What I Use As A Photography Backdrop and Why

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What you use as a photography backdrop doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, excessive, or even heavy for that matter. It can be your desk, a rug on your floor, a piece of plain white or colored paper, a bed sheet, etc. The list goes on. First, use what’s around you. Personally, there are a few things that I consider when deciding what kind of background I want to have to photograph my products.

1) Versatile

Is the background that I choose going to be able to photograph all of my products well. I had considered a plain white background, and if you’ve read my blog post about the white background myth, you know I don’t care too much for it. It’s plain and lacks character. I’m not going for studio shots, but realistic ones you can actually see the product in your life, your real life. There certainly is a time and place for it, but for my brand it doesn’t have a place right now. Maybe that is different for your shop. Having a white background has it’s place and purpose for sure!

2) Portable

I have a small working space and there is not a dedicated studio space. Ideally, that could be very convenient. Because space is an issue, having something relatively lightweight, small, and portable is the best solution for my set up. If you have a large studio space or office, then this may not even be something you will need to consider. For those of us in smaller spaces, be sure to think about foldability and ease of transport as well as storage when not in use. 

I have 2 different style backdrops with 2 different sizes. The large is a 24 x 12 inch and I have two of those. One has a shiny, glossy surface, and the other a matte surface. The glossy surface can really sell the dreamy effect.

The smaller size is a 12 x 12 inch vinyl piece. This one is better for smaller products.

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Weight wise, the stone slab weighs 9lbs, so it’s quite a bit heavier than the matte vinyl at 2 lbs, and the smaller squares just hovering around 13oz. 

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3) On Brand

Being able to photograph a product on a versatile backdrop is one thing, but needing it to fit in with your brand is your end goal. For mine, my goal is a light and dreamy background, so having a light and light textured backdrop is ideal.

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4) Easy to clean

Depending on what I’m photographing, it could be stickers, to soil, to food, it’s important that the surface be nonstaining and easy to clean. It helps keep my surface area reusable which is key. Both of my background styles are easy to clean. One is a stone and the other a vinyl. Both of which can be found either around your house or at a home improvement store.

Hopefully it helps seeing what my photography backdrops are. All together they came out to being around $25 and they can last a very long time.

Here are some shots using this background: