How To Build A White Backdrop For Photography

By | 01/01/2023

Backgrounds for photography and making DIY backdrops

Photography backgrounds are a central part of any paradigm — they can make or pause your photo. Choosing the best backdrop material is crucial, merely knowing which 1 to use can exist catchy.

To help yous make the nigh of your prototype, I’ve outlined some key points to call up well-nigh when selecting a background and included two DIY photography backgrounds that you tin easily make.

What properties is the best for photography?

Whether you’re photographing people or products, there is a broad range of
photography backgrounds
to choose from. From simple colours to mottled canvass, the sky is the limit. Different types of backgrounds include paper, fabrics such as muslin or canvas, MDF sheets, popular up backgrounds or coves (cycloramas), to name merely a few.

Types of studio backdrops

1. Cloth – Canvass & Muslin


Fashion photography using canvas backdrop

A fashion image taken using a DIY canvas backdrop.

Fabric backdrops such as sail or muslin are popular due to their variety and portability. Canvas backgrounds are generally more bulky and heavy than muslin backgrounds, but can offer some great depth and colour (I’ll comprehend how to make your own canvas backdrop later). Muslin backgrounds are constructed from cotton fiber and, as a result, are lighter than canvas, though they as well come in a variety of styles.

2. Paper rolls


Portrait photo using paper backdrop

A portrait image from our Portrait classes taken using a paper backdrop.


Newspaper rolls come in a variety of widths and are available in a range of dissimilar colours. Advantages of newspaper rolls is the variety and affordability, just they tin be difficult to store. A further drawback to newspaper rolls is that they crease very easily which can show in your images. They are also not very portable.

3. Wooden boards


Photography backdrop wooden board example

A product shot using different types of wooden boards to form the base of operations surface.

I often apply wooden boards for my product photography — you lot’ll come across them used in our whisky live bear witness every bit well as in a number of food photography classes. You lot tin can find a nifty variety of wooden boards and they can be adequately cheap to come by. You lot can repurpose old tabular array tops equally boards and you can easily find pieces with existent character at second hand markets or antique shops. If you’re looking for more creative and tailored looks, you tin even brand your own boards (I show you how later in this post).

4. MDF sheets


Photography backdrop MDF sheet example

A product shot using unlike types of wooden boards to class the base surface.

I frequently use sheets of MDF for backgrounds for production photography as they offer a lovely smooth background that you tin can easily pigment to get the exact color you desire. They can besides be repainted, which means yous can become more than one use out of them too. Virtually local hardware stores will accept them in a few different sizes and every bit they’re fairly lightweight they can hands exist stored and don’t have up also much room.

5. Popular upward background


Pop up photography backdrop

Shot during a live prove, this portrait epitome featured a popular up properties.


Popular upward backgrounds are platonic for photographers working on location or in small spaces. These collapsible backgrounds are available in a diverseness of colours, everything from neutral gray to mottled blue, and often offering a reversible side. They are lightweight, easy to transport and affordable. However, they can exist limited in size, which makes them tricky to use if you lot’re wanting to do total length portraits.

Sentry: Studio backgrounds

The type of properties you choose depends on what you’re photographing and conscientious thought should be given every bit to which groundwork is the all-time for your shot. Things to retrieve well-nigh when selecting your background include the colour, texture and size. Consider how each of these will work with your shot — will they compliment information technology or distract from it?

Background Colour Choice

Colour is an important part of an epitome: it tin can help set the mood and too guide the middle. Colour theory is something that plays a big part in my work and as photographers information technology’due south something worth agreement. When choosing your groundwork, think about whether you want vivid, contrasting colours (complimentary colours) or more subtle hues.


Portrait by Tom Oldham

An example of complimentary colours used in food photography, using MDF sheets as the background.


Portrait by Tom Oldham

This style image features matching hues, which was achieved by painting the groundwork – a cove.

