Of course you can take pictures anywhere and everywhere. Choose beautiful locations, nature, tough industrial sites you name it. Naturally, this does not cost any money! (not unimportant either)
But if you work in the studio or you want to make a portrait with a quiet background you need something you can hang up. Sometimes you want to create a certain atmosphere that you can’t find outside, then backgrounds are a great addition.
I will tell you some of the possibilities!
1) Cotton cloth
I remember the first time I got my studio flashes together with a background canvas. This was just a mega big cotton cloth that you could hang up.
I couldn’t do anything with it. My photoshop skills were of course minimal and with cloth you see a lot of wrinkles… and to iron them every time… not my hobby!
But the canvas is nice and even in color, sturdy and easy to store. I think if I would use it now that I can use more but it would not have my preference.
For a half-portrait I think it is handy but if you want your model on it I would go for a smooth crease free background.
2) Paper Background
In my studio I use most of my paper rolls. Mainly the black and white ones. I have these standard on a hanging system, ideal!
The paper rolls are easy to use because you can roll them back up neatly after your photo shoot. They are nice and smooth and if you handle them neatly, they are wrinkle free for a long time!
Sometimes if there are too many dirty footsteps on it or something has been spilled you can easily cut off a piece. On a roll is usually about 11 meters of paper.
I also have several loose rolls that I can hang up with another mobile background system (PHOTO). And it takes very little space to store.
Such rolls are also quite affordable, if you have those of 2.75 meters then you will get some more shipping costs. ( or you can get them in the store yourself).
Paper rolls usually have the sizes 1.38 meters, 2.11 meters, 2.75 meters, 3.55 meters ( width ) and in many colors!
Vinyl is actually also a very fine material for me. It is sturdy and more durable than paper. If you handle it neatly it will last a really long time.
For example, at fotoachtergronden.nl you can also have your own print. So you photographed a super cool old door on vacation and you can create your own unique background.
With your order you can also choose ‘tunnelzoom‘ then you can easily slide your (mobile) background and hang your canvas neatly.
I like background with print most of the time. My favorite are the ‘old’ walls. For me it gives a little more atmosphere to the photo, the model stands out even more.
The backgrounds are not always the cheapest and are still an investment. I had a photo shoot at my house a while back but I forgot to bring my (foldable) background with me. What could I use then?
On my couch there was a nice gray blue fleece dress… let’s do this!
This actually turned out really well. For a portrait of 1 person this is a very low-budget solution. With my newborn sessions I regularly use a rug as background. For example when I take a picture of the parents with the baby.
Often fleece dresses have no / few wrinkles, you have it in many colors and it does not cost a lot of money. Worth a try, right?
Alie-Express, who doesn’t know, one orders everything there, the other never has. I am a reasonable Uncle Alie fan I must say. Especially decorations for the Cake-smash photo shoots I like to get there. But I also ordered dresses/kimonos for the pregnancy shoots.
Recently I also came across photo backgrounds there. I gave it a chance. After a couple of weeks I received my order. My god… what a quality #not… I folded the canvas and put it in the closet, I’m not going to do anything with this anymore…
It’s a pretty thin canvas, wrinkled and the print well, you could count the pixels.
Until I had another photo shoot at home and thought, ok I’ll give it a chance.
With a high aperture and nice zooming in, the result was actually quite nice! (Tamron F2.8 28-75 mm I use).
The folds disappear through the aperture and zoom in and with Lightroom or Photoshop you clone the rest so neatly even.
What did I pay for this canvas? 150×100 meters. Less than 6 euros.
The color was not quite what I ordered but for this money, worth a try?
5) Reflection Screen
What a portrait photo can also work well is a Reflection Screen. If you buy a very large one you can easily put it behind your model.
For example, use the black or white silk. And it’s quite small to fold and therefore easy to store and / or take to a location.
You also have foldable backgrounds, the system is the same as a reflection screen… And you can also find this one with a print!
What is your favorite background?