Picking the right gear for using photography backgrounds and backdrops is as simple as knowing what your goals are and what you need. In this list, we cover four types of gear: backdrops (with no stand), stand kits, stand kits with backdrops, and stand kits with backdrops and lighting kits. All of these will help one use backdrops effectively, but you may or may not need the most robust kits. For instance, if you have a flash unit or are shooting for an au naturale look, you may not need a lighting kit. One can also use a backdrop outside, without a stand, if you have the right setup for its (perhaps a wall or tree to hang it on).
No instructions Crossbar can be a bit saggy Find more Neewer Max Height Backdrop Support System information and reviews here. 9. Excelvan Photography Lighting Kit
11.5 feet wide, 10.6 feet tall Made out of high-quality aluminum Sturdy and well-built Lightweight Flexible; can be used for creatively arranging backdrop
This is the first full kit on our list and it offers a ton of value. Boasting three backdrops (white, black, and green) and two softbox lights, this is a kit that will leave you completely prepared for backdrop photography. The only reason to upgrade to the kit below would be if you want more robust lighting or need larger dimensions than 5.9′ x 9.18′.
The beauty of a muslin goes beyond its old-world, romantic appearance. Because it’s made of cotton, a muslin is washable and responds well to dyes when you want to customize it. The soft, warm look of the cloth slightly wrinkled or ruched will convey a feeling of romance and make for a great-looking background
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No two pieces are exactly alike – like Studio Dynamics, Botero’s hand paints each background with complex, dynamic colors and patterns.
On the other hand, what if you’re asked to photograph your client in a traditional portrait style for use within her corporation’s website? You might go with a vinyl background because of its ability to hang flat and render a consistent look regardless of how many times it is rolled and unrolled. Savage’s Infinity Vinyl is tremendously durable and has a matte finish that won’t reflect a flash. If your client returns for an updated photo, or refers co-workers who want the same look, you can make it happen easily and quickly with vinyl.
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Just an image on a background (backdrop only) One user found the image quality poor Find more MoHoo Cherry Blossoms information and reviews here. 2. MoHoo Blue Wood (Stand not included)
Which brands offer the most bang for your buck?What materials are going to produce the effects that you’d like?And most importantly, which products are going to allow you to express your creativity to the fullest?
Westcott 130 9 x 10 Feet Green Screen Backdrop Wrinkle Resistant
Lastolite LL LB56GW Reversible 5-Feetx6-Feet Plain Collapsible Background (White /Mid…
1. Savage Widetone Seamless Background Paper Available at B&H and AmazonSavage Seamless Background Paper in “Flamingo“Size(s): Varies Price: Varies; between $13.99 to $219.99 (depending on size and color) Material: 7.6 mil 100% recyclable paper
Hand-painted by professional artists, each piece Studio Dynamics produces is arguably a work of art in itself. The paint itself is elastic and robust, meaning that it takes quite a bit to wear out the color of the material.
When photographing teens for senior portraits, or a rock band for marketing shots, or conducting a fashion shoot with an edgy feel, Floor drops are a great choice. Made of rubber and easily transported, they are ideal for both floors and backdrops and are often used together.
For those not interested in the floor piece, however, there’s also a 5×7′ collapsible background available for a fraction of the price.
It all depends on your subject and the dynamic you wish to create. The good news is that you have a certain amount of creative freedom here. Of course you’ll need to take into account the client’s desires, but this is why you were hired – to figure out what the client needs, which may be different than what the client wants.
Because of these factors, it’s reasonable for users to expect decades of use out a single piece and yet, it remains flexible enough to be rolled up and draped over a light stand.
3. Studio Dynamics Canvas BackgroundAvailable at B&HPortrait photography featuring Studio Dynamics Canvas in “Dark gray”Size(s): Varies Price: Varies; between $137.50 to $445.19 (depending on size and color) Material: Cotton canvas
At 11.5′ wide and 10.6′ tall, this Neewer Backdrop Support System is great for users who need a lot of vertical headroom. It’s sturdy, well-built and made out of high quality aluminum. Users love it for its light weight and flexibility in arranging a backdrop creatively.
