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.

What this tells us is that the further away the light source is from the subject and backdrop, the more likely we are to get an equal exposure from one to the other. The quality of the light source can also change with distance. You will notice that as the light gets further away it becomes a harder light with less transitional values. Also, if the subject appears to be further away from the backdrop in the last image, it's due to me needing to use a shorter focal length (zoom out) to avoid getting the softbox in the shot. The shorter focal length exaggerates perspective.
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…..
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.
At Backdrop Express we offer a wide selection of backdrop support systems, with options for every type of photographer. Whether you're a student, have limited storage space, or have been in the industry for many years and are just looking for an upgrade, we have a backdrop stand to meet your needs. All our backdrop stands are secure, reliable and professional-quality! These easy-to-use and easy-to-store backdrop stands are cost-effective and versatile, easily supporting most standard photography backdrops, including muslin backdrops and seamless paper. Check out our wide selection of Backdrop Kits & save money when you purchase a backdrop with your backdrop stand!
At Backdrop Express we offer a wide selection of backdrop support systems, with options for every type of photographer. Whether you're a student, have limited storage space, or have been in the industry for many years and are just looking for an upgrade, we have a backdrop stand to meet your needs. All our backdrop stands are secure, reliable and professional-quality! These easy-to-use and easy-to-store backdrop stands are cost-effective and versatile, easily supporting most standard photography backdrops, including muslin backdrops and seamless paper. Check out our wide selection of Backdrop Kits & save money when you purchase a backdrop with your backdrop stand!
Want to tweak one of our images? Have your own custom image you'd like to print? The possibilities are endless and our customer service department is ready to help. We print using forced perspective to help give you the most realistic image possible so that your portraits will look realistic as if you were actually on location. If you have an image that you own or have rights to, we'll help you get it formatted correctly for our printing process. Email us your artwork to start the process. If you're wanting a custom Hollywood style photo backdrop with your logo(s) repeated all over it, we do that too with one of our step and repeat backdrops!
×