Disclosure: This affordable backdrop post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
Affordable Backdrop Options – why?
I’m going to tell you a secret…. I take all of my photos in the basement! Not having a designated staging area does not mean that you need to sacrifice your photos. I’ve put together a round-up of sorts of different affordable backdrop options that I’ve used to creatively stage photos. Keep in mind you never want your backdrop to overpower your piece, which should be your main focus.
One of the easiest and most affordable backdrop options are simple solid curtains. I have a selection of a few different colored curtains specifically for staging depending on the color of the piece I am photographing.
- Solid white curtains are almost always a great choice, especially when photographing a dark colored piece. These simple white curtains can be found here.
- Another color option, especially when photographing something light in color is a dark gray curtain. A white background would wash out the light gray of the piece where the charcoal makes the piece the focus. These solid charcoal gray curtain can be found here.
- Next, I’ve learned that when photographing a piece that is any shade of white it’s often a safe bet to go with a taupe or beige colored curtain. These taupe/beige curtains can be found here.
- On occasion, I’ve come across a piece that hasn’t worked well with any of these. When I have a piece finished in a vanilla the gray makes it look white and the white makes it look yellow. So drastic times call for drastic measures and I’ve gone with a teal blue backdrop. Surprisingly the teal seemed to work, and can be found here.
All of these curtains are being held up be a backdrop support stand, which can be found here. I often thread the grommets of the curtains right through the pole or use spring clamps, which can be found here.
Hand Made Fabric Ribbon Rag Back Drop
Another option would be a handmade fabric ribbon rag backdrop. I admit that I made mine with good intentions of using it, but it’s quite heavy, and I haven’t found a piece that would work well with it. Perhaps a solid white, shabby style piece may work, so I hold onto mine in case I may need it in the future. The tutorial on how to make one for yourself can be found here.
One other option that I have used minimally due to size is my louvered room dividers. I have a pair that was handed down to me from family who no longer had a need for them. Another item that I wouldn’t suggest buying new, but if you come across them second hand they work well for smaller tables/items.
I couldn’t possibly do this post and not include my barn doors. I absolutely LOVE my barn doors, but to be honest finding them for an affordable price is very hit or miss. There are three barn doors in my shop that I use for staging backdrops and my first two I think I paid around $100 for the pair, which is fantastic. The third I paid much MUCH more. I’ve seen them run up towards $500, which does not fall into the affordable backdrop option category, but if you can find them for a cheap price then I suggest snatching them up!
Though vinyl photography backdrops may not be considered budget friendly, they are often high quality. Personally, I have found that when I tried to cut corners with a less expensive vinyl backdrop it turned out to not be vinyl, or it was vinyl but came in two pieces needing to be taped together (not fun) and the cheaper photography backdrops they have also been generally cheaper in quality. With that, I’ve researched and have invested in a few higher end backdrops (after learning my lesson the hard way with the cheap ones).
- My white brick wall vinyl backdrop was custom made to the size I wanted from a shop on Etsy. You can find the shop here.
- My most recent vinyl backdrop purchase was also from Etsy. I ordered a gray backdrop which gives a soft neutral background. This backdrop can be found here.
- My white wood fence backdrop was also from Etsy. I ordered a 6’x 6′ and can only use this for smaller width projects. The shop can be found here.
I hope these little tidbits are helpful. Stay creative my friends!