affordable “backdrops” | studio secret

If you’re a photographer, I bet there’s a good chance that as soon as you wrap a shoot and have some pocket money, you are looking at ways to spend it! It’s a curse. You want new looks all of the time and those looks come at a price. An actual monetary price as well as the price of your laundry room AKA storage space. I swear it looks like a medium-sized bomb or at the very least, a series of small bombs went off in there. I digress…

I am always looking and drooling over the new backdrops and floordrops I find online. Ballpark, they can run anywhere from $75 – $250. Needless to say, it’s not that easy to just add 5 new drops to your cart and checkout. I look at each one very closely and really try to choose something that I can use on a wide range of subjects: boys and girls, babies & beyond. I would love to pick some of the bolder, more colorful patterns but I figure I’ll tire of those looks easily. So I came up with an affordable solution.

FABRIC

Fabric makes for beautiful backdrops that won’t break the bank! There’s so much to pick from so I recommend you do a little research and choose your pieces wisely. I took a sample picture this morning to show you what I mean.


The larger paisley piece on the bottom is awesome. It’s 54″ wide and that’s 2 yards hanging there. It’s a medium weight cotton and really has nice weight to it. Not much wrinkling at all. I am planning on doing some headshots on these later this afternoon so please disregard the lack of flooring. You could easily run a piece of molding along the bottom of the fabric, add your floordrop and have a great new look. How pretty would this one look paired with a dark wood floor? Two yards of this Premier Prints fabric cost me $14.00.

The black & white damask piece is 44″ wide and I had 1 yard cut. So you’ll see that even if I had 2 yards cut, the width was remaining quite narrow and it’s only suitable for one subject (I really bought this piece for newborn shoots but I am going to do some close-ups on it during today’s session). This is a lighter weight cotton that I needed to iron. It’s Michael Miller’s Delovely and cost me around $7.50.

Would I use a giant piece of fabric for a family session? Most likely, no. Would I use it for one or two children or even toss a piece in my suitcase of props that I bring along to newborns? Absolutely. And for pennies.

I order my fabric from fabric.com. They have really fast shipping plus it’s free for orders over $35.  I also like that you can order generously-sized swatches from them which I recommend doing if you are unsure about what you’re seeing. Fabric can be tricky to purchase if you can’t see and feel it first.  I have lots of cute boy-friendly fabrics that I’ll get to put to good use in a few weeks. Oh and one final tip. Use PVC pipe to roll your fabric around for storage. Folding each piece is going to lead to creases that need to be ironed out each time.

I see so many photos posted on Facebook giving away tips, tricks and behind-the-scenes photos that help fellow photographers out. Maybe this little tip will help you. :)

Happy Sunday!

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