How to Hang a Studio Backdrop

Written by kate klassen
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How to Hang a Studio Backdrop
Photographers use backdrops to highlight the subject or to set a scene. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The ability to change a backdrop allows a photographer to get creative using different colours, textures or painted scenes. When deciding what colour backdrop to use, the colour of the subject and any clothing or props need to be considered, as well as the mood of the intended photograph. Hanging a studio backdrop can be done easily, whether you are using a seamless paper backdrop or muslin. Extremely heavy-duty backdrops may require different set-up methods than a general purpose, transportable system.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Backdrop stands
  • Backdrop
  • Backdrop rod
  • Spring loaded clips

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  1. 1

    Set up your two backdrop stands. The legs should be extended so that the braces are parallel to the floor for maximum stability. The distance between the backdrop stands will be approximately the same as the length of the backdrop. Raise the stands up to chest level for now.

  2. 2

    Put together your backdrop rod using only as many sections as needed for the width of the backdrop. If you use more sections than you need, it can weaken the bar and potentially cause sagging. Different brands of backdrop rods will have slightly different securing methods, but most will screw together. If there are holes in two of the pieces, those are the end pieces.

  3. 3

    Place one end of the rod onto one of the backdrop stands. On most stands, you will need to slip the bar's hole onto the knob protruding from the top of the stand. Some rods will be inserted into clamps instead, which will then need to be tightened. Leave the other end of the rod resting on the ground or on a chair.

  4. 4

    Remove your backdrop from its package. If using a seamless paper backdrop, hold one end of the backdrop and thread the unsecured end of the rod into the centre cardboard tube. Push the backdrop toward the other end of the rod while lifting it off the ground. Hold the backdrop in one hand and grab the loose backdrop stand and adjust its position so that the rod can be secured to it. If using muslin, locate the opening at the end of the stitched seam and slowly thread the rod through the fabric. Secure the end in the same manner as the paper.

  5. 5

    Raise your backdrop stands a little at a time, going from one to another and back again until you have reached the desired height. Straighten out the fabric or paper that is sitting on the floor so that it is positioned how you want it. If using seamless paper, clamp the back of the roll to prevent more from rolling off the spool. Tape the front of the backdrop to the floor to keep it from moving.

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