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.
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.
The paper is awesome and thick and great for a photography backdrop. The problem I had with it was no statement letting me know that you cannot use it on a regular stand or the paper will unwind uncontrollably and end up in a crinkled mess on the floor. Half of my roll spun out onto the floor as soon as I tried pulling a little bit out to do a session. Thankfully I was preparing for the session about 15 minutes before the appointment time and I was able to wind it up, cut off the creased parts and rig up something with some painters tape to temporarily keep it in place. Because of this I was unable to change out my backdrop during the session without risk of it unraveling again with my clients here at my place. In order to use this ... full review
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.
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.
I've purchased a few backdrops with this company (LB) now, and though I **HATE** the sizing of their backdrops (way too short and not wide enough), the quality of them are so good for the price. This one is versatile in my opinion: we used it for a murder mystery party that took place in ancient China (oh yeah!), but I've seen pictures of people using this as a studio backup for couple pictures and so forth. I think it's a fun one that deserves to be purchased more often.
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