When Should You Use Vinyl Backdrops?

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Photography Backdrops, Studio Equipment

girl sitting in photo studio on white background

Every picture tells a story. Selecting the best photography backdrop is comparable to an author choosing the perfect adjective to describe his scene to his audience.

Adjectives allow writers to create more than a flat image of a scene for their readers. Talented authors use words to convey the smells, sounds, emotions, temperature, conflict and compatibility surrounding the characters and events as the story unfolds. Photographers work without the power of words to develop the characters and interpret the plot of their story. They must rely on composition, color, texture, lighting and the environment to add meaning to their tales and anecdotes.

There are numerous considerations involved in choosing which backdrops to use in the studio. Some photographers consider price the most important factor while others consider flexibility or portability as the most significant feature. Before adding new photo backdrops and other accessory products to your “box of adjectives”, consider how the features will help you expand your options for clients.

Advantages to Vinyl

A vinyl backdrop is touted as a wrinkle-free option that is easy to clean between shoots. They are durable, strong and come in a glare-free matte finish so they are great for studio photo sessions. Storage is simple—just hang them horizontally on your storage rack or backdrop stand. It is important to remember that improper storage can produce wrinkles or creases in almost every type of photography background. Never store rolls flat on the floor as the pressure will eventually lead to collapsing or flattening which could produce hard wrinkles.

white vinyl photo backdrop

When comparing seamless paper choices to a vinyl backdrop there are times that vinyl is the superior choice. If your photography involves intense action shots—think mud wrestling, food fights and water balloon activities—vinyl will hold up better throughout the shoot and is durable enough to withstand the spills. Also portrait photographers working with family pets and small children will appreciate the protection against the natural messes that these special subjects sometimes create.

Disadvantages to Vinyl

On the downside, vinyl is heavier than some background fabrics. The color and texture of off-the-shelf vinyl background options are limited when compared to fabric or paper today; however, a variety of basic colors, including a green screen vinyl option, allow photographers to set-up most in-studio scenes with vinyl backdrops.

woman posing on green vinyl backdrop

Because the vinyl backdrop is so heavy, portability is considered cumbersome, at best. Unless you have a crew to help with transportation and set up, it is usually best to leave your vinyl background in the studio and rely on fabric or collapsible backdrops for off-site shooting sessions.

Lighter weight vinyl/canvas blends are becoming increasingly available. These unique backgrounds are constructed with an ultra-thin layer of print fabric sandwiched between two outer layers of clear vinyl. This process expands the variety of colors and styles drastically.

The bottom line is that when it comes to capturing a picture that truly is worth a thousand words, choosing adjectives to tell that story is imperative. Before you purchase your next background, think about the color, structure, texture and tone your accessory needs. Consider what you are trying to say and how you want to say it; then select the best photography background to lay the foundation.

Do you own a vinyl backdrop? How often do you use it?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in reading more about photo backdrops? Check out  Why Should You Use a Canvas Backdrop?

Trackback from your site.

Comments (1)

  • Luckie


    This is the peferct way to break down this information.


Leave a comment

Prove you are human to submit your comment! * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.