Backdrop Alternatives?

8085lens

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Hey all,

I'm looking to begin shooting portraits/headshots in a studio space and was wondering what some cheap alternatives were to buying an expensive "photography backdrop branded" product.

Right now I'm considering a black and white background, so would a thick, unshiney cloth from, say, a local fabric store work? I've also read that a white sheet of paper would do, though I wouldn't think paper would be as practical in terms of storage and cleaning.

Any ideas?
 

JerryPH

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A lot of people are using muslin backdrops from local fabric stores. Not knowing where you are from, I cannot make any suggestions more precise than that.

Colours that are the most popular are black, white and a medium blue in a splotchy pattern (sounds bad, looks very good!).

Those with a bigger budget consider large strips of black velvet.
 

ann

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as jerry suggest , check out your local fabric store. we have several backgrounds lpurchased at a fabric store; black velvet for one.
we store the fabric on a roller core that we got at the store that is used to hold large rolls of fabric. Helps keep safe and avoids fold marks, which depending on your DOF and placement of the subject can be an issue.

another option that i have seen used, a painter's drop cloth. Some people have dyed them others just use them as is, it will depend on the type of film, color or black and white.
 

dpolston

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I just dyed a drop cloth (12'x15') which cost $30.00. The dye (4 packs of black, dyed once with 2 packs of dye, then dried and I repeated the process) gave me a pretty dark gray backdrop.

I am going to paint one side black this weekend but, it's relatively cheap if you're on a budget.
 

dostagamom

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I have a white muslin backdrop that I found on the internet for about $30. It is a 8' X 10'. The only problem I run into with the cloth is the wrinkles. I do iron and steam it but I can never get all the wrinkles out. A friend of mine just purchased a big roll of white butcher paper and it works like a charm. When it gets dirty she just rolls it out and tears it off. Yea I know that you have to keep purchasing more paper, but it seems to have a smoother result in photographs. Also if you do want fabirc you can purchase a two king size white/black flat sheets and just sew them together. I have done that also and the seam does not show especially if you put that on the floor. I hope this helps!
 

Neuner

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I bought about 7 yards of a lightweight dark brown velvet fabric for about $13. Everyone has loved the look of it so far. It really corresponds well with the skin tone.

MarissaSmall.jpg
 

Sideburns

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I have a white muslin backdrop that I found on the internet for about $30. It is a 8' X 10'. The only problem I run into with the cloth is the wrinkles. I do iron and steam it but I can never get all the wrinkles out. A friend of mine just purchased a big roll of white butcher paper and it works like a charm. When it gets dirty she just rolls it out and tears it off. Yea I know that you have to keep purchasing more paper, but it seems to have a smoother result in photographs. Also if you do want fabirc you can purchase a two king size white/black flat sheets and just sew them together. I have done that also and the seam does not show especially if you put that on the floor. I hope this helps!

You can always just roll it into a ball when you store it, and get a random wrinkle pattern that doesn't look too bad. It's far less work, as well.
 

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