Paper backdrops are a popular background solution for amateur and professional photographers alike. Seamless paper backdrops offer the advantages of versatility and variety as well as being relatively inexpensive. Seamless paper is available in a great assortment of colors, and with the aid of gels and lighting, produces special effects that enhance the aesthetics of studio photography.
Most photographers set up their photo backdrops by mounting the rolls onto a backdrop stand and rolling it out several feet past the floor, providing continuity of color as a background. However, if you’re not working in a photo studio with hard flooring, you’ll have to deal with an extra step of keeping your paper backdrops clean and reusable.
Protecting from TearsPhotographers must deal carefully with the paper if they choose to cover the ground where the model will be working. Seamless paper cannot be placed over carpet, because the soft surface will cause puckering and creasing. A hard surface will need to be placed between the carpet and the paper before your shooting begins. Such options include plywood, tileboard, acrylic or plexiglass.
Photo by Elizabeth Lee Millen ImagesA hard surface that is approximately 4 by 8 feet is large enough for this purpose, so your model can move around without feeling restricted. However, walking directly on the paper in shoes will soil the backdrop and can be visible in the final photos. This necessitates continuously rolling out the paper or placing another protective surface on top of it.
Protecting from FootprintsThe most common solution is to cover the seamless background paper with a sheet of plexiglass or clear acrylic. Doing so protects the paper from getting dirty from footsteps and dirt. Another advantage is that it provides a nice, subtly reflective surface as your model stands above, which adds visual interest. It is great for the technique known as high key photography.
Photos by Ryan WalshAn additional solution is available for photos shoots using a white backdrop. Photographers can use the white backside of tileboard, which provides the assets of being less expensive and more scratch resistant than acrylic.
Prices of flooring for seamless paper backdrops will vary with the thickness and dimensions of the materials. They may be purchased through local home supply stores or through online industrial plastic retailers.
How long does a roll of seamless paper typically last in your studio?
-Backdrop Express Photography Team
Interested in learning more about caring for seamless paper backdrops? Check out Extending the Life of Your Seamless Paper!
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