Simple background; no included lights or stands One user wanted background to be bigger Find more MoHoo Colorful Brick Wall information and reviews here. 4. Neewer 5x7ft Background (Stand not included)
For years, muslin has been a favorite background material for portrait photographers near and far. So, it should come as no surprise that a muslin background is among the best sellers.
Four bulbs for plenty of brightness and versatility Two different types of lights: softbox and umbrella Great as a starter lighter kit Good variety of backdrops; can accept other backdrops for more variety
Muslin backdrop that’s portable and collapsible Great for corporate headshots Two sides each with its own appearance Sturdy with great quality
Among all of the options out there, most users agree that Savage produces the best of the best. In business for over 60 years, each roll is comprised of acid-free archival material. The paper itself features a fine tooth to create the smoothest background possible with minimal texture.
When all is said in done, it’s possible to fold the entire 8 x 16-foot backdrop down to a compact 3′ circle small enough to fit into a camera bag or backpack.
In the end, the easiest to use kits are the ones that come fully ready to go, but one can also buy each of these elements piecemeal to satisfying results. If this interests you, you can pick out some items on this list, then supplement them with one of the best lighting kits.
Vinyl is relatively heavy and requires some work to break down and set up, so it may not always be appropriate if shooting on location. However, it remains a preferred backdrop for many photographers who enjoy its stately, classic appearance.
And, because of the use of gradient, few lighting shots can instantly take on gorgeous, black shadows for contrast-filled compositions.
10ft x 12ft for full coverage Praised as great value for the price Simple and easy to set-up Backdrops are thick and reflect light well
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Some skeptics may question the effectiveness of PVC material as a photographic background. But, believe it or not, the results it produces are quite smooth and undoubtedly professional looking. For this reason, photographers will find that the Flotone is a pleasure to work with despite its flat, humble appearance.
A small percentage of users had issues with wrinkling One user said the material was too reflective Can be hard to collapse for short people Find more Fovitec StudioPro information and reviews here. 8. Neewer Max Height Backdrop Support System
Fade-resistant, easy-to-wash material Colors praised as vibrant Great for amateur studios Pictures look professional and background looks real
Paper seamless backgrounds are some of the easiest to use and most accessible options available to most photographers. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, each roll can be reused a number of times.
This is another popular background that users enjoy. It’s a great print for photographs with a rustic yet joyful feel. Users love it for its solid construction and easy-to-clean surface. It’s fade-resistant and guaranteed to last.
For example, let’s say you’re shooting a professional model who wants a featureless white background for that modern, vivid appearance that is often used for advertising and editorial fashion layouts. Seamless paper backdrops are excellent for creating this smooth, clean look and are light and easy to work with. Simply hang a roll from a stand and you’re off and running.
Essentially, it works as two separate backdrops in one, opening up all sorts of different creative possibilities. Most photographers choose a white/black or white/grey backdrop for more traditional work.
The final MoHoo backdrop on our list might be the most interesting. This colorful brick wall exudes a retro vibe or perhaps LGBTQ. Really, it’s just a plain fun background that is bound to make any subject pop. Blurred out it looks great (for those shooting with a low f-stop). Sharp, it’s interesting yet not too eye-catching. All MoHoo backgrounds are praised as high quality, easy-to-wash and being durable.
Best of all, the matte finish provides a solid, vibrant background free of distracting glare. Despite being a costlier option, a canvas backdrop is a worthwhile investment for any serious studio photographer.
Seamless paper can be especially good for product and commercial shoots too, when a featureless backdrop is paramount to showcasing the product. And along the way, if the paper becomes smudged or wrinkled from use, simply cut off the old portion and unroll a clean new section for a fresh backdrop. Seamless paper is cost effective, making it the most affordable way to create a variety of backdrop colors.
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Of course, it’s possible to buy bolts of muslin in bulk at any fabric store.
One user had an issue with the backdrops For photography, backgrounds may be a bit boring or require extra work in post to change out (such as with green screen or chroma key) Find more Excelvan Photography Lighting Kit information and reviews here.
