Photo Courtesy of Ryan WalshEveryone knows the advantages of working in the studio. Studio photography lets you exercise complete control over your environment, allowing you to shoot anytime, day or night. Unfortunately, studios also have one weakness: plain backgrounds can be a bit boring for certain photo shoots. Recently, however, new products have been coming out that really liven up the old background standbys that have been in use for years. Floor drops – realistic recreations of various floor materials – offer photographers a way to create incredibly detailed environments for their subjects, with very little effort.
What Makes Floor Drops Different?
DetailWhat makes these new floor drops different from the standard photo backdrops so often used in the studio? The most obvious answer is detail. Consider the detail on these various floor drops. As you can see, the accuracy is simply amazing. For many of them, you would be hard pressed to tell that they were not actual floors. In fact, chances are you have already seen high quality floor drops like this in commercial photography without even realizing it.
Ease of UseThe designers of these floor drops created them with the working studio in mind. They have a rubberized backing that prevents them from slipping or bunching up, and you can roll them up for storage quickly and easily. Cleaning them is simple, which means you can use them for many years without any perceptible loss in realism. The padded backing also makes them relatively comfortable for long shoots.
PortabilityFloor drops are ideal for studio environments, but you can also use them in other locations. As long as you have a flat surface to lay them down on, there is no reason you cannot take a desired look on location if necessary. These drops are tough and durable, and you can throw them down in a kitchen or on a hardwood floor just as you can in a studio.
VersatilityYou are not limited to using floor drops on the floor. Many photographers use floor drops as a photo background as well. A Whitewash floor drop can work just as well for the siding of a building as it can for a floor. With several different varieties, you can mix and match to get exactly the look you want.
How to Use ThemPhotographer Ryan M. Walsh gives a breakdown on his website of how he used several floor drops together, both for flooring and as a photo background, to achieve various looks. For setup, Walsh recommends giving your floor drop a little time to rest and flatten out before a shoot. If you are strapped for time, you can roll the drop the opposite way to reverse the curl. When using floor drops as a background, he recommends a little practice to achieve a seamless look between floor and backdrop, especially if you are working with linear patterns like bricks and wood flooring. How you choose to combine one floor drop with another and which ones you use is entirely up to you. As Walsh demonstrates, simple combinations like wood flooring and brick backgrounds can be used quite elegantly, but it is also possible to get a much rougher look with something like the Industrial Grunge design.
Plan AheadIf you are new to purchasing floor drops and you are on budget, it is best to do a little planning before you buy. Consider what you will get the most use out of, and play with different combinations before deciding. Two or three drops would be enough to give you several different options if you choose the right patterns. If you are having trouble deciding, it may be helpful to look for photos that resemble what you are going for. Study the backgrounds and see if you can find floor drops to approximate them. A few smart purchases can go a long way in your studio.
Anything But BoringSome photographers do amazing work in the studio, but it can be challenging to produce the results you want without the proper materials. Floor drops offer a unique and affordable way to achieve a variety of looks. With so many different options, all exhibiting incredibly detail, every photographer can expand his or her studio photography options.
Have you used a floor drop? What was your experience?
-Backdrop Express Photography Team
Interested in learning more about floor drops? Check out Why Use Floor Drops?
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