When I want new portraits of my kids, I never head to the photography studio. Instead, I head to the kitchen or front room, where I get great window light. I’m willing to spend a lot more time than most photographers would with my kids to get just the photo I want, and I often photograph them right in front of a blank wall for an easy background. This can get old pretty quickly, though, so I’ve collected 20 different options for easy DIY backdrops you can use in your home.
Collapsible backgrounds are an ideal choice for photographers who need a portable, compact, and simple to set up and take down. These versatile backdrops are lightweight, easy to setup and never show creases. Collapsible backgrounds spring open, attach to stands with touch fasteners, and can be used horizontally or vertically. Portable collapsible discs are limited and available in a small range of sizes. There are some foldable disc backdrops available that extend in front of the backdrop to the floor, serving as a seamless background for full-length subjects.
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.
Easy to use and looks good in portraits. I used a stand by Fancierstudio and clips by LimoStudio and got this backdrop set up nicely. It's plenty long, and looks like you could cut it up and use it to cover a larger area, however I wish it were wider. It's just barely wide enough for a good portrait, but not any wider. It looks good if you put your subject a foot or so in front of it with a large aperture and get some bokeh on it.
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…..
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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.