If you're a portrait photographer, you know that you can't always take your clients outside for their photoshoot.
The weather might be bad, the lighting might be poor, or your clients might just want a nice, relaxed studio session.
That means you need to be prepared by having top-notch backdrops that add dimension and interest to your studio portraits.
The tough part, though, is that there are a ton of companies out there making backdrops.
As you can imagine, some, like Click Props, offer top-of-the-line products that look incredible and are highly durable. Unfortunately, other companies aren't quite as dedicated to providing the best portrait backdrops.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for selecting the right backdrops for you.
Consider the Size
Backdrops come in all manner of shapes and sizes, so you need to think about how that fits in with your workflow.
For example, if you primarily take portraits of newborns, you don't need a massive 7' x 9.5' backdrop. A smaller 5' x 5' size would do the trick.
For 3/4 portraits and headshots, a medium-sized backdrop, like a 5' x 8' is a great choice.
Likewise, if you specialize in family portraits, a larger 7' x 9.5' foot backdrop would be ideal.
The point is that it's easy to get caught up in how the backdrop looks and forget about the practicality of the size of backdrop you order.
If you tailor the size of the backdrop to the type of work you do, you'll not only have a backdrop that looks good, but you'll also have one that's able to meet your needs.
Consider the Mounting Hardware
Even smaller backdrops can weigh a good amount, so you need to be sure that the backdrop you order has solid mounting hardware that will stand the test of time.
For example, Click Props backdrops all come with reinforced grommets, which not only make them easy to hang, but you don't have to worry about the grommets failing and tearing, either.
Another point to consider is how far apart the grommets are.
A distance of 12-inches between each grommet is ideal because it gives you plenty of points to hang the backdrop to spread out the weight of the load. But at such a close distance, you can also ensure that the backdrop hangs flat. That results in a hyper-realistic look, as seen in the image above.
Cheaper backdrops might not have reinforced grommets, and they might be spaced too far apart - the result is a shabby backdrop that doesn't even hang flat. That defeats the purpose of having a backdrop, does it not?!
Inspect the Materials
There are plenty of materials that can be used to create a portrait backdrop. Naturally, some are better than others.
Polyester backdrops, for example, are nice because they're lightweight. The problem is that some of them aren't washable, and if you've taken many studio portraits over the years, you know that the backdrop will get dirty over time and require washing.
Other backdrops are made of materials like muslin, which can be easily customized (and even painted!), but extreme care must be taken when using and storing these backdrops as they can be easily damaged.
For me, the ideal material for a backdrop is vinyl.
Click Props uses 550gsm vinyl that's not only durable but easy to clean too. They're also incredibly easy to store - just roll them up and slide them into their clear, plastic tube.
And if they get wrinkled or creased - no problem! See how easy it is to remove creases in the video above.
But don't think that because vinyl is a more utilitarian material that the backdrop isn't eye-catching.
One look at the images throughout this article, and I think you'll agree that Click Props has arrived at the intersection of function and form, with durable backdrops that are also drop-dead gorgeous.
That brings me to my next point...
It's All About the Looks
When it comes to selecting a backdrop, variety is the spice of life.
After all, you need something that fits with your artistic vision and aesthetic, but you also need something that suits multiple purposes.
That's why backdrops from Click Props are so unique.
Their stunning array of backdrops are perfectly suited for all sorts of photography, from newborn and children to fashion and boudoir to wedding and family portraiture.
In fact, they have a collection of more than 200 unique, award-winning designs that range from brick and stone, wallpaper, forest scenes, wood planks, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Even better, Click Props backdrops are designed in-house by a team of expert artists who are dedicated to their craft. The result are backdrops that will help you create portraits that take beauty to the next level.
But don't take my word for it - Click Props is a 5-Star Gold Rated company according to Digital Camera Magazine. They've also won the Best Studio Accessory Award twice.
If that doesn't speak to the quality of their products, I don't know what will!
If you want to create the most eye-catching portraits, think purposefully about the size, hardware, materials, and construction of the backdrop. If you get it right, your portraits will have an added layer of visual interest that makes your portraits that much more impressive.