Backgrounds for portraits?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ~Stella~, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Specifically infant/child photos.

    Specifically in my house for my own kids and cost-effective.

    What type of fabric do you find works best and how do you rig it up for the best look?

    I've used a dark flannel sheet before and it actually worked quite well - didn't reflect light, but I was interested in what others have done.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've used all sorts of bed sheets. I'm looking into getting some velvet (or imitation velvet at least). That absorbs light very well.

    Really, you can use anything if you light it properly. White is fairly easy because you just light it up (as much or more light than on the subject) and it's white. Black is a little harder because you need to keep light off if it (or at least have a lot more light on the subjects).

    I used to use whatever I could, to hand backdrops...book shelves, big screen TVs, sofa etc. Now I have a portable backdrop stand.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dark bedsheets worked well for me, black velvet is on my search list. There is a huge full roll at the local fabric factory outlet where I live that I am keeping an eye on. Once they get near the end of the roll and sell it at reduced prices, I am going to pounce on it... lol

    As far as cheap backdrops for a kids portrait studio, if you have kids with a few toys and a blank white wall, you have 100% of everything that you need for props to start out with, the rest is photography and lighting equipment related. ;)
     
  4. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    OK - so I'm not an idiot using bedshoots, lol. I have regular old white sheets and dark red flannel and navy blue...not really spring-ish. Haven't tried the white, but I was worried it would be too bright.

    How far away from the model should it ideally be, or is this just an "experiment and see" type of answer?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    depends on what you want to do. I would prefer to place them 4-8 feet in front of the backdrop and blur it out some. In other cases, a nice print can make a nice addition to a pic.

    So, yes, its a "test it and see what you like" kinda thing. :)
     
  6. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    I use bed sheets too! I have an old wicker screen that I use to hang them. I'm going tomorrow to get a hanging system from IKEA that I think will work well and save me some storage.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am using a simple metal clothes rack that I picked up for $10 from the local Walmart. It is not very wide (perhaps 4 feet), but it is adjustable from 3-6 feet tall. Just perfect for my needs.
     
  8. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Brilliant - why didn't I think of that!
     
  9. crystal_lynn

    crystal_lynn I am sure I sound childish

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    I have seen posts where people used those spring loaded curtain or shower rods and doorways.
     
  10. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    A soft baby blanket works good. They tend to be very soft with how they reflect light but small.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Attack of the 50' Baby!!!! :lmao:

    I actually have a few plush baby blankies all ready to go for my late May newborn shots. :thumbup:
     
  12. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    OOOps I should have sized it down.:er:
     

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