Category Archives: How-to

Cloth Backdrops – Everything To Know About Them

Freeing background from unnecessary clutter is like second nature to any photographer. And Cloth Backdrops are the most essential tools in this exercise. The increasing importance of digital advertising and social media-based entrepreneurship has increased the demand for cloth backdrops. So, an understanding of these backdrops is vital to make your photography stand out. It is what separates professionals from amateurs.

If you want to target the precise mood of the photoshoot. And address the ever-rising demand of clients for ‘uniqueness. And take your portrait from basic level to inspirational – then cloth backdrops are the way to go! After all, what’s behind the subject is as important as what’s in front of it. 

What are Cloth Backdrops?

Simply put, cloth backdrops are the fabric-based screen or background that separates your main subject from the overall image. Their main purpose is to add a depth effect to the subject. Photographers prefer them in areas of portrait photography, fashion photography, and baby photography. They play a role in controlling the light conditions and adding a surrounding effect. And that makes them useful for product photography and shooting videos too. The diverse varieties of colours, styles, and textures that they offer, make them very versatile. They can build an extra appeal to the photo’s subject, aiding better communication with the viewers. This instantly makes them professionals’ favourites!

Types of Backdrops 

When it comes to varieties of cloth backdrops, the sky is the limit! Hence, sorting through the choices and finding the best-suited cloth backdrop for your shoot can give you an edge. The three most popular variants of fabric to choose from are Canvas, Muslin, and Polyester.

Canvas Backdrops

Canvas backdrops are a classy variety that offers a wide range of subtle and dramatic patterns. They provide an interesting background to a portrait without competing with the main subject for attention. The canvas backdrops that we offer are all minimum 250gsm (gram per square meter) fabric, offering a firm background to the image. Within this material, we offer two kinds of backdrops – Solid and Handpainted. The handpainted category offers unique designs and patterns all created by a team of experienced artists. Abstract and Airbrushed designs provided by us are especially preferred for highlighting the subject in depth, as you can see here. With Scenic and Patterned backdrops, we provide vibrant sceneries and elaborate designs that frees you from the hassle of creating a set. In fact, these backdrops have an exceptional appeal to viewers’ emotions, making them want to stop and look at your creation! 

Muslin Backdrops

Muslin backdrops are much lighter and thinner, as they are constructed from cotton. Our muslin backdrop thickness starts from 165gsm. We provide two main types here – Mottled Muslin and Single Colour Muslin. The Mottled variety in turn offers splendid versatility such as 3D, Crush Dyed, Handpainted, Solid, Washed, and Reversible. They offer a solid-looking background when hung flat and can also be draped over different surfaces to transform the look of a picture.

By manipulating how it hangs these backdrops can be used to utilize the studio space in the most effective way! With the Single Color variant, you can experiment and explore the different background lighting techniques to give the portrait a neutral or dramatic touch. These backdrops are particularly in demand for their price reasonability. They are also conveniently portable and do not wrinkle very easily- earning them a dominant position in the market.

Polyester Backdrops

Another type of fabric backdrop that is gaining prominence is Polyester, particularly because they are free from shrinkage and wrinkles. They are washable, very convenient to store, and offer high resistance to wear and tears, hence very long-lasting as well. Another unique advantage of using polyester fabric is the fact that they absorb light rather than reflect it, aiding in glare-free shots.

The film industry prefers cloth backdrops because they are very convenient in shooting a scene inside the studio. You can easily artificially edit them (like the green screen editing) and replace with the required natural environment like a beach, forest, etc. 

The pros of using cloth backdrops

The market for photography backdrops has expanded exponentially in the last few years. A wide variety of materials are available today. And yet cloth backdrop is a preferred choice for professionals worldwide for several reasons.

  • Durability: Cloth backdrops are called ‘legacy’ purchases for their durability factor. Canvas backdrops are a long-term investment. Muslin and Polyester are easily reusable. They also withstand normal wear and tear.
  • Storage and Transportation: Backdrops often become damaged or unusable if not stored properly. But with muslin backdrops, you can just stuff them in the bag when done. Canvas backdrops require some caution and are stored in shipping tubes for ease.
  • Appearance: Canvas provides a formal look with very refined and finished results loved by the best photographers worldwide.  The visual advantage of Muslin is that it holds dye better than any other fabric so the colours on backdrops appear very vivid and saturated. 
  • Non-Reflective Surface: The flash of a camera or shine of the spotlight when it gets reflected by the backdrop, creates a distraction from the main subject. To avoid this, we offer high-quality absorbent fabric that absorbs light instead of reflecting it. 
  • Price reasonability: For backdrops, some people go for cheaper alternatives but a higher cost is inflicted due to the time spent on trying to fix it. The wise can well assess that time is money! 

