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What to Consider When Purchasing Photo Studio Background Material

While many photographers are experts at their craft and able to utilize natural lighting and landscapes as backgrounds for their portraits, studios that provide a controlled environment are a necessity for many photographers. A key component to any photography studio is your background material as the right background materials can make or break a photo session. To ensure you achieve the overall theme and feel of your photography style, here's a look at what you might consider when choosing affordable background materials offered on eBay .

What materials should you choose for a photo backdrop?

The type of material that you choose for photo backdrops can impact the photos that you take in several ways. Materials such as cotton, muslin, or canvas, may absorb and soften your studio lighting whereas materials such as vinyl, polyester, and velvet may reflect some of your studio lighting in your photos. Different situations will call for different photo material options, so it's a good idea to have a range of colors and prints in different material types. Many of these materials are available in this eBay category. Other photo background materials may include:

  • Fantasy Cloth
  • Velour
  • Paper
  • Chromakey
What is chromakey cloth?

Chromakey gives you the ability to insert your photography client into a background of your choosing by having them pose in front of a vibrantly colored screen. You can do this in post-processing programs by removing and replacing the chromakeyed color with the background of your choosing. While you can technically chromakey any color, opting for a very exaggerated color, neon green or blue, will reduce the chance of your client accidentally looking like a floating head without a body because you chromakeyed the color of their dress.

Can you use any type of fabric as a background?

While it may be tempting to just hit the fabric store when shopping for backgrounds, there are several reasons that you may want to opt for materials specifically designed to be photography backgrounds. A good photography background will have the following characteristics:

  • Seamless - Traditional fabric may have to be sewn together to the size you require.
  • Washable - Because backgrounds extend onto the floor and are stood on, they will get dirty and will need to be cleaned.
  • Wrinkle resistant - All it takes is one bad wrinkle to ruin an entire shoot.
  • Lightweight - Many softbox stands are made from lightweight aluminum and will need to support the weight of your background fabric.
  • Opaque or reflective - While sheet materials may look beautiful to the naked eye, studio lighting will often pierce straight through these fabrics.
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