The field of photography has been continuously expanding as the demand for it has been regularly growing as well. Whether you are a new or already a veteran photographer, you have encountered photography backdrops for sure. Backdrops are one of the elements in photography that photographers use to add a unique touch and personality to their shoots. Backdrops are not only used for photography but also in videography. They are useful assistants that add spice to the studio.
Whether it is a person shoot or a product shoot, choosing the backdrop is an essential part of the process. The backdrop is a huge contributor to the photo and it can either improve or puncture your photos. Sure, selecting backdrops sounds easy, however, from the wide and unlimited range of choices, it would be challenging to find the one that fits the shoot. A person should know what he is looking for and how it would improve his shots.
Photography backdrops come in different sizes, materials, and styles. So, contrary to the notion that choosing is easy, it is actually quite challenging and it requires a basic understanding of backdrops and how to maximize them.
Photography Backdrops Material
There are several materials from which you can choose. Of course, the material has an effect on the shot so it would be best to choose a material that would be helpful for your type of shoot. Here are some of the most common backdrop materials available out there.
- Seamless paper – Backdrops that are made of seamless paper has been a go-to for photographers as it has been famous for quite some time now. This type of background is smooth, dry, and non-reflecting. However, backdrops made from seamless paper have a tendency to be wrinkled. It’s also not stain-proof so if you ever encounter wrinkles or stains, the best thing you can do is cut them off as it is not washable. These types of backdrops are usually cheaper and portable.
- Microfiber – Microfiber is a synthetic fiber. In photography backdrops, polyesters are most common. These types of backdrops are portable and easy to store as they are foldable. Backdrops made from microfiber exude a professional vibe. It is wrinkle-resistant and is suitable for realistic images. Thanks to high-end technology, the choices ranging from designs and styles are endless. They also allow for customization, you will be able to customize and put your ideas into life through microfiber backdrops. This type of backdrop is suitable for photography portraits, product shots, etc.
- Vinyl – A vinyl backdrop is one of the toughest in the field of backdrops. This type of backdrop offers convenience as it is wrinkle-free and allows for easy cleaning. Vinyl is usually composed of a non-porous plastic and a matte finish that’s shiny, flexible, and can even be transparent. The non-reflective matte finish also avoids glare. This type of backdrop is suitable for digital printing. Since this material is cleanable by wiping, this type of backdrop caters for shoots that involve slightly messy elements like food fights, icings, and etcetera. It’s also important to note that while vinyl backdrops allow for wiping, they cannot be washed by water nor be folded.
- Muslin – Muslin backdrops are washable and wrinkle-free backdrops made from plain woven cotton. These types of backdrops are durable and have been popular in the photography field. Muslin backdrops are foldable and portable. It’s easy to bring as it can be folded and is also light in weight. Muslin background allows for easy dyeing and painting.
- Canvas – Canvas backdrops are pretty much what you expect them to be. These are backdrops that allow for hand painting and the use of paint overall. This fabric allows for dyes, paint, and oils and it does not absorb or blur these elements out. If you happen to select a hand-painted canvas backdrop, you can guarantee that it’s soft, waterproof, and smooth. This material gives you the chance to expand and put your creative ideas to life.
- Rubber floor mats – This type of backdrop is also termed floor drop. It is wrinkle-resistant and sturdy. Not only that, but this material is also waterproof. This material is good when a photographer needs a sort of extension that goes with the initial background or to match the floor. This type of material has been famous and is commonly used for baby shoots. It has been often used in pet shoots and product shoots.
Photography Backdrops and Size Options To Choose From
Like in choosing materials, there are also things you need to consider in choosing the size of your photography backdrops. These variables to be considered include the size of your studio and who and what is your subject.
- 5-foot wide backdrops – these are ideal for headshots and three-fourth (¾) length portraits. The size allows for convenience in setting up. It also needs a smaller space so this size is suitable and helpful for photographers working in a smaller home studio or those that work in busy spaces.
- 7-foot long backdrop – like the previous size, this one is often suitable for ¾ length portraits assuming that the subject is of average size. This size accommodates shots that do not include the subject’s whole body.
- 12-foot long backdrop – This size can accommodate full-body shots.
- 8 by 4 (8 foot wide, 4 foot long) backdrop – This size is most perfect for beauty shots and interviews.
- 9-foot wide backdrop – This size allows for a wide range of shots. This can accommodate portraits, baby shoots, family shoots, and etcetera.
- 10-foot long backdrop – this backdrop is large thus, it can accommodate full-length portraits. Because it is of considerable size, if you wish to conduct larger product shoots, this size will be an ideal choice.
- 20-foot long backdrop – This size can accommodate just about everything in both portraits or product photography. This size is suitable for larger family portraits or video shoots that require mobility or movement. Backdrops of this size also allow you to position your subject a little further from the backdrop.