Backgrounds, also known as backdrops, are a standard feature used in a controlled setting such as a photography studio. The ability to change backgrounds adds versatility to portraits allowing you endless possibilities in truly crafting an image. Backdrops are available in various types and are categorized based on the size and materials they are made of. These can range from simple solids to subtle patterns and even custom-painted, photo-realistic scenes. To effectively use a backdrop you will need stands and other accessories.
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.
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.

We used this backdrop for an at-home photo shoot with a newborn. It worked great for us, the only downside is that it is folded when it comes and came with instructions to get the creases out adding some more work than just opening the package and taking pictures. Regardless, it flattened perfectly fine in about 10 minutes and we’ll be using it again so it was definitely worth it for the price and effort.
In summary, the key factors to getting the backdrop and subject lit in a similar exposure zone is distance; The distance of the subject to the background and the distance of the light source to the subject. Decrease the distance of the subject to background and increase the distance of the main light to the subject to make this easier. The key factor for getting a soft and directional quality to the light is also distance, but it's the opposite. By getting the light closer to the subject, we can create a softer light with more directional qualities. Also remember that these qualities of the light are relative to the size of the light source. If you are using a smaller light source, you will need to get it in closer to hold those transitional values. If you are using a larger light source, you may be able to get your light further back and still hold those soft-light qualities. Also, if the examples and basic principles here make sense to you, you have kind of just learned the inverse square law!
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.
As I expected with cotton it came quite wrinkled, but as any cotton the wrinkles come out well. Of course, ironing requires work and on such large piece of fabric it took about 15 minutes. Cotton will wrinkle again if it is folded for storage, so ideally it would be best to store it mounted on the stands, but for me it is not possible due to lack of space. So I expect that I will need to iron it again, but hopefully it will take less time compared to the initial ironing as I packed it less tightly. Steam ironing works best. For a large piece of fabric like this I use a separate bottle to spray mist on ... full review
Photography Studio Green Screen Video Photo Quick Softbox Lighting Light Kit, 600 Watt Output, EZ1624GREENSCREENKIT Photo Studio Premium Reflector Umbrella Continuous 500 Watt Lighting kit, Background Support, and Muslin Background, NEWCB_BWG_FL-08 KIT Photo Studio Continous Lighting kit, Background Support, and Black & White Backgrounds, NEWCB_BW_26KIT 600 Watt Photo Studio Continous Lighting kit, Background Support, and Muslin Background, NEWCB_BWG_600WKIT
Yes all the "bad" stuff they say about this product is true, it's essentially a very long roll of wrapping paper, thin, wrinkles easily. BUT that being said, if you treat it with just a little TLC this stuff performs beautifully. Photographs extremely well. Perfect for the beginner photographer on a limited budget, or like myself a more seasoned photographer with a small studio, I highly recommend this product. For the price it can't be beat! This photo was taken on the "barn wood" version.
Think of the Pearl photo booth as magic on a stand. Capture the smiles, capture the joy, turn it into top quality photos with customizable messages and graphics, then send these off into the world - all in a flash. Ideal for weddings, corporate functions, birthday parties, proms . . . you get the picture. The Pearl sets up in minutes, creates joy and memories for hours.
I needed a small kit that I would be ablt to take with me to anywhere i needed some extra lighting or a backdrop. This kit looked compact and had the essentials as well. I'm actually surprised at how much I've done using this kit, ive done amateur and commercial photography using this kit (mostly the lighting as supplemental). It works great for on the go projects and the case it all comes in is well made and easy to carry.

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.
I needed a small kit that I would be ablt to take with me to anywhere i needed some extra lighting or a backdrop. This kit looked compact and had the essentials as well. I'm actually surprised at how much I've done using this kit, ive done amateur and commercial photography using this kit (mostly the lighting as supplemental). It works great for on the go projects and the case it all comes in is well made and easy to carry.
Even shooting on location you can achieve some background lighting magic. The sun moves around throughout the day — think east to west as well as dawn to dusk. Analyze what time of the day the sun will project the light on your subject at the desired angle. Note: Hard light (direct sun) will create darker shadows while diffused light (cloudy overcast) will create softer shadows.

