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.
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!

As I expected with cotton it came quite wrinkled, but as any cotton the wrinkles come out well. Of course, ironing requires work and on such large piece of fabric it took about 15 minutes. Cotton will wrinkle again if it is folded for storage, so ideally it would be best to store it mounted on the stands, but for me it is not possible due to lack of space. So I expect that I will need to iron it again, but hopefully it will take less time compared to the initial ironing as I packed it less tightly. Steam ironing works best. For a large piece of fabric like this I use a separate bottle to spray mist on ... full review

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.

Chromakey gives you the ability to insert your photography client into a background of your choosing by having them pose in front of a vibrantly colored screen. You can do this in post-processing programs by removing and replacing the chromakeyed color with the background of your choosing. While you can technically chromakey any color, opting for a very exaggerated color, neon green or blue, will reduce the chance of your client accidentally looking like a floating head without a body because you chromakeyed the color of their dress.


Football season is nearly upon us and Backdrop Express’s sports and stadium-themed printed backdrops are a great way to capitalize on the bone crunching. They’re available in poly paper or vinyl in either 4 x 5-foot or 5 x 6-foot sizes, or a fabric with sizes ranging from 5 x 6.5 feet up to 10 x 10 feet in a choice of light or heavyweight. The poly paper version is water resistant and has a matte finish. If you opt for vinyl, you’ll get a more durable backdrop that’s also water resistant and has a matte finish. The heavyweight fabric is a polyester/cotton knot that’s washable and wrinkle resistant with a sewn-in rod pocket. The lightweight fabric is a 100 percent polyester weave that Backdrop Express likens to a tablecloth. It, too, is wrinkle resistant, though less than the heavyweight fabric. On the plus side, Backdrop Express says the printed design is “slightly clearer” on the lightweight version. Decisions, decisions. 
It was higher quality then I had expected . One side is a very soft and silky/shiny material. The photo is only on one side , just to let you know . Needs to be ironed but ours broke and we do not have an iron at the moment. If the lines were out it would look absolutely gorgeous. Totally changed the feel of a room. Bought the 60”W by 80”L . Not disappointed.
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.
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.
We used this backdrop for an at-home photo shoot with a newborn. It worked great for us, the only downside is that it is folded when it comes and came with instructions to get the creases out adding some more work than just opening the package and taking pictures. Regardless, it flattened perfectly fine in about 10 minutes and we’ll be using it again so it was definitely worth it for the price and effort.
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.
I love this backdrop for photos; I used it for my daughters pictures to use on her first birthday card. However, as other reviewers stated, getting the creases out is nearly impossible. I took another persons idea of wrapping it around a pole (one of those long, skinny paint rollers meant for painting ceilings - so very skinny). I wrapped it around the pole and used tape to hold it in place for TWO WEEKS. While it helped with the creases a little bit, they were still pretty visible. I would love to purchase more of these for future use but am hesitant; I wish the supplier would ship them rolled in tubes as opposed to folding them.
A good beginner, entry-level, infrequent use backdrop. If you take the time to remove the wrinkles, and there are quite a few due to shipping restrictions, it turns out to be a good first backdrop. I rolled it tightly on a 1” pvc, leaving it that way for several days, and hung it afterwards. There were a few places I needed to use a hair dryer to get them out but once done it’s a nice backdrop. It’s lightweight being vinyl but the printing on it looks much richer. For the price you know you will need to do some work but in the end it’s well worth it.
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.
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!

Express your love of geology with ProStudio’s Hard Rock Poser. They may look back-breaking, but these posers are made from plastic and are hollow inside so you can move them around your studio, or to a location, with ease. (Pro tip: Pretend they’re real and lift one over your head to impress friends and clients.) The poser has a flat top and is sturdy enough for an adult to sit on. The small rock measures in at 19 x 14 x 12 inches while a large model is 27 x 21 x 25 inches. Additional sizes and rock colors are also available.
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.
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