10. Neewer 10ft Background Support System
You can choose from sports-themed floor drops to a grungy concrete drop to a variety of aged wood drops. Need to find a worn brick wall? Savage has that too. Floor drops eliminate the need to scout locations for the perfect background, so you can simply stay in the studio and create the look you want without wasting time. Many photographers also combine floor drops with muslins or seamless paper backdrops for a limitless variety of backgrounds.
While these mainstays will often get the job done, it would be a mistake to limit oneself to the same colors that many other photographers are likely to also use. Why not try red for its ability to arouse feelings of excitement or passion in a shot? There’s purple which can make a strong impact with exciting results. Yellow brings energy to a backdrop, and blue communicates boldness and power very well. Browns and greens make for an earthy look that often puts people at ease or communicates a sense of growth or health.
2. Lasolite Collapsible Reversible BackgroundAvailable at AmazonDouble-sided Lasolite Collapsible backdrop in “Black/White.”Size(s): Varies Price: Varies; starting at $118.88 (depending on size and color(s)) Material: Unspecified fabric
Through showcasing some of the best-selling photography backdrops available, we answer a gamut of questions concerning what makes the perfect backdrop.
The Westcott Chroma Key Backdrop certainly does an effective job at accomplishing the task. Available in smaller backdrops and long, floor-length dimensions, this thin sheet of fabric is the key to transporting your subject to an entirely different environment.
Whether doing a product shoot, making a family portrait or photographing a professional model, there’s no sense in limiting yourself to a few backdrops when so many excellent choices are available. Muslin, seamless paper and vinyl backdrops are available to photographers who need something high quality without breaking the bank.
For those looking for the best possible kit with all of the features one could possibly ask for, this Neewer kit includes a background support system, four bright bulbs, and two different types of light: softbox and umbrella. Users agree that it’s a great starter lighting kit and as above, it has a white, green, and black backdrop. Not only that, this kit offers an edge from the above it by being a full 10′ tall, meaning it should be able to accommodate any and all users. It’s a great way to get started using backdrops and backgrounds at a very reasonable price.
The wrinkle-resistant material makes for smoother, more even scenes – a crucial quality for convincingly inserting an entirely different background. As well as the traditional lime green, customers can also purchase their chroma key backdrops in a bright blue color.
One of the most common reasons photographers look into purchasing backdrops is to utilize chroma key and “green-screen” techniques in post-production.
Yet there’s so much more to paper than a simple white backdrop! Savage offers 68 colors in their seamless paper so you can easily experiment with many different shades to achieve a unique look appropriate for your model or subject. As always, your model’s skin tone, hair color, clothing, eye color, etc. will play a factor in choosing the right backdrop color.
For those looking for a backdrop that can handle working on location, this is a must-have tool. In comparison to canvas and paper backdrops, the collapsible background isn’t much material to work with.
6. Westcott 130 Wrinkle-Resistant Chroma Key BackdropAvailable at B&H and Amazon.Westcott Chroma Key Backdrop (with stands) in “Green Screen“Size(s): 9 x 10′ Price: $69.90 Material: “Fleece-like” matte fabric
Backdrop sags slightly in the morning One user found it to be a bit flimsy Find more LimoStudio Backdrop Support System information and reviews here. 6. LimoStudio White Chromakey Backdrop
Just a background Can be damaged easily, if stepped on for instance Find more Neewer 5x7ft Background information and reviews here. 5. LimoStudio Backdrop Support System
8 oz/ sq yard, 100% seamless cotton, one rod pocket on the top for use with background support system (not included)
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What Botero does offer is a unique model complete with an 8-foot adjustable floor piece. This allows users to make clean, full-length portraits without any breaks in color.
In comparison to a paper roll, canvas has much less raw material to offer. However, the lack of material is made up for in the overall longevity one can expect when using a canvas.
Few backdrops can compete with the durability a canvas has to offer. But toughness is far from the only advantage to be had when purchasing a canvas backdrop.
