According to one study, individuals snap more pictures in two minutes than they did for a whole year back in the 1800s. Unfortunately, most of these photos are taken using cellphones and their unforeseeable quality only proves how valuable and beneficial studio and portrait photography are. If you’re a pro photographer or have plans to set up your own studio, one key component you need not forget is a backdrop stand. The best backdrop stand makes it easy to hang and use photo backdrops; hence, allowing you to get the most from your studio photography work.
The Best Backdrop Stands
What are the Best Backdrop Stands?
The best backdrop stands are designed for individuals looking for frames to hold up their canvas, muslin or papers. Most of these stands are designed with sturdy materials for durability but they’re also easy to move around.
1. Neewer Photography Backdrop Support System
Photographers looking for a big-sized backdrop stand should consider the Neewer support system, which measures 8.8 feet in height and 10 feet in width. But the key highlight of this backdrop stand is its triple design. Neewer consists of two hooks attached on the stands to support three crossbars. It means that you can comfortably use three backdrops at a time.
And since it’s made of aluminum alloy, the stand is sturdy and lightweight. It also comes with a carrying case for easy portability.
2. Safstar Photography Background Support System
If you’re looking for more than just a backdrop stand, the Safstar support system that comes with lights makes a strong contender. This stand is fitted with, not one, but three premium studio light bulbs. The lighting kit makes it suitable for a range of tasks including advertising products, video filming, technical photography and so much more.
Another aspect that makes Safstar stand out is the addition of three umbrella reflectors. The two white umbrella reflectors that are made of nylon, help in diffusing light from a flash or strobe light. In contrast, the third umbrella reflector is made of gold reflective material to maximize the spread of light while also facilitating a warm output. The umbrella reflectors are not just functional but also suitable for shooting in different occasions such as a wedding or baby shower.
3. Emart Photo Video Studio Background Backdrop Stand
Not everyone is enthusiastic about do-it-yourself projects, which is why Emart invented this backdrop stand that requires very minimal assembly. All the items you need have been included in the package, from the support stands to clamps and an adjustable crossbar.
The manufacturer even provides drapes, which are purely made of cotton. The backdrops are available in black, white and green colors. Another plus of this stand is that it comes with its own carry bag. This way, you won’t have a hard time fitting it in other storage cases.
4. JSAG263-VARTE Photo/Video Studio Kit
For those who like using muslin backdrops, the JSAG263-VARTE is the perfect support system for your muslins. In addition to the stand, the manufacturer also offers muslins in three different colors, that is, black, white and green. Also included in this package is heavy duty portable bag
When set up, the backdrop support system is 8.5 ft. high by 5 ft. wide. However, it width can be adjusted up to 10 ft. One thing we like about this stand is its solid build. When you invest in this stand, you won’t have to worry about your backdrops wobbling in the middle of a photo session.
5. LimoStudio Heavy Duty Backdrop Support System
If you’re new to photography, you probably don’t intend to spend too much on equipment until you’ve honed your skills. In this case, the LimoStudio Backdrop Support Systems is an excellent option that won’t cost you much.
The stands are fabricated from commercial-grade aluminum, a material that is light yet strong enough to withstand outdoor use. Weighing about 12 pounds, the stand is capable of supporting a range of backdrops; from muslins to seamless papers and fabrics. For easy assembly of the crossbars, the stand comes with an inter-locking mechanism. The interlocking connection also helps you to adjust its width, starting from 4.5 ft. to 12 ft.
What is a backdrop stand?
Put simply; this is a stand used by a photographer to set up different backgrounds when making portraits and for photography work. Backdrop stands differ in terms of the materials used in making them. While some consist of metal, others are plastic. But regardless of the material used in its build, a backdrop stand’s design allows for easy setting up and removal.
How do they work?
A majority of the backdrop stands that you’ll find, will be equipped with adjustable tubes. The purpose of these is to allow for easy adjustment of the height and width so as to accommodate as much content on the background. Wingnuts and other clamping systems are used to hold the tubes in place while also facilitating easy disassembly.
