If you are just getting into photography, you may want to set up a small studio space in your home so you can set up different arrangements. One component in your studio that you'll want to look at is a backdrop. Here are four elements to consider when shopping for a custom-designed photography backdrop.
While professional studios might use canvas backdrops, these can be a bit pricy when you are just starting out. An economical option is a paper backdrop. These photography backdrops come in large rolls and can come in many colors and textures. The main downside is that you'll have to unroll a new backdrop for each new shot since the paper isn't sturdy. If you want an inexpensive fabric, muslin backdrops are a good place to start. These backdrops are made of medium-weight cottons, so they are easy to move around but they are obviously sturdier than paper. If you do plan on transporting the backdrop for outdoor photo-shoots, consider getting a fabric that is easy to clean and one that light enough to transport and set up.
2. Spill Control
Spill is simply any light that falls outside of the area that you intend to be lighted. You can use umbrellas and reflectors to control your spill, but you may still experience some light in your backgrounds. If you can, you should practice shooting against a backdrop you want to purchase to see how the light looks against the backdrop. You should also practice taking a picture of a subject, as you don't want to purchase a backdrop that has a lot of spill or that causes light to wash out your subject.
A small-sized backdrop is the most economical option but consider what types of subjects you want to be shooting. Smaller still-life arrangements may not require large backdrops, but human subjects usually do. For example, if you want to shoot headshots, you should at least have a 5-foot-wide backdrop so that you aren't restricted to close-up shots. If you are doing full-body portraits or want to get a family portrait, you may need 10- or 12-foot-long backdrops.
Plain colors, like black, white, or gray, are perfect for beginning photographers since they are clean and neutral and emphasize the subject. White is arguably one of the most popular backdrops because you can place a colored gel over your light source to change its tone. If you are interested in more playful backgrounds, you may want to invest in a green screen. A green screen is a great way to save money if you can only afford one backdrop since you can its color during the photo editing phase.
Reach out to a photography supplier for more details.