Botero’s collapsible background offers a lot of the same advantages offered by Lasolite’s collapsible model. Like other collapsible backgrounds, they’re lightweight options that are easy to transport for on-location shoots.
When a segment gets dirty, it’s easy enough to simply trim it off. Among all of the types of backgrounds available, the paper option often proves to be one of the least expensive choices around, further sweetening the deal for image makers considering investing in a seamless.
Also, the backdrop can be machine washed on a cold or delicate cycle to keep it in prime condition. And for added convenience, it travels easy and is pain-free to store.
Aside from the silky matte effect the graduated background provides, the material itself is fun to work with and perfect for making traditional product shots as well as experimental skill lives.
Many photographers are attracted to the material’s ability to completely water, which allows for the incorporation of water and other liquids.
However, the quality and convenience the Muslin Impact offers in its product makes all of the difference. The fabric itself is seamless and clean-cut.
Photography backdrops come in so many styles and types that it can be downright confusing when trying to find that perfect match for your next shoot. After all, you will need to decide between various colors, shades, patterns, and materials before taking a shot.
The wire keeps the fabric stiff and in place, ensuring a smooth background every time. Aside from being incredibly lightweight, its ability to collapse makes it easy to transport.
7. Flotone Graduated BackgroundAvailable at B&H and Amazon.Product photography featuring Flotone Graduated Background in “Thunder Grey”Size(s): 31 x 43″ or 43 x 67″ Price: $34.99 (small), $69.95 (large) Material: Synthetic PVC
Solely a backdrop; user must have stand separately One user said that ironing was required to get it straightened out Find more MoHoo Blue Wood information and reviews here. 3. MoHoo Colorful Brick Wall (Stand not included)
5. Impact Muslin BackgroundAvailable at AmazonDouble-sided Impact Muslin Background in “Sky Blue/Aqua”Size(s): 10 x 12′ Price: Varies; starting at $58.95 (based on color(s) Material: 100% cotton muslin
Lasolite even produces a pink/blue backdrop for maternity and newborn shoots. As a bonus, the design of this background doesn’t require stands or tripods to hold it into place.
For those looking for a stand with a simple white backdrop included, this white chromakey (like a green screen but for different colors) backdrop is great. Users love it for its simple setup, great value, and huge coverage of 10′ x 12′. This is a great beginner kit if you’re taking elegant, fancy portraits. White is also a common background color for product shots.
In addition, much like Lasolite’s collapsible background, the muslin is reversible with a number of different color combinations available.
This is the final standalone background on our list: a Neewer White Wall. It boasts a rustic, yet classy vibe that evokes a serene yet happy and bright feeling. Or perhaps not. It’s a fairly neutral background that will respond well to objects as well as subjects in a variety of moods and tones. This is the perfect background who want something with a bit more texture than all white, but don’t want to make anything too complicated. It’s simple and elegant. The backdrop quality is excellent and users love it for its natural look, wrinkle-free appearance, and that it is easy to wash.
If you’re looking for a portable backdrop solution, this collapsible Fovitec StudioPro offers an attractive background straight out of a K-Mart school picture in a form factor that makes it portable and easy to use. It’s clearly intended for portraits and users rave about its use for corporate headshots and similarly staid applications.
However, for most photographers, this proves to be more than enough to get the job done. Made from crease resistant, translucent, waterproof fabric, the material is double stitched to a steel rim that’s flexible enough to fold down to one-third of its original size.
Flotone Vinyl Graduated Background 43″ X 67″ Black to White #609
The heavy-duty matte cotton fabric is resistant to reflection, absorbing light and making it easy to light effortlessly.
All that out of the way, here’s the best photography backdrops from lowest to highest price.
Savage also produces the paper in astounding 93 different colors, ranging from classic choices like “Soft Gray” and “Super White” to more exotic colors like “Tangelo”.
Home Photo Gear Reviews Accessories What Makes Photography Backdrops Great?
One user said they wouldn’t work on a windy day Some found lights to be not bright enough (800 ISO to shoot at 1/100) Find more Neewer 10ft Background Support System information and reviews here.
