background and Digitial Photography School has a great article on How to Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Images . (Bokeh being that gorgeous background blur we all love). You can also check out my Photography board on pinterest for more ideas.  If you do try this, I would LOVE to see your finished product so please come share with us on Facebook.
A. Regardless of the lighting system you’ve selected, you should have at least some control over the light intensity. A basic lighting system should allow you to adjust the power of the lighting to half or full. More complex systems will give you several settings options to control the intensity of the lighting. If you purchase an inexpensive lighting system, you’ll have to spend more time adjusting the physical position of the light to achieve the exact intensity of light on the subject you want.

These lights worked perfectly for what I purchased them for - as part of the backdrop for my Christmas pictures. They are a great, long length and width and shine brightly, but they are not overpowering. I had no issues stringing them up at all. They have a steady on mode as well as several different blinking modes. My only complaint is that the plug did not fit into my standard outlet - it was very loose and kept sliding out, so I had to tape it in to use it. Also, there is no off switch, so these have to be unplugged when not in use. Like I said, though, they worked great for my intended purpose.
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.
Summer may be drawing to a close soon, but ice cream is everyone’s year-round fave. Unlike the real stuff, Ink & Elm’s Dip n Dots backdrop won’t melt on you and its matte vinyl is tear resistant, so you can use it as a floor drop, too. It’s water resistant in case some real ice cream spills from your subject’s hands (or yours, we’re not judging). You can order the backdrop with grommets along the top for an extra $8, or spend $15 to get a pole pocket along the top. Sizes range from 3 x 2 feet up to 10 x 6 feet. Yum.
Easy to use and looks good in portraits. I used a stand by Fancierstudio and clips by LimoStudio and got this backdrop set up nicely. It's plenty long, and looks like you could cut it up and use it to cover a larger area, however I wish it were wider. It's just barely wide enough for a good portrait, but not any wider. It looks good if you put your subject a foot or so in front of it with a large aperture and get some bokeh on it.
Arrived damaged with small holes from the folds but I thought I could work with it. It is not wide enough for full frame, edged in white and printed so poorly that the design looks like it has a flaw. Look carefully at the seller's images. Several are photoshopped to appear better than the product. The last shot the seller uses shows a huge printing flaw. From a design standpoint, this makes no sense whatsoever to blow out that area with white. It isn't simulated light to give depth, it's just a flaw from the printer. Really, really bad photoshop to begin with in the first place, with other areas showing white artifacts on the design. China quality and standards. Not recommended unless you can shoot around them or photoshop them out later.
well my fault i didnt pay attention to other posted reviews that said order multiples. i only ordered one and of course it was no where near enough to do a proper back drop. so i will need to buy maybe 2 more. the picture seems a tad misleading cos it looks like just one solid panel. One Panel is the equivalent of one of my House curtains. which is where i hung this up, over my windows, to make a back drop for our New years eve family party. LOL it was real conversation piece.
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.
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.
We’ve warned photographers before about the very real danger (not to mention illegality) of photographing on railroad tracks. With Backdrop Outlet’s Western Steam Train backdrop, you’ll get all of the folksy wanderlust of a track shoot without the immense risk. Like other backdrops in the company’s Western collection, the Steam Train is available in sizes ranging from 5 x 6 feet to 10 x 20 feet, depending on your backdrop material. You’ll have a number of different materials to choose from, including Baby Drops, which is a heavy matte vinyl; Candy Drops, printed on a thin nylon-polyester material; and Candy Stick, a film-backed drop that can be stuck to a wall and peeled off for reuse up to 15 times. If you need something larger, the company’s Platinum is a wrinkle-free fabric that is washer- and dryer-safe.
We offer a product range that’s unsurpassed for its variety, selection and value. From smooth Seamless Paper in every color under the sun to Floor Drops with amazingly lifelike, dimensional patterns that can create the look of location shooting in the studio, we make the products that photographers rely on for creating perfect backgrounds for virtually every situation. Just starting out and need a flexible solution for a space that does double duty? We have reversible backgrounds that are easy to set up and break down. Upgrading your high-traffic commercial studio and looking for a timeless, professional backdrop set? We have heavy-duty, durable vinyl that will stand the test of time.
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