If you’d like to do a little further reading,  here are a couple of links to tutorials that I found helpful before trying this myself. Prop Insanity has a great one with pictures of their actual studio set up using this type of background and Digitial Photography School has a great article on How to Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Images . (Bokeh being that gorgeous background blur we all love). You can also check out my Photography board on pinterest for more ideas.  If you do try this, I would LOVE to see your finished product so please come share with us on Facebook.
In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
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.
They are plastic, but very strong and the clamping power is quite good. The only annoyance is the little red pads on the end, swivel all the way around so if you are trying to attach something up high with one hand, sometimes they flip backwards and don't grab correctly. You just need to make sure they are facing inwards before you reach up high. I used all 6 clamps to attach a large king size sheet to a linco backdrop stand and it was enough - ... full review
Don't take this review too critical to the overall worth of the product. Ultimately you pay for what you get and this is a very reasonable price for a starter home studio setup. I've been working with freelance photography for a few years now, primarily as a hobby, and decided to buy this as a portable setup I can take just about anywhere I want. Everything was functional for that purpose and works wonderfully. The light fixtures come with lights that aren't dimmable but adjustment of height and distance from the umbrella to the bulb can suffice. The carrying bag is fairly poor quality but it's kind of just a nice little extra you get with the package so I didn't take that to heart. The stand pieces, both for the backdrop and the lights, are fairly well made but if you aren't gentle they can be easily broken. As for the backdrops themselves, you get a white, black and green one; all of which are the expected colors and are decent material. However, if you intend to set these up indoors (or outdoors for that matter) be sure to have a background that is plain. These are not the thickest back drops and you can really see just about everything behind them if you aren't caring enough to have a plain backing. Overall, I am satisfied, but you shouldn't expect this to be the only kit you will ever need. Adequate for the beginner but once you really want to make a serious home studio, you will need something much more advanced.
For our session I tried to keep Mr. C about 3/4 of the way up from the lights on the wall and towards me (right around where you are seeing the garland and red ornaments in the above photo).  I was sitting only as far back from him as I had to, to get what I wanted of him in the frame (keeping in mind the three criteria above).  Using the garland and ornaments for props helped because he just played with them wherever I set them down.
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.
You don’t have to browse Instagram long before you see images of people in dangerous places. You can satisfy the thrill-seeking selfie shooter with PhotoPie’s vertigo-inducing Bird’s Eye View floor mat. The bottom is made of non-slip rubber that will stay in place once it’s on the floor. The top material is felt and is imaged using a fade-resistant dye-sublimation process. Sizes range from 4 x 5 to 8 x 10 feet. 

The StudioPRO 3000W's included backdrops add a lot of value and a professional touch that users love. The 10-foot power cord often eliminates the need for an extension, and can reduce anxiety over tripping on a taut line. The lightweight equipment and small case store easily, and if you travel a lot, you would be hard-pressed to find a more portable model.
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!
Love this! I am an armature photographer and have only used a few vinyl backdrops in the past. I needed a solid grey backdrop and thought I would try one of these because they are so much cheaper than the vinyl I had purchased in the past. It was super easy to use. I do just natural lighting so it was nice to not have to deal with a glare like I do on my vinyl ones. I also loved that it was so easy to set up and take down. I had read reviews that said collapsing it back up is difficult but I had a friend with me when using it and I asked her to hold one end and it literally took me less than 30 seconds on the first try...maybe we just got lucky? I wish they had more ... full review

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