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Photography Backdrop Buying Guide

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Photography backdrops are a staple for photographers that specialize in family photography, wedding photography, senior photography, and other portrait-related genres.

But there's a couple of problems when buying backdrops.

First, it can be completely overwhelming when trying to decide where to purchase backdrops. It seems like every day I see yet another website where backdrops are available.

Second, not all portrait backdrops are made alike. By that, I mean that while some might look good on the website or initially sound like a good deal, sometimes, you're surprised with low-quality backdrops that aren't worth the money.

In this photography backdrop buying guide, I offer my advice for finding that elusive blend of quality products and great prices.

Consider the Type of Backdrop You Need

collapsable backdrop

This first rule of thumb when buying a photography backdrop is to think about what kind of backdrop you need.

On the one hand, if you need something a bit more mobile that's easy to take from one photo shoot to the next, a collapsible backdrop is the way to go.

These disc-shaped backdrops (like the one shown above) offer tons of versatility because they're easy to set up, take down, and transport from place to place. That means you can get a studio look no matter where you are.

Additionally, these backdrops are really two-in-one setups because there's different designs on both sides. Again, that's excellent versatility for you!


On the other hand, an ideal option for photographers that have their own studio space is a microfiber backdrop like the one you see above.

In this case, the floral backdrop is printed on strong, durable microfiber that hangs beautifully for a seamless background.

Microfiber can be easily rolled up for storage out of the way, or if you have the space, you can simply hang microfiber backdrops on the wall or from the ceiling for easy identification and selection.

Microfiber backdrops come in a vast array of sizes as well, from 3x5 feet up to 10x20 feet. 

What's more, they are easy to clean, making them an ideal choice for photographers that want a beautiful, durable, and easy care backdrop.

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There are other types of backdrops, too.

The "green screen" backdrop shown above is ideal for photographers that want the option of putting any kind of background behind their subject.

And like the collapsible backdrops discussed earlier, this green screen is collapsible and easy to set up. Better still, it comes with the frame components, too, so it's a complete backdrop system.

It's easy to store as well - it can be put in the corner of the studio, in a closet, or even under your bed at home, stored securely in its own container to protect against dust and dirt.

Learn More:

Think About the Look You Want for Your Portraits


The great thing about portrait backdrops these days is that there are thousands and thousands of looks that you can choose from.

Sure, that can be a little overwhelming, but if you choose to work with a top-quality backdrop company like Kate Backdrop, you know that no matter what look you're going for, it'll be well made and look like a million bucks.

Here's just a sampling of some of the different looks you can choose from.

Textured Backdrops

Victoria Schafer

Textured backdrops are a highly popular choice for photographers because they offer so much versatility.

With hundreds of color and design choices, you can create a collection of textured backdrops that will provide to be a timeless addition to your studio.

These backdrops have a three-dimensional effect that gives your portraits greater dimensionality, whether you choose an abstract backdrop, damask backdrop, chevron backdrop, or something in between.

Hand-Painted Backdrops

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For an elegant, custom look, you can't go wrong with hand-painted backdrops.

There's a richness to hand-painted backdrops that make them the ideal choice for photographers that want a classic and detailed background for their portraits.

Additionally, there's something about utilizing a hand-painted backdrop that gives your photos an increased uniqueness. After all, no two hand-painted backgrounds are exactly alike!

Companies like Kate Backdrop use a team of experienced painters to craft breathtaking backgrounds to your specifications, that way you're sure to get the perfect backdrop to fulfill your creative vision.

Theme Backdrops

Amy Springer

Of course, not all backdrop selections are about finding just the right style.

Instead, there are often occasions when you need a theme backdrop.

Whether you're taking birthday portraits, Christmas portraits, or something in between, having a number of themed backdrops for your collection is a must-have.

Combo Sets

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Combo sets give you the best of both worlds with a beautiful backdrop and a rubber floor mat.

The advantage of a combo set is that you can create a consistent look from floor to ceiling.

What's more, having a floor mat means you don't have to worry as much about the floor showing in your photos, particularly those of larger groups.

You can opt to get the same kind of design on the background and the mat, or if you prefer, you can mix and match the looks, as shown above.

If your budget is less than these, you can try the wood backdrops as a floor drop.

Where to Buy Photography Backdrops

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Now that you have a few pointers in terms of what to think about when buying a backdrop, the only question left is, "Where do I buy photography backdrops?"

As I noted earlier, it seems like there are more and more companies making backdrops these days, and while all that selection is nice, not all of those companies put out great products.

I've had a chance to look at Kate Backdrop's wide inventory, and I can say with great confidence that they have some of the highest-quality backdrops on the market today.

In fact, I consider myself a bit of a gear snob, and I have very high expectations for the products I use.

That being the case, I wouldn't hesitate to utilize a Kate Backdrop for my portraits.

Not only do they have worldwide delivery (and free shipping on orders over $120), but they also offer a 30-day return policy on non-custom backdrops.

One look at their customer reviews, and it's easy to see that Kate Backdrops makes backdrops that are easy to work with and that look beautiful.

If you're ready to add new backdrops to your collection, I highly recommend you start looking at Kate Backdrop!

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