Photography is a fun and rewarding way to share what you create. But there’s more thought that goes into taking a great food or product photo than meets the eye. From lighting to photo backdrops, there are plenty of small (but important) decisions that go into your final image.
If you’re feeling out of your depth when it comes to your background, don’t worry. Our quick guide on choosing the best size backdrop for your photography will help you on your way to achieving photographic perfection.
Best Size Backdrop For Photography
When you’re starting your photography journey, one of the most important steps to getting a gorgeous shot is knowing how to choose the right backdrop.
But before you decide on the size of your backdrop, there are a few factors to consider, like how much space you have available, the size of your subject, the portability of your backdrop, and how you need to style your backdrop depending on its size.
Consider Your Available Space
The first thing you need to think about when choosing your backdrop is the amount of open space you have. While this may not be a concern if you have your own studio, most amateur photographers and small business owners don’t have a dedicated studio to shoot their photos.
The amount of space you have determines what size backdrop you can use. Remember, even if you have the best lighting and photography backdrop kits, your equipment won’t mean much if you don’t have anywhere to set it up or store it. Remember, large backdrops need to be stored between uses, which can be hard if you opt for large backdrops that don't fit into closets.
So, before you invest in an 8-foot tall backdrop, assess the space you have and use that as your starting point.
Consider Your Subject
When it comes to photography, your subject will always influence your chosen backdrop.
While there are always considerations like choosing the best material for backdrop photography, choosing what color backdrop is best, or even learning how to get your white background perfect, you won’t get very far without first analyzing the overall size of your subject.
For example, when you’re trying to shoot portrait photography, your subjects will differ in size depending on your model’s height and age. For children, you need a backdrop of at least 4 feet wide and 5 feet high, while an adult needs a backdrop at least 5 feet wide and 7 feet high.
It’s also important to note that full-body portraits usually require the use of a floordrop as well.
For smaller subjects, like e-commerce products and food, you have a lot more control over your backdrop. Depending on the size of your product, you don’t need a full studio-type setup to get great pictures of your subject. In fact, you can use a backdrop as small as 1.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet high when shooting small objects like jewelry.
At 23 x 23 inches, Replica Surfaces are the perfect size for most of your photography needs, and by picking a neutral surface like the All-White or White Marble background, your backdrop will work for almost any photoshoot. You can even use them as a backdrop for clothing photography by folding the clothes in unique and interesting ways (like we did here) instead of sprawled out over your background.
The possibilities are endless when using Replica surfaces - the only limit is your imagination.
If your subject doesn’t fit perfectly within the dimensions of your Replica Surface, you can use more than one Surface next to each other. Just cover the seam with props or edit it out during post-production.
You can also get extra space by creating a "corner effect" using two Surfaces and the mobile Replica Studio. The two upright Surfaces create the corner and the base Surface looks like a floor or countertop. This photo shows a corner effect created with White Marble and Slate Surfaces.
Unless you have a dedicated studio space and setup, the portability of your backdrop is important. After all, you don’t want to lug around a massive 4 foot background every time you want to set your equipment up for a shoot.
Transporting heavy canvas backdrops can also cause damage to your background or leave dirt and stains on the material. So, if you’re shooting smaller subjects, it may be in your best interest to invest in a backdrop that you can transport to your desired location safely and easily.
Replica Surfaces are lightweight and can be purchased with an additional Carrying Case to ensure that your backdrops are always in tip-top shape, whether they’re being stored or being used every day. Their size also means that you can fit them into any car without hassle, and easily store them at home.
Consider Styling Your Backdrop
Whether you’re just starting out in the world of photography or you’re a seasoned professional, you probably already know the importance of "dressing" your background, which is usually called "styling."
Adding props, choosing the right surface for photography, and adding the finishing touches to your background can be time-consuming. Of course, the bigger your backdrop is, the more props and styling considerations you have to make.
If you choose a bigger backdrop, you first need to think about having enough props to style your background as well. Smaller backgrounds need fewer props and styling experience to fill the overall space of the background, and Replica Surfaces come in enough varied textures and patterns that sometimes you may want to skip the styling altogether.
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider reading:
- Control the Background in Photography
- How To Get Good Lighting For Product Photos
- What's The Best Backdrop Material For Photography
- How To Light A White Background Photography
- How To Use Umbrella Lights For Product Photography
- Photo Compositions to Know
- Natural Lighting
- Depth Perfection
- Light + Airy Photography
- Dark + Moody Photography
- Food Styling
- Product + Flat Lay Styling
- Clothing Photography
- Drink Photography: The Splash Technique
- Your Ultimate Photo Resource