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.
They are plastic, but very strong and the clamping power is quite good. The only annoyance is the little red pads on the end, swivel all the way around so if you are trying to attach something up high with one hand, sometimes they flip backwards and don't grab correctly. You just need to make sure they are facing inwards before you reach up high. I used all 6 clamps to attach a large king size sheet to a linco backdrop stand and it was enough - ... full review
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.
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.
Another buyer mentions that it’s easy to adjust the portable backdrop stand and that it’s perfect for light-weight backdrops. He highly recommends it as one of the best background stands available. However, a couple of users have noted that the product is flimsy and breaks because the plastic is of poor quality. Some also complain that they received a damaged unit.
Display your photographic backdrops, floors, and floordrops using durable support equipment and accessories. You'll find a variety of stands and support kits that come with everything you need for mobile photography projects and studio setups. Many styles feature telescoping crossbars and adjustable bases to suit a variety of image heights and widths. Some support systems also feature multicolored chains so you can easily select the right background for your needs.
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 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.