Summer may be drawing to a close soon, but ice cream is everyone’s year-round fave. Unlike the real stuff, Ink & Elm’s Dip n Dots backdrop won’t melt on you and its matte vinyl is tear resistant, so you can use it as a floor drop, too. It’s water resistant in case some real ice cream spills from your subject’s hands (or yours, we’re not judging). You can order the backdrop with grommets along the top for an extra $8, or spend $15 to get a pole pocket along the top. Sizes range from 3 x 2 feet up to 10 x 6 feet. Yum.
The folks at the slanted lens are anything but low value so it was kinda surprising to see that many of their setups are actually low-budget DIYs. The short below shows six of those tricks including a plumbing backdrop hanger, a ton of budgety lighting solutions (some of which we have covered in the past, but their softbox is pure budget geniusity) and my favorite, another use for a tarp.
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.
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!

In summary, the key factors to getting the backdrop and subject lit in a similar exposure zone is distance; The distance of the subject to the background and the distance of the light source to the subject. Decrease the distance of the subject to background and increase the distance of the main light to the subject to make this easier. The key factor for getting a soft and directional quality to the light is also distance, but it's the opposite. By getting the light closer to the subject, we can create a softer light with more directional qualities. Also remember that these qualities of the light are relative to the size of the light source. If you are using a smaller light source, you will need to get it in closer to hold those transitional values. If you are using a larger light source, you may be able to get your light further back and still hold those soft-light qualities. Also, if the examples and basic principles here make sense to you, you have kind of just learned the inverse square law!


There's no hiding the fact that the LimoStudio 3-Piece Softbox Set is a bare-bones package. The only accessories included with this package are three stands, three softboxes, 12 bulbs, and a case. The boxes and stands are of a good size, and the stands are adjustable to different angles. In the end, however, brightness (and a budget price) are the features that make the LimoStudio a standout.
The picture posted here is definitely deceiving, but overall I am happy with the product. I don't know how the photographer edited and/or modified the print in the listing to have the "depth" of the floor like that. I have two pictures that I will submit to show what I received - these are UN-EDITED photos (not run through Photoshop, only added my name to the bottom). I ended up using a floor cloth, as you can clearly see in the image. If the photographer used a separate floor cloth to achieve the extended "brick" look, I could understand it, but as the photo stands it is very deceiving. Obviously there were some adjustments made to bring out the colors in the background too. I can easily achieve the same "rich" colors in Photoshop or some other similar photo editing program.
Drops & Props custom work is professional, high quality, and accurate. They were responsive to our needs and hustled to complete an order that had an impossibly tight turn around time. We ordered backdrops not only for our photo booth but to have a shared experience in every Etsy office across the globe. They made this happen for us and we are so grateful.

I've included what the backdrop look like without people in it, and also what it looks like with several different kinds of skin tones so those of you who are thinking about buying this can take that into consideration with your potential clientele. As you can see, at least with just a horseshoe flash, people with darker skin tones definitely looked better with this backdrop.
As with lighting systems and camera equipment, backdrops require some kind of support to keep them in place. Background supports can be simple or sophisticated systems. The simple ones are easy to set up and break down and are well suited for location work, while sophisticated, permanent studio systems can hold multiple backgrounds that can be raised or lowered either manually or at the flip of a switch.
The Julius Studio background curtain set features an aluminum alloy construction to ensure durability and portability, and photo clams made of synthetic nylon to provide a strong grip and prevent the canvas from slipping out. Another great thing is that it’s adjustable in width (5-10.3 ft) and height (2.6 -7.5 ft). In addition to this, the set includes quality sandbags for stability.
Yes all the "bad" stuff they say about this product is true, it's essentially a very long roll of wrapping paper, thin, wrinkles easily. BUT that being said, if you treat it with just a little TLC this stuff performs beautifully. Photographs extremely well. Perfect for the beginner photographer on a limited budget, or like myself a more seasoned photographer with a small studio, I highly recommend this product. For the price it can't be beat! This photo was taken on the "barn wood" version.
Stands often come with crossbars that can support a cloth, vinyl, muslin, or paper backdrop and are secured by either slipping it through a pole pocket or by clamps. For many stands, a crossbar is not needed if the backdrop is canvas or vinyl and has a wooden mounting. Single portable backdrop stands are also available. Portable photography stands are easy to set up, break down, and transport to locations.
The main cause of this working is distance. Notice how close the subject is standing to the background and how far away the main light is from the subject. In this example, the subject is approximately 2 feet from the backdrop and the main light is approximately 4 feet from the subject. If you're new to this, I would recommend starting with your main light a bit further back to make it a little less challenging. You will see why in a second.
We had so much fun on Christmas with this backdrop and the accessories. We had an ugly Christmas sweater dinner and we took so many photos using this. It was like an ongoing photo session. The back drop is very sturdy and was put up for the next holiday season. I used a hot glue gun to attach the sticks to the props rather than using the tape strips that were included.

Please keep your expectations realistic: this is a $30 backdrop that will be delivered to your door. This is not fancy. This isn't printed on the best of materials, but do you need it to be? If you're a professional photographer who has worked with backdrops that are $200 a pop, you shouldn't waste your time with this one. But if you're like me, just cutting my teeth out on this business, this is a fine investment that is fun and easy.
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.
Photo Floors or as we like to call them Roll Up Floors are the perfect compliment to any backdrop. Lightweight, easy to roll for storage, and very realistic.  Photography floors are made of a thick durable neoprene rubber backed material which provides an anti slip faux flooring mat.  Whether you are looking for a faux wood photography flooring or trying to bring the grass fields indoors, there are tons of options.
×