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.

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. 
I'm a professional photographer and purchased this on the chance that it was as advertised. I shoot 8th grade graduation dances and have always used a black backdrop to make the images "pop". I was worried in buying this that there would be a lot of maintenance in getting the wrinkles out...worked perfect from package to hanging on the frame! Awesome product and well worth the money!
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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.

Position these lights to point at the backdrop and use manual settings to achieve the “blown out highlights” effect. Make sure the light reading is at least 3 stops higher than the light on your subject. Light bounced off the blown-out background will also create a back-lighting effect on your subject, the degree of back-lighting depends on the angle at which background light are pointed at the background.

For a dramatic or edgy appearance, go with low-key lighting. Low-key lighting also focuses attention onto your subject by surrounding them in shadows instead of light. To do this, you want to ensure that your solid black backdrop is at least 3 stops darker than the light on your subject. With low-key lighting, you also need to ensure that none of the light from your subject is hitting your backdrop. Grids and flag are very helpful for this.
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.
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