Professional and semi-professional photographers can benefit immensely from backdrop stands. With a stable and quality stand, you’ll be able to create great-looking portraits. These stands can also help you to conceal other subjects for publication or Photoshop purposes.
Do You Really Need a Backdrop Stand?
If you’re just getting started in photography, you probably don’t have the money to invest in a ton of equipment. Maybe all you have is your camera, camera lenses, a camera bag, a few memory cards, a cleaning kit and most importantly- your photographing skills. Although these items will take you far, you should also consider investing in key accessories that improve your work. One of these must-haves is a backdrop stand.
Remember that time you had to request your assistant to hold up a bed sheet while you took photos of your subject simply because the background was too distracting? Well, you would have saved your assistant a lot of energy by investing in a backdrop stand. In addition to masking items in the background, a backdrop stand frees you up so that you can concentrate on the core task, that is, to take amazing photos!
Backdrop Support Systems
The benefits of buying a backdrop stand become apparent when you have to work without one. There’s no point in purchasing a batch of muslin backdrops or other photo background items if you cannot set them up nicely behind your subject. It is where a background stand comes in. With this tool, you can arrange all the items creatively to depict the theme you want. Whether it’s for wedding or birthday portrait. Now that you know how crucial a backdrop support system is, the next is to figure out how to get one.
What Are Your Options?
There are tons of backdrop stands on the market. However, one particular one that we recommend is the Port-A-Stands. Weighing in at 12 pounds, this lightweight and portable backdrop stand is easy to carry around. It boasts a foldable design, which allows it to fit in a 44-inch carrying case.
When set up, this stand provides enough room to capture photos. The Port-A-Stand measures 10’6” by 8’10” when fully extended. And even though the stand is light for portability, it’s still sturdy enough to handle paper rolls. There are other alternatives such as the Multiple Polevault Stand by Savage. For the best experience, consider investing in one of the backdrop stands highlighted in this review.
Looking Professional (And Charging For It)
For a novice photographer who has just begun charging for his services, establishing how much you should charge for your work can be difficult. The price tag you attach to your work will depend on several factors such as the specific type of pictures you take and location. Consider this example: a simple product photographer based in Oklahoma can impose a small charge on a large spread of pictures while a professional headshot photographer based in LA can charge hundreds for just a few hours of his work.
Knowing how much to charge is a challenge that nearly every photographer encounters. If you try to undercut your competitors by charging less, you may get more customers. However, you may also lose out on big clients who start suspecting the quality of work given the decrease in charges.
On the same note, if you decide to overcharge your clients because you are offering better services then you need to back up these rates. The last thing a client wants is to pay an arm and a leg for your services and then show up to a century-old garage with bed sheets suspended with fish rods.
Regardless of how much you decide to charge your clients, you should look the part. Photographers working from spacious, well-arranged studios are more likely to get returning clients than those working in congested rooms.
One piece of equipment that can really make you look professional is a backdrop stand. A backdrop stand in your photo studio gives people the impression that you are serious about your work. What’s more, a backdrop stand allows you to incorporate a ton of items into your shots. You can line up materials behind your subjects to influence the outcome of your shots.
Another reason that warrants buying a backdrop stand is to boost the safety of your equipment. If you use a DIY stand consisting of parts obtained from your local hardware, you will encounter challenges when using it. For instance, the backdrop- be it a paper roll or muslin – might fall off when you are in the middle of taking a shot. In the worst case scenario, the backdrop could fall on your subjects and cause injuries. By investing in a backdrop stand, you are able to prevent such maladies.
Why You Need to Use Studio Backdrops
Some photographers usually go for plain walls or bed sheets. Although these are much cheaper than studio backdrop stands, they don’t offer a permanent solution to your problem, and you will find out the hard way that ‘you get exactly what you pay for.’ Here are a few benefits of buying studio backdrops.
