Made of moderately thick, heavy material, canvas used to be the most popular among photography backdrops. However, due to its bulk and cost, it has been overshadowed by muslin backdrops in terms of popularity. Nevertheless, a good canvas backdrop will last a long time and provide a classy look to your shots. While you can bring canvas photo backdrops with you, they’re best suited for studio work since they easily wrinkle when stored in a duffel bag.
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…..
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.
Last is the Julius Studio, which is another crossbar set up that spans up to 10 ft. Like the others, this one also comes with a carry bag and the necessary clamps for securing your backdrop of choice. Also, like the others, this one is made of lightweight tubing that makes it easy to carry. Lastly, while users said this was easy to set up and use, they recommend using sandbags or some other type of weight to keep the system secure due to the light weight of the tubing.
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.
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.
If you do many in-studio portrait sessions, you probably have a lot of space set aside for background materials, props, and supports. Add to your stash with canvas backdrops for photography, and selections made of durable, low-maintenance materials, such as cotton and wrinkle-resistant polyester. Several backgrounds come on rolls so you can mount them to autopoles and smoothly swap out designs between poses. Seamless paper works particularly well for everyday needs, as you can roll sheets out to the desired length and then reuse or trim away pieces for easy recycling. Muslin photo and video backdrops feature non-reflective surfaces that diffuse light more naturally, which can help keep the focus on your subject. If you prefer materials that allow for fast and efficient cleanup, vinyl and PVC backgrounds are a solid choice, especially when you use them in potentially messy situations involving pets, babies, and toddlers.