Backdrop Texture

Texture is also important in photography. Sometimes a bit of texture can really add to an image, but other times it merely serves as a lark. If your background distracts from your image, y’all’ll lose your viewer. Retrieve nigh your product — does it need a smooth, clean background or volition information technology work on a more textured surface.

Below is an instance from one of our food photography classes, where I shot an image of a pot of
ginger and lime tea
with nutrient photographer and stylist Anna Pustynnikova. Here y’all tin see how the lighter, smoother board didn’t work for the rustic wait nosotros were going for. The darker, more textured board (which was ane nosotros’d made ourselves) worked much better. This shows the importance of both color and texture in groundwork choice.


Example of photography backdrop


Example of photography backdrop

Background Size

Last merely not least, think about the size of your background. If y’all’re photographing a full length portrait, a canvas of MDF probably won’t work (unless it’due south a small kid maybe). Nevertheless, you could easily become away with a canvass of it if you’re photographing a bottle of whisky or a handbag. You don’t want to rely on Photoshop to extend your background — if you lot can, get it right in camera.

That being said, don’t let yourself be limited past the size of your background either — get creative and see what solutions you can come up with. For example, I take a mobile wall in the studio that I often paint if I demand a bigger background than say, a canvass of MDF or a popular up groundwork.

Where to find photography backdrops

Photography backgrounds aren’t hard to come up by. You tin find them online from companies such as
Lastolite
or
Colorama
(remember you get 15% disbelieve with these companies every bit members of Karl Taylor Instruction),
Brutal Universal,
B&H,
Wex Photo Video
Amazon
or
eBay, to proper noun but a few. For sheets of MDF or wooden boards, you can visit your local hardware store, which should stock a diversity of options. This is a great place to start if you lot want to become creative and make your ain. I besides often repurpose old table tops as base surfaces and backdrops too — these can easily be found at 2d hand stores or antique shops.


Whisky product photo by Karl Taylor

This product epitome of Glenfiddich whisky used an old table meridian as the base surface.

How to make your ain custom backdrops

When information technology comes to making your own photography backdrops, you can make your own with some pretty bones materials. Hither I’ve included two examples of how to make your own photography backdrop with basic supplies you can discover at any art or hardware shop.

i. DIY canvas backdrop

This video shows how we made our ain canvas properties for 1 of our workshops. To create your own DIY sheet backdrop you’ll need the following:

  • A big canvas of plastic (if you lot’re working indoors)
  • A blank piece of canvas material (you tin can find this at about fine art stores)
  • PVA gum
  • Water
  • A selection of paint colours for your base color, launder colour and splatter effects.

Watch full video here.

2. DIY wooden lath

We used a choice of unlike wooden surfaces as backgrounds and base surfaces for our food photography classes and many of our members were interested to know how we created them, so we put together a whole tutorial on this. If you don’t take time to watch the full form or aren’t a member (why aren’t y’all?!), I’ve outlined the basic steps beneath.


Whisky product photo by Karl Taylor

Tools used to make a DIY photography properties


  1. Think about your shot — What colours will work with your shot. Practise you want a darker or lighter colour, older or newer look?
  2. Create a basic board — If you don’t already take a lath, you can make your own by joining together old pieces of forest (pallets are an ideal, inexpensive source of wood)
  3. Age the wood — This can be done by called-for the wood (this creates quite a lot of fumes, so it’southward advisable to practise this outside or in a well ventilated space)
  4. Add together your base colour — You lot can find suitable pigment for this at any hardware store
  5. Utilize a colour launder — This can be washed using acrylic paints that can be found at any fine art store.

Watch full form here.

As you’ll run into in the full tutorial, the great thing most these is if you don’t like the final result or just want something different, you can simply starting time once more past painting over it all.

Recommended Content

As you’ll accept gathered from this post, backgrounds are an important component in any photo. To help yous create the very best image possible, beneath is a choice of related content that you may find useful.

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Originally posted 2022-02-13 02:33:21.