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.
This project is simple and doesn’t take very long at all, maybe about an hour from start to finish. After you’re finished, you will want to roll up the fabric and lights for storage until the wedding. Consider covering it as well, to keep and dirt or dust from settling on it. We covered ours with garbage bags since black dog fur and white curtains are not exactly friends.
These are better than I expected. Good solid build. Takes about a good solid hour to assemble everything. Everything worked perfectly after assembly. No sand for the sandbag, so I put a bottle of water in the pouch. Worked perfect as a counterweight. I live in a one bedroom apartment, so I put two of the lights away after testing and keep one assembled for impulse shoots.
Another special effects background is the translucent background that is used in videography or photography to disappear under accurate lighting. It is a perfect backdrop to use for theatrical scrim effects wherein the photographers or videographers control the appearance and disappearance of the subjects. These backgrounds can be illusion netting, gauze, scrims and so on. The fabric used for these backdrops can be translucent or transparent and diffusive or non-diffusive.
To start constructing this DIY backdrop, measure how thick your elbow is compared to your curtain rod, and add electrical tape around the end of the rod until you have a tight fit. For most people, it will be easier to put a little bit of tape on at a time, testing the fit every so often until it’s snug, but measurements can give you a good base to start with. Don’t attach the rod to the elbow yet, however.

Canvas backgrounds are made of a moderately thick, heavy fabric. These backdrops are mostly painted to look like classic paintings or have imagery of scenic realism. They are also known as roll drops or scenics and need a suspension system. Usually, photographers use motorized backdrop stands though background rollers can also be used to clamp the canvas. A good canvas backdrop can provide an amazing look to the photographers scenes and can even last for a longer span of time. These backdrops are also available with subtle patterns or even neutral backgrounds which highlights the portrait subject.

Again, if you are starting out or having trouble I would recommend getting the light a little further back (somewhere between 4 to 8 feet if using a similar sized light source). You will also notice that the right side of my backdrop is actually not 100 percent white, it fades to a light gray shade. I could increase my fill or correct this in post-processing, but the slight shift is intentional in this image.
Made from styrene, a wrinkle-free plastic, this versatile backdrop can be used as a light table, prop setup or a seamless background. Props or people on the other side of the backdrop are seen as shapes and eerie silhouettes. Placed in front of a light, it delivers a frosted glass effect. You can cut Translum with scissors, so you can whittle down a roll into any shape you desire. It’s available in three grades: lightweight, for a soft light effect with a 3/4-stop light loss, medium grade that eliminates most of the shadows and delivers a 1.5-stop light loss and a heavy grade that knocks back two stops of light (this grade is recommended for shooting tables and is cleanable). Medium and lightweight grades are sold in 60-inch x 18-foot rolls while the heavyweight grade is available in 54-inch x 18-foot rolls.
The most simple way to hang a backdrop is by using wall hooks. This solution is suitable for people using smaller and lighter backdrops. 5 x 7-foot X-Drop Backdrops and 3.5 x 3.5-foot backdrops feature built-in grommets for use with hooks. While you can install these into your wall, we recommend picking up a pack of removable wall hooks to protect your walls. They are usually under $10 USD per pack.

The Little Studio System is a must-have backdrop solution for photographing newborns, infants, toddlers, pets, and products.  The Little Studio is essentially a 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5-foot room in a box. This system is completely collapsible and can be paired with hundreds of available backdrops and floordrops. These backdrops attach to the system with Velcro, allowing for instant set changes and clean up.


Like other photo backdrop materials, polyester also comes in various sizes and colors. An advantage of this fabric is that it’s wrinkle-free. If there are heavy wrinkles, it can easily be removed by warm ironing from the back or by steam ironing it when it’s hung. It also includes rod holes that are perfect for hanging, especially if you don’t have a place to store it after using.
Stock up on extra drive components such as chains, switches, and weights, so you can quickly replace broken or missing parts. Be sure to keep plenty of spare clips, hooks, and brackets on hand so portrait backgrounds and video backdrops stay in place during shoots. Maintain clean and organized work spaces by storing paper rolls and mounting poles on wall-mounted and freestanding storage racks.
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