How to Choose the Right Background for Family Shooting

Every element of a photo has the power to add or subtract from its overall appeal, so it is crucial to pay close attention to every detail you include in the frame, even if it is out of focus. After all, what is behind the object is just as essential as what is in front of it. Photographic backgrounds come in a wide variety of sizes, textures, and materials. They also range from simple solid colors to subtle patterns.


What are Photographic Backgrounds?

The professional photography backdrop comes in a variety of styles, sizes, materials, and colors to suit any type of studio and task. Understanding the basics of choice can be quite a daunting task for aspiring studio photographers. Below we offer you some useful facts that will help you answer the question of how to choose a background for a family shooting, which one is best for you and your clients.


Paper background

The seamless paper background comes in rolls with typical widths of 1.35 meters and 2.72 meters (although there are other non-standard ones). The length is usually 10-11 meters. It is usually available in solid colors. The most popular color is white, and this is not surprising. The most popular width is 2.72 m. It is mainly used for portrait shooting, as well as for product photography or smaller still lifes. The narrow 1.35 m paper backdrop is ideal for ID shots and single portraits, while the 2.72 m wide paper backdrop is ideal for a group photo, family shooting, large products, or shots that require movement.

The paper backdrop gives a solid floor-to-ceiling pattern without showing any edges or transitions. Many photographers find the biggest advantage of paper as a material since it does not require the hassle of cleaning. As soon as the dirt from the shoes appears, this area is simply cut off with scissors or a utility knife. If you want to try to keep the paper backdrop as long as possible, the more experienced ones use a plexiglass sheet as a flooring over a photo backdrop to avoid shoe prints and give a special reflective effect.


Vinyl background

Vinyl is the preferred material for family shooting. The vinyl backdrop is thick and durable, like a banner fabric, comes on a roll, and is recommended for professional studio work. They are usually plain, but there are several options with printed designs that are also very inexpensive. While most have a glossy sheen, some have a matte finish to eliminate glare and reflections.

The biggest advantage of vinyl backdrops is that they are washable (usually with a damp sponge) and reusable, resulting in lower costs. The vinyl background is one of the easiest to clean when dirt spots start to appear from shoes, food, or pets. Simply rinse the dirty area with a sponge and wipe with a clean rag.


Fabric background

Unlike paper, fabric backdrops are reusable. If it gets dirty, just clean it. Depending on the material, it can either be washed or dry-cleaned. Another undeniable advantage is that they can cover objects — it does not have to hang on the holder.

The muslin backdrop is 100% cotton offering a very tight weave for long-lasting durability. It is lighter than vinyl or paper, making it perfect for outside shooting.

Photographers also appreciate the rich color gamut. The assortment includes a fabric background with stains, various colors, and shades, there are even plot, patterned, floral, abstract, picturesque, and festive themed styles. Some fabric backgrounds include subtle patterns that provide an interesting yet neutral coloration that does not compete with the main subject. A darker fabric background can be used for low light, while a lighter, well-lit background can create a completely different buoyant mood. Each model has a fold on one side to pass a fastening bar through it.



Chromakey is usually green or blue, similar to the green screens used in movie shooting. It allows you to edit a photo and insert objects and decorations in post-processing that are not available in the studio. One of the benefits of using chromakey is that it can shorten shooting times by eliminating the need to go from one background to another. This view allows you to work freely without thinking about which background is best for the image, as this can be taken care of later in the post-processing stage. On the other hand, chromakey is complicated in a technical aspect. If you are going to use it, make sure the model is not wearing the same color, otherwise, the computer will recognize it as part of the background.

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