Backgrounds for Dance Portraits

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by iflynething, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. iflynething
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    iflynething New Member

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    I have everything (except 1 light and support equipment) to take pictures of a dance studio. I have a couple threads around talking about it.

    I have everything but background and can't decide WHAT to get and WHERE to get it from.

    The largest group of girls I will be taking pictures of is 30. I measured what I thought would work and I cam to about 16 ft wide x 36 ft long (roughly). I found some backgrounds online from AuraBackground in 10'x20' sections. I thought for these large group portaits, I could use 3 sheets, one on stands (would they even be needed or could I just put them on the wall?), one in the middle and starting to be on the floor and then one on the ground for them to stand on. I know there are no backgrounds this large so I thought sections would be alot simpler.

    My only decision to make is muslin (expensive) or seamless paper. I believe the AuraBackgrounds were seamless, which would work great. If I were to get muslin, would they be big enough because working with that, I could really only use one "sheet" of it for the back and what they stand on. I do not know what color I would like to do, though. Just a plain color or a multicolored one which would compliment the colors of the costumes (which will vary greatly) and also won't take away from the dancers. I need a background which is there just as a background and not as a distraction.

    To keep the bottom section clean, I thought of using plexiglass for a nice shine, and a little extra to the image in reflections.

    Another decision is for the individual images. I will most likely be using seamless paper. I think an 4 or 5 ft roll is too narrow, expecially since I would like to incorporate jumps into some of the images, if the dancer would like to. I don't know if they offer 10 ft rolls, but that would do just fine I think.

    One more thing I'm trying to decide on is background stands. I'm not prepared to spend a couple hundred on these - they will need to be very large, especially for the group shots. Twenty feet wide! I thought of making my own, but ran into the problem of having portability. I think light stands with a metal rod and just clamps would work fine for the smaller roll for individual shots, but I am unsure about the larger one I will need.

    I appreciate any input on decision making and also where to get decently priced backgrounds/seamless paper.

    ~Michael~
  2. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    What does their studio look like? It might be easier to just work with what is available for a background, rather than putting all this money & effort into something that may or may not look good.

    For example, when I think dance studio...I think of a wall with one of those horizontal bars. That would be a perfect background for a dancer's portrait.

    Or maybe you could find out where they put on their shows (somewhere with a stage) and try to arrange for the shoot to be there. A stage will usually have large curtains that could be used as a background or maybe they have something else that would be suitable.
  3. iflynething
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    iflynething New Member

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    Thanks BigMike for the help. The studio is pretty large with 3 different rooms for dancing and instructioin and one "Banquet Room". I will be using this banquet room for the portraits.

    I thought about using 13 ft light stands with tubes crossing them as support. This would help with portability also and the stands are $70/each. I could also tack the back section of the background and then layer it to the ground with 2 more sections hanging from the section that is on the wall.

    I'm thinking I might go the light stand route...I still have to buy one more light and I'll be getting a discount on accessories and could put in 3-4 stands in there

    ~Michael~

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