Hence, from the age of hand-painted scenery hung at the back of a stage theatre to the era of digitally designed backdrops, the relevance of cloth backdrops has remained consistent and evolving. No wonder, some of the world’s most famous artistic photographers attribute their stunning portraiture to their selection of cloth backdrops. They are truly the very keystone for bringing the subject of a photo to life-which indeed is the ultimate purpose of photography!

Muslin Backdrops – The Dos and Don’ts

A versatile and long-lasting product, muslin backdrops are used in theatre production, studio photography, video production, and more. Muslin backdrops have a very long and rich history and both professionals and novices use them.  And we are sure you must have come across several versions of these cloth backdrops in your photography career. The heavy-duty curtains they use in school and college theatres? They are all made of muslin.

Here is a comprehensive guide to muslin backdrops. It has everything you need to know before buying the photography backdrop and how to do proper maintenance afterwards.

What are Muslin Backdrops?

Muslin backdrops are made of 100% cotton fabric and coloured with dyes. The solid material is lightweight, easy to set up and use, and remains the same colour even after years of usage.

Our muslin backdrops are made with a cotton fabric that is resistant to wear and tear. We work with the best textile manufacturers in India to stay up to date with industry standards and give you better quality time after time. The fabric we use is 100% Indian cotton and ranges from 165gsm to 350gsm.

We offer you several different kinds of Muslin Backdrops – Mottled Muslin, Single Colour Muslin, and Portable Backdrops. The difference between the three categories is the painting and dyeing techniques used to create the patterns and designs as well as their utilities.

Mottled Muslin backdrops are one seamless piece of cotton fabric. We create them with creative dyeing techniques, some of which are our in-house speciality. And the best feature is that they help you get better lighting as the backdrop removes any extra reflection from the image. 

Single Colour Muslin backdrops are also made with one piece of seamless cotton. As the name suggests, they are coloured in one solid colour and give you the option of selecting garments and models to create a unique shoot. 

The Portable Backdrops come with their own collapsible steel frames. It gives you a very smooth surface that ensures you don’t get inconsistent lighting. And you can prop it against a wall or a pole without any extra help, making it very easy to set up in any given location. 

Can Muslin Backdrops improve your content?

A good backdrop shifts the focus of the audience to the subject of photography. Muslin backdrops help you achieve this in various ways. The natural folds and creases add extra depth and texture.

If you love a certain location and want to design a set around it, then our muslin backdrops are pretty useful. As they are extremely portable and lightweight, you can carry them around easily. You can drape them across a stable surface, lay them out on the floor, or hang them on a wire or rod. If you get one of our X-Frame backdrops, you will get a ready-made frame that you can prop up without any help. 

Image Credits: Kalyani Ambike(Left) & Ashwin Fernandes (Right)

Creating full-length fashion photographs, videos, and reels becomes a hassle-free process with a backdrop that is hanging in one place. You can walk around on it or dance on it without worrying that the backdrop might tear, as the sturdy cotton fabric is very durable. And you can use it for topdown shots or videos.

The versatility of muslin also extends to product photography and food photography. They are easy to style and you can mould them around the product you want to highlight. There is no limit to how creative you can get with a backdrop like this.

How to take care of Muslin Backdrops?

Muslin backdrops are very lightweight and you can easily pack them up and take them to any location. To ensure that you get maximum use out of one backdrop you can follow some simple tips and tricks.  

The cotton fabric gets natural wrinkles the more you use it or if you store it for a long time. Get rid of these wrinkles easily by using a steam iron, flat clothes iron or a water spray. If you are using an iron to remove the crease, then make sure it is on low heat. It will keep the dye from reacting and/or changing colours and looking odd on camera. But a steam iron is the safer option because it preserves the colours and is also easy to use. A water spray is the safest way to preserve the colours and the fabric. Spray the backdrop and let it hang freely so the wrinkle disappears on its own. 

And if you don’t have the time to get the creases out, there is a simple way to make sure they don’t appear in your photos. You will have to shoot with a larger aperture and get your subject to pose at a distance from the backdrop. This gets rid of all obvious wrinkles. 

After your shoot is over, fold up the backdrop and store it in the packet. Ideally, store it in the same packet we deliver it in. Keep it in a wardrobe, cupboard, or even a utility closet. The main thing to remember is that it is safe from both direct sunlight and humidity. Add silica gel packets to remove moisture around it.

We do not recommend washing the backdrops in a washing machine as it removes the vibrant dyes of the backdrop and adds extra creases. If the backdrop has dirt then use a sponge and non-abrasive detergent to remove it from the spot.