By investing in a quality backdrop, you are guaranteed that it will serve you for a long time, especially if you take good care of it. Canvas backdrops, for instance, constitute three heavy layers: canvas, vinyl and black-out cloth. Such backdrops offer a high level of durability.
Another perk of using studio backdrops is the fact that they result in clutter-free pictures. If you use a solid-color background, for instance, it won’t leave the sharp contrasts, which you’d experience with chroma-key background. What’s more, a solid color background enables you to add a variety of lighting effects.
If your work largely involves creating corporate portraits or taking headshot images, a backdrop can help bring out that professional and consistent look. Canvas backdrops are the best for making complex portraits.
Seamless paper backdrops come in a range of colors. And the best part is that if any of the sections gets dirty, you can simply cut it out and start from scratch. For a more natural look, you should also consider patterned backdrops such as painted Muslin or canvas. You will find such backdrops particularly useful when inclement weather prevents you from shooting the real items.
Backdrops are priced differently, and this mainly depends on their quality. This means that you’ll be able to choose one that fits your budget.
When buying a backdrop, you should assess just how portable it is. If you’ll be carrying the backdrop from the shooting area to your studio, we recommend going for Muslin, canvas or vinyl as they are all lightweight. But if portability is not a concern, you can go for seamless paper.
For the ultimate studio setup, you should also think of investing in a backdrop stand or a backdrop kit. Lighting equipment should also be at the top of your list. Lighting is another aspect that gives your images a professional touch.
If you plan to use your backdrop for a long time, then you will have to store it properly. For seamless, vinyl or canvas backdrops, you’ll need to ensure that they have steady support. And if you’re dealing with the long and heavy seamless paper rolls, then store them in a vertical position.
How to Choose the Right Backdrop Stand for You
Have you ever shopped for a backdrop stand? If you have, you might have noticed how similar they all look. They all consist of two support systems and a top bar that runs an adjustable length between the two stands. To find the best backdrop stand, first establish what it is that you want to shoot.
With regards to technical considerations, of the first things you should examine is the length of the top bar. Most paper rolls and muslin backdrops are available in two width options- 53 and 107 inches. If your work involves taking product image or photos of one subject at a time, then a 53-inch wide stand is sufficient. Keep in mind that the 107-inch wide stands can be compressed to smaller sizes as well.
A common mistake that photographers make is choosing small-sized backdrop stands because they work from cramped studios. If your studio is on the small side of the spectrum, the smarter move would be getting a large backdrop stand. This way, when you upgrade to a bigger studio, you won’t have to budget for another backdrop stand.
Another feature you should watch out for is the bar’s locking mechanism. Most of them come with wingnuts or clamping systems to secure the bars in place. Don’t make the mistake of buying a stand that lacks such a locking mechanism as it prevents the bar from dislodging and hitting a subject. Lastly, you may also want to consider stands that offer multiple top bars. With these bars, you can attach different paper rolls simultaneously.
Outfitting Your Professional Studio
After determining the specific backdrop stand that works for your video studio, there are a couple of other accessories that you need. While some help to improve the quality of pictures, others will really help your work to stand out from the crowd.
When focusing on the photographic side, one aspect you should look into is your lighting fixture. A great set of lights- be it a set of strobes or speedlights – will enable you to create a three-point lighting for magnificent portrait. Another accessory worth investing in is a light meter. Although some cameras come equipped with a version of a light meter, nothing works better like the real deal.
As for the interactions you have with clients, showing professionalism will go a long way. Also, try and rent a big space for your studio and design it as you fit. Overall, your studio should be accommodating and suitable for both meetings with clients and photography work.
You won’t have to use hanging hooks or fishing rods to support your backdrops anymore. Once you invest in a quality backdrop stand, you’ll have a stable support system for your backdrops. These backdrop stands allow for easy portability and a seamless setup. And, they’re equally suited for product photography work.
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