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!

As I expected with cotton it came quite wrinkled, but as any cotton the wrinkles come out well. Of course, ironing requires work and on such large piece of fabric it took about 15 minutes. Cotton will wrinkle again if it is folded for storage, so ideally it would be best to store it mounted on the stands, but for me it is not possible due to lack of space. So I expect that I will need to iron it again, but hopefully it will take less time compared to the initial ironing as I packed it less tightly. Steam ironing works best. For a large piece of fabric like this I use a separate bottle to spray mist on ... full review
A user mentions that he was surprised by the quality and that he hasn’t had issues with it. He shares that he bought several to shoot pictures for his website and that it takes a couple of minutes to set them up. Another purchaser states that he would have liked if there were sandbags to keep the frame stable, but it works well nonetheless. However, one customer has noted that the stand is flimsy and that the clips are not holding the fabric well.

I would definitely play around with it. Your not going to want to go too wide with 4 because odds are they will move around a bit and you’ll end up with some soft faces. Some key things to remember would be try to keep their faces all on the same plane of focus, that will allow you to shoot a little wider. Generally with 4 kids I would aim to shoot around f/4 but certainly play around. At that aperture you may want to consider moving them further away from the background. Keep in mind the closer you are to them and the further away from the background they are the more bokeh you will get!
The backdrops used for photography are usually made of lighter material which makes it easy for the photographers to carry them around while traveling. The backdrops are usually hung as panels or can be easily draped over anything to give a particular effect. They can also be suspended from background stands by using clamps. Depending upon the type of effect needed by the photographer, the type and size of backdrop can be selected from the wide variety available. Since backdrops require some support, there are many types of background supports available that are well-suited for location work, or even sophisticated permanent studios.
I've purchased a few backdrops with this company (LB) now, and though I **HATE** the sizing of their backdrops (way too short and not wide enough), the quality of them are so good for the price. This one is versatile in my opinion: we used it for a murder mystery party that took place in ancient China (oh yeah!), but I've seen pictures of people using this as a studio backup for couple pictures and so forth. I think it's a fun one that deserves to be purchased more often.
The Julius Studio background curtain set features an aluminum alloy construction to ensure durability and portability, and photo clams made of synthetic nylon to provide a strong grip and prevent the canvas from slipping out. Another great thing is that it’s adjustable in width (5-10.3 ft) and height (2.6 -7.5 ft). In addition to this, the set includes quality sandbags for stability.

A user mentions that he was surprised by the quality and that he hasn’t had issues with it. He shares that he bought several to shoot pictures for his website and that it takes a couple of minutes to set them up. Another purchaser states that he would have liked if there were sandbags to keep the frame stable, but it works well nonetheless. However, one customer has noted that the stand is flimsy and that the clips are not holding the fabric well.

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.
The Julius Studio background curtain set features an aluminum alloy construction to ensure durability and portability, and photo clams made of synthetic nylon to provide a strong grip and prevent the canvas from slipping out. Another great thing is that it’s adjustable in width (5-10.3 ft) and height (2.6 -7.5 ft). In addition to this, the set includes quality sandbags for stability.
We offer a product range that’s unsurpassed for its variety, selection and value. From smooth Seamless Paper in every color under the sun to Floor Drops with amazingly lifelike, dimensional patterns that can create the look of location shooting in the studio, we make the products that photographers rely on for creating perfect backgrounds for virtually every situation. Just starting out and need a flexible solution for a space that does double duty? We have reversible backgrounds that are easy to set up and break down. Upgrading your high-traffic commercial studio and looking for a timeless, professional backdrop set? We have heavy-duty, durable vinyl that will stand the test of time.
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