How to Create Your Own Photo Backdrop

Written by denise bertacchi
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How to Create Your Own Photo Backdrop
(D. Sharon Pruitt)

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
  • Clothesline
  • Clothespins

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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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