We hope this guide helps you make a more guided decision with muslin backdrops. 

Paper Backdrops And Everything You Need to Know About Them

If you have shot on a budget, you have tried several versions of paper backdrops to get a unique and smooth background in your images. We’ve all tried to use affordable chart papers or printed papers for tabletop photography. They might seem cool while you’re setting up, but they never seem to work out the way you want. The result on camera is always pretty disappointing. 

When it comes to a professional set-up with the right studio lights, paper backdrops are what hold up the quality of your images or videos. They are used in fashion photography, commercial portraits, catalogues, product photography and so much more. 

If you want to improve your content and know all the tips and tricks that industry professionals use, then you’re in the right place. Our experience of over two decades with handling seamless paper backdrops has taught us more than a few industry secrets. 

What are Paper Backdrops?

Paper backdrops are large, non-reflective rolls of paper that have a thickness of 120gsm to 150gsm. This thickness doesn’t affect what shows up on your camera but it defines how easy it is to handle the backdrop and how resistant it is to wear and tear. The bright and consistent colours are what make them very popular with different photography professionals. They are available in a variety of colours (often a single colour) but you can also get printed backdrops with unique designs. 

Professional photographers all over the world use seamless paper backdrops for studio and indoor photography. For decades, it has been used to create flawless images because the seamless paper is very easy to use. They give you a plain, crease-free, non-reflective surface that keeps all the focus on your subject. The smoothness of paper backdrops also helps you edit your images faster and make them perfect in no time. 

Some Tips and Tricks for Paper Backdrops

Their biggest benefit is that they are rolled up and ready to use when you receive them. You can create a set very easily by just unrolling the coloured paper against a smooth surface. If you don’t have a stand to hang the roll of paper, you can also cut the paper and tape it to any surface to make a quick and easy set. 

Since paper backdrops can be damaged or torn very easily, we recommend using only a flat, hard surface to roll out your backdrop. It can also roll back or curl up by itself, which is a hassle to keep fixing and makes it difficult to walk on the set. Use masking tape around the edges to keep it flat and smooth. And don’t forget to clamp the roll in place once you have unrolled the required length. 

If you are shooting full-length photos or videos and your model has to step on the backdrop, then make sure to clean the shoes. Dirty footprints can easily appear on your paper backdrops, so keep a rag or doormat next to your set. 

Some professionals also use transparent acrylic sheets on the floor. It keeps the backdrop clean as your model stands or walks around on it. And it also gives you the added benefit of a reflection in the image/video, giving it more flair. 

How to Store Paper Backdrops 

Storing paper backdrops for long term usage and keeping them in perfect condition is a question we are often asked. They can tear or rip easily and once they get dirty, you will have to cut off the dirty part before you can use the backdrop for a new shoot. When you are cutting away a part that has been destroyed, use a clean paper cutter instead of scissors. It gives you a clean cut and also helps you cut it in a straight line. 

Savage Seamless Paper, Superior Seamless Paper, and Trulite are made with 100% recyclable paper, so you don’t have to worry about making a huge impact on the environment either. However, we know that minimizing extra costs is always the better option, whether you are a professional or a beginner. 

After every shoot, you should roll up the backdrop tightly and store it in the box that we provide. It can develop creases and wrinkles if left hanging, so take it off the stand once your shoot is over. Store the paper backdrops in a dry space where there is no humidity and use silica gel packets to absorb any excess moisture. The best way to keep them in perfect condition for a long time is to keep them upright. This prevents the backdrop from getting damaged as the cardboard roll can bow, and ruin the shape or create waves in the backdrop. 

Making Videos with Paper Backdrops

Video content is the way of the future and creating memorable Reels, Tiktoks and YouTube videos is what will set you apart from the rest of your peers. Use paper backdrops to create your video content and make your life easier. 

The hassle of creating a set? All gone. Just unroll your backdrop, set up your camera and lights, and hit record. Paper backdrops give you the benefit of colour consistency, so you get the freedom to experiment with colours. Choose a unique colour backdrop and make your video stand out from the crowd. Then you can create a single colour correction profile that works on all your videos. 

When it comes to size, a 4ft backdrop is perfect for a closeup of a single person talking. If you need a full-length video that has a lot of movement, go for a 9ft backdrop. Group shots are also best shot on the 9ft backdrop. And for anything and everything in between, the 7ft backdrop is perfect!

Some of the biggest photographers in the world have used seamless paper backdrops for their photography. Nick Knight, Annie Leibovitz, Jingna Zhang, Juergen Teller, Steven Klein – are just some of the few.

If you’ve read through this blog, you know all about shooting with paper backdrops. Go forth and make a masterpiece!