Upgrading to Vinyl backdrops?
behind the scenes Fine art nude & Circus photoshoot
feat. Maeva K. & Virginia Danh
I tried muslin backdrops, used them on a couple of photoshoots, I even tried 2 different brands. But I am still curious to see if there are any other solutions out there that will meet my needs a little better…
Muslin backdrops could be a great, really affordable solution for your portraits. They are light, foldable, so easy to carry around. And they deliver nice results, giving you the option to make any location your studio. But I quickly got tired of Ironing the fabric. Bringing a steamer with me all the time can be cumbersome and it adds a few minutes in your setup that I would gladly get rid of if possible. Plus, Having a 2 x 3 m long fabric backdrop to Iron is ok… If you get a longer one, custom-made, this can become a nightmare. But why would you need a bigger backdrop in the first place? If you plan on photographing the entire body of a performer, for example, the muslin backdrops I showed you in my previous videos might be a little tight. So this time I used a Vinyl backdrop of 12ft X 7ft. We have the width and the height that would suit almost any type of work. I went for a dark backdrop with some texture again, but this time I tested the backdrop at home but also on location… I am going to spare you the footage of me installing the backdrop, I am simply using clamps and a standard Manfrotto backdrop kit to hold it in place.
Maeva K. (Toulouse - France)
Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 50mm F3.5 R LM WR 1/80sec f/3.5 ISO 400
Vinyl backdrops of this size are a bit less travel-friendly. You cannot fold them and the size you will choose will increase the footprint and price! It was shipped to me in a plastic tube that I kept to protect it, and the whole thing has a bit of weight. So you won’t consider them for quick short sessions but more for bigger ones.
If you own your own studio then you may seriously consider it. The main strength of these vinyl backdrops is the quality of the material and texture, how easy you can clean them, and the absence of any wrinkles and creases when unrolled. I can create with these backdrops and integrate them more in my images now. I had this issue with some of the muslin backdrops where the texture wasn’t really to my taste. Especially the first ones where I favored wide-open shots to blur out some of it, which in the end didn’t make sense. Why purchase a textured backdrop if you blur the texture out. For bigger setups, I wouldn’t think twice. I’ve done a lot of studio-type work lately and If I had my own, I would probably have a few of these. Budget-wise, we are above muslin backdrops of course. Prices start at $49 and they will go up according to the size you choose.
Virginia danh (La Grainerie - Toulouse - France)
Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 50mm F3.5 R LM WR 1/160sec f/3.5 ISO 500
I will most certainly share other BTS videos and images made with these in the future on my IG so catch me there. There is one more type of backdrop I have to test now. The ones I see a ton of photographers use… the Hand-painted backdrops!