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.
Cotton is a great photo background because it works well with the subject, especially if the lighting is properly set up. Also, if you want a backdrop that’s perfect for traveling, invest in a cotton fabric backdrop. It’s portable and easy to transport, set up, and collapse. It varies in size, too, so make sure to pick the right one before going to your location.

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.
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.
When it comes to special effect backgrounds, the chroma key backdrops are the most common used in tandem with special effects. The chroma key or key backgrounds are usually set to perfect blue or green helping a computer differentiate the background from the subject easily. This background can be used to superimpose a second image over the first one to show the chroma key color section.
The Julius Studio background curtain set features an aluminum alloy construction to ensure durability and portability, and photo clams made of synthetic nylon to provide a strong grip and prevent the canvas from slipping out. Another great thing is that it’s adjustable in width (5-10.3 ft) and height (2.6 -7.5 ft). In addition to this, the set includes quality sandbags for stability.

Vinyl backdrops are thick, rolled and durable, and are recommended for professional studio work. They generally come in solids, but there are a few with printed patterns that can be very inexpensive. While most vinyl backgrounds have a glossy sheen, there are some (including a recently announced line by Savage, which includes the Savage Matte Finish Gray Infinity Series vinyl background) that have a matte finish to eliminate glare and reflections.
For a dramatic or edgy appearance, go with low-key lighting. Low-key lighting also focuses attention onto your subject by surrounding them in shadows instead of light. To do this, you want to ensure that your solid black backdrop is at least 3 stops darker than the light on your subject. With low-key lighting, you also need to ensure that none of the light from your subject is hitting your backdrop. Grids and flag are very helpful for this.
Stands often come with crossbars that can support a cloth, vinyl, muslin, or paper backdrop and are secured by either slipping it through a pole pocket or by clamps. For many stands, a crossbar is not needed if the backdrop is canvas or vinyl and has a wooden mounting. Single portable backdrop stands are also available. Portable photography stands are easy to set up, break down, and transport to locations.
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…..

Our full line of photo props and accessories will help you create the perfect portrait. From props that interact wonderfully with subjects to those that simply give your photos a little more interest. Our props are sure to help with creating magical photographs each and every time. Our realistic prop designs are often used in theatrical settings, special events, portraits, and even the motion picture industry.


I was really excited to get this backdrop for my new YouTube channel (Nia Knows Best) and it did not fail. The quality is thick (which is good), and it is NOT transparent. That's perfect because I have a wall of magazine pictures behind this backdrop and yet you can't see anything but the shimmer of the rose gold glitter. The only thing I would say is that depending on the lighting the rose gold turns into a silver ish glitter which can be a little frustrating. In the last photo you can see how just because of the lighting switching, the rose gold turns into silver. Other than that it is perfect.
A 5 or 6-foot wide backdrop is a great size for headshots and ¾-length portraits. These backdrops are easy to manage and still only requires minimal space to set up. These backgrounds are ideal for event photographers who often work in busy spaces or for photographers working in a small home studio. While 5 to 6-foot backdrops offer more flexibility than 3.5-foot backdrops, they still become a bit tight if when photographing a couple or full-length portrait.
Vinyl backdrops are thick, rolled and durable, and are recommended for professional studio work. They generally come in solids, but there are a few with printed patterns that can be very inexpensive. While most vinyl backgrounds have a glossy sheen, there are some (including a recently announced line by Savage, which includes the Savage Matte Finish Gray Infinity Series vinyl background) that have a matte finish to eliminate glare and reflections.
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Users love the portable carrying bag, but some do note that it’s not heavy-duty or suitable for heavy fabrics. The ePhoto support stand kit is made of lightweight aluminum for portability, and you can adjust the height up to 8 ft. and the width to 10 ft. Another great thing about this product is that you can set it up in minutes, store it in the included carry bag and take it with you.
The folks at the slanted lens are anything but low value so it was kinda surprising to see that many of their setups are actually low-budget DIYs. The short below shows six of those tricks including a plumbing backdrop hanger, a ton of budgety lighting solutions (some of which we have covered in the past, but their softbox is pure budget geniusity) and my favorite, another use for a tarp.

Drops & Props custom work is professional, high quality, and accurate. They were responsive to our needs and hustled to complete an order that had an impossibly tight turn around time. We ordered backdrops not only for our photo booth but to have a shared experience in every Etsy office across the globe. They made this happen for us and we are so grateful.
The Julius Studio background curtain set features an aluminum alloy construction to ensure durability and portability, and photo clams made of synthetic nylon to provide a strong grip and prevent the canvas from slipping out. Another great thing is that it’s adjustable in width (5-10.3 ft) and height (2.6 -7.5 ft). In addition to this, the set includes quality sandbags for stability.

No space? No problem. The 42 x 42 x 42-inch Little Studio unfolds to deliver a corner studio setting in any location. Its metal frame is shrouded in white diffusion fabric and has hook-and-loop edges so you can mount backdrops and floor mats with ease. When the shoot is over, the Little Studio folds down and slips into an included nylon carrying case. You can completely disassemble the studio if you really need to pack it down. 


