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…..

Collapsible backgrounds are an ideal choice for photographers who need a portable, compact, and simple to set up and take down. These versatile backdrops are lightweight, easy to setup and never show creases. Collapsible backgrounds spring open, attach to stands with touch fasteners, and can be used horizontally or vertically. Portable collapsible discs are limited and available in a small range of sizes. There are some foldable disc backdrops available that extend in front of the backdrop to the floor, serving as a seamless background for full-length subjects.

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.

Overall a beautiful backdrop. More yellow than I was expecting though. The yellowish center on mine is very large and bright, with much less brown/green than the one pictured. I used it for a dance troupe portrait and the yellow wasn’t flattering with everyone’s skin tone. Too bland. However, I changed the color in post and I LOVE the result. The yellow center became a natural bright spot under whatever color I painted with, and is a lovely effect. I have included pictures. The first one is mostly unaltered in color, just darkened a little. I am keeping the backdrop, knowing that I’ll have to be careful with subject/lighting or paint it in post-processing.
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