For those who already own a stand and a lighting kit, this is just a simple yet effective backdrop for taking lively and attractive photos. Users love it for its durable, easy-to-wash texture, and it’s a decent size (35 square feet). It’s a great image for users taking romantic, childlike, and Spring-oriented photos.
No one has time to try every backdrop during a shoot, so developing a good instinct for the right one, whether in the studio or on location, is a skill every photographer should learn. There are few rules to follow other than this: Don’t let your backdrop overwhelm your subject (that is, unless you want it to.) So you see, there are no rules!
But frankly, the subject of photography backdrops are often left out of the conversation when it comes to gear.
One user had an issue with wrinking On the fragile side Find more LimoStudio White Chromakey Backdrop information and reviews here. 7. Fovitec StudioPro
Often, perfecting a background is just as crucial to making an excellent photograph as securing a compelling subject. Distractions happening in the background can quickly throw off an entire composition, making a solid backdrop a necessity for those working with their cameras professionally.
4. Botero Collapsible BackgroundAvailable at B&HBotero Collapsible Background (including floor piece) in “Violet/Red.”Size(s): 8 x 16′ Price: Varies; $139.95 Material: Cotton-polyester cloth
Waterproof, durable and wrinkle-free Colors are praised as unbelievably bright Vinyl-ish texture, can be hand-washed 7 x 5 feet is big enough for most portraits
It’s durable enough to withstand wear and tear, and can even be machine washed with cold water. Because of this, the background has the potential to be used for years on end when taken proper care of.
If you like above backdrops but need a stand to hang the backgrounds on, this is about the most affordable way to do so. This LimoStudio stand allows one to hang a backdrop from 8.5″ high. The width is adjustable between five and ten feet. It’s a great starter kit and works well indoors. It can be used outdoors, but the construction isn’t amazingly well-geared for this. That said, with some sandbags and tape, it should be more than fine. For those looking to get started using backdrops in their photography, this is a great starting point.
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Praised as great background Lightweight and durable 7 x 5 foot background High-quality construction On plastic, durable material
There are a number of dimensions available to meet any situation a consumer might encounter, ranging from as small as 26″x36′ to as large as 140″x105′.
Which color will work best? For decades, many photographers have gone with three colors as their standby backdrops: white, gray, and black. Gray is useful because it is subtle and tends to focus attention on the subject, which is most often the goal in portraiture. Black can convey mystery and makes for a classic look that stays permanently stylish.
The PVC also absorbs light coming head-on, making it more resistant to glare than paper. It’s small, thin, and flexible, making it easy to use and store away neatly.
Described as a great value Lightweight Can be used outdoors with sandbags or another weight Great for muslin and other non-heavy backgrounds Easy to assemble
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But the best quality of Lasolite’s backgrounds is their versatility.
Now let’s say you’ve got a location shoot inside a home where you’ll be photographing a romantic boudoir session. A muslin backdrop may be the ideal choice here. This fabric drop is made from 100% cotton with a dense weave that can be hung from a stand, or simply draped over a door or chair. Savage’s muslin lineup includes solid colors, hand-painted patterns, and a variety of other styles for virtually any type of look.
Lightweight backdrop easy to hang up Small size, but should work for most portraits Easy to wash; just use warm water and dish sponge Said to look natural Doesn’t wrinkle easily
However, there are also less traditional color combinations readily available.
Still looking for the right photography backdrop? Browse more top-rated backdrops on Amazon.
One year warranty from manufacturer Includes two soft box lights Three backgrounds for a solid variety of looks Praised as high quality, affordable lighting kit
No matter which backdrop you choose for your next shoot, remember to keep an open mind before making your selection. By relying on your own experience, good eye, and feedback from others, you’ll soon find it second nature to appraise a subject and visualize that perfect backdrop.
Customers can order a smooth, wrinkle-resistant fabric or a “crinkled” version that adds a bit of texture. The 10 x 12′ size is manageable enough that a photographer can easily fold and transport it when necessary.
Crease resistant fabricReversible with white and mid gray sidesCollapses quickly for easy set up and take downIdeal for passports and on location head shotsComplete with storage bag