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!
This was my first order with this product and I like it. The only thing that threw me off is that I expected it to be as pictured. Brick all as the 9x6 and the extra white on the bottom. It is in fact 9x6. I have included a couple test shots. The product works as expected. I love white back grounds. I think that this adds just a little bit of texture to them. Also important to not be right up against the backdrop. make sure that you get some distant between the subject and the back drop.
A user mentions that he was surprised by the quality and that he hasn’t had issues with it. He shares that he bought several to shoot pictures for his website and that it takes a couple of minutes to set them up. Another purchaser states that he would have liked if there were sandbags to keep the frame stable, but it works well nonetheless. However, one customer has noted that the stand is flimsy and that the clips are not holding the fabric well.
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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!

When it comes to special effect backgrounds, the chroma key backdrops are the most common used in tandem with special effects. The chroma key or key backgrounds are usually set to perfect blue or green helping a computer differentiate the background from the subject easily. This background can be used to superimpose a second image over the first one to show the chroma key color section.
Studio Light Video Photo Softbox Photography Kit Muslin Backdrop Lighting Kit Package Content: (2) Light Holder w/ Silver Black Softbox Reflector (2) 24" White Square Umbrella Reflector (2) Studio Single Light Holder (4) 7ft Tall Alumium Light Stand (4) 45Watts Day-Light Bulbs (1) Backdrop Support System w/ Carrying Bag (1) 5'x10' Green Backdrop Screen (1) 5'x10' Black Backdrop Screen (1) 5'x10' White Backdrop Screen (4) Backdrop Helper(Clip) ( Free Gift) * Item color may slightly differ from photos due to varying monitor display and settings.
Anyone that does any kind of handy work around the house (or anywhere for that matter) definitely needs to keep a few of these on hand. They are simple. They are plastic, but they feel very strong. The spring inside is REALLY strong! It's got a tight grip for sure! I have around 40-50 of these (different brands) that I've acquired over the years doing woodworking projects. These rank right up there with the best ones! If you're gluing something, these are a must to clamp the parts together. Great grip and as inexpensive as you're going to find! (currently $9.99/1.67ea). Hard to argue with that!
Even shooting on location you can achieve some background lighting magic. The sun moves around throughout the day — think east to west as well as dawn to dusk. Analyze what time of the day the sun will project the light on your subject at the desired angle. Note: Hard light (direct sun) will create darker shadows while diffused light (cloudy overcast) will create softer shadows.
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.
When it comes to special effect backgrounds, the chroma key backdrops are the most common used in tandem with special effects. The chroma key or key backgrounds are usually set to perfect blue or green helping a computer differentiate the background from the subject easily. This background can be used to superimpose a second image over the first one to show the chroma key color section.
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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.
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.
Another special effects background is the translucent background that is used in videography or photography to disappear under accurate lighting. It is a perfect backdrop to use for theatrical scrim effects wherein the photographers or videographers control the appearance and disappearance of the subjects. These backgrounds can be illusion netting, gauze, scrims and so on. The fabric used for these backdrops can be translucent or transparent and diffusive or non-diffusive.
Buyer beware!! Fell apart after 1 use :( The plastic pieces separate from the poles. The adjustment valve on one side is completely stuck so I cannot adjust sizing. Seller dismissed my contact...I'd honestly just like to exchange for hopefully one that is not defective but seller in not responding. Very disappointed in this purchase. I buy from Amazon very often and this has been my first issue with low quality merchandise.

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!
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.
The seller describes this as “seamless”.... not even close! This is the CHEAPEST photo backdrop I’ve ever bought. It was folded in packaging in a way that there were folds every 8 x 10 inches- completely unusable. I tried to steam out the wrinkles (because this in no way is fabric- I didn’t want to risk putting it in the dryer). The steaming was unsuccessful. I tried putting it in the dryer for a minute or 2 and the wrinkles were all still there but the ink was not!
Velour backgrounds are a relatively thick but lightweight material that is available in 40x5 to 8x12 inches. They give you the look of seamless without the hassle of getting crumpled up and ruined. Most are made of wrinkle-resistant fabric and can be reused again and again. Even though these backdrops are not available in a wide range of patterns and colors, they are perfect for those looking for low maintenance backdrops.
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.
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. 

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.
No more wasting your money on cheap vinyl. We've got just what you're looking for in a professional fabric photo backdrop. We print on high quality, matte finish, non-glare cloth with a dye sublimation process that exceeds expectations. We even have three different fabrics to choose from, allowing for further individualization! Other companies either print on subpar materials (like vinyl, muslin, or even paper!) or they print direct to fabric, which lessens the resolution and leaves you wanting more. Here at Photo Pie, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service through your entire ordering process. Whether you're needing a one time backdrop for a party or needing durable, wrinkle free backdrops for your photography studio, we've got professionally sublimated backdrops just for you!
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