Create a photo backdrop for your own photo portraits using a few simple items you may already have at home. Professional photographers use extra-large sheets of paper or drape fabric for their backdrops. You can do the same at home without any elaborate stands to hold the backdrop in place. Select a room with good natural light from large windows or one with plenty of artificial light to create your at home studio.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Flat bedsheet
- Masking tape
Select a clean, flat bedsheet for your backdrop. King-size sheets work best, but queen sheets will work as well. Select a colour that will contrast with your subject: white sheets for dark clothes, dark-coloured sheets for light-coloured clothes. Solid-coloured sheets will re-create the look of a professional backdrop, but feel free to experiment with colours and patterns.
Tape the sheet to a wall using masking tape. Don't use tape that will damage your wall surface. Don't stretch the sheet tight, allow it to have some drape and wrinkles to look most like a real photographer's backdrop. Place it high on the wall to fill the frame completely with backdrop.
If you are shooting a full body portrait, take a second sheet and drape it on the floor. Make sure the sheets fully overlap to cover the floor and walls.
Take advantage of natural light by taking your backdrop outside. Tie a clothesline between two trees or similar objects a few feet over the height of your subject. For example, a 3-foot-tall child would only need the backdrop hung at a height of 5 feet, but a tall adult may need the line tied at 8 feet.
Attached the king- or queen-sized sheet to the line with clothpins. Make it secure enough to withstand breezes or the subject bumping into the sheet. Allow it to bunch up a little to provide interesting wrinkles and texture.
Use a second sheet to cover the ground if shooting a full body portrait.
Tips and warnings
- Go the extra mile and purchase drapery fabric for your backdrop. Drapery fabric is sold in extra-wide lengths so there is no need to sew sections together. Get enough to use as both the background and floor covering to avoid any harsh lines in the backdrop.
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