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Setting up a studio - help with backdrops and flooring

danieltink Avatar
5 Mar 2019 10:51AM

Am about to set up a new studio and want to take photos of children (toddler upwards). The photos will have a vintage theme to them.

I'm completely new to this area and am a bit baffled by all the different types of backdrop material and what to use for flooring. I have a vague idea of a hanging system, which I am planning on wall mounting. I have wall space of about 12foot.

I'm on a small budget, so first thoughts is to use vinyl flooring (dark wood effect) on a large sheet from my local diy store for the kids to sit/lay/stand on for their pictures. The vinyl will lay on a tiled floor, so no carpet underneath. First question - am I likely to see any glare on the floor? I am planning on using natural light from the right and a softbox on the left, angled towards the kids faces.

For the backdrop, I think I have ruled out seamless paper, so its either a fabric or vinyl type. I want a simple backdrop with a perhaps a slight texture effect, vintage style. Am thinking a light coloured one for some shots, eg grey/cream and then a darker one to provide a mixture of shots. Should I go for two really wide backdrops on some form of wall mounted system, or two backdrops next to each other? (the vinyl flooring - if suitable will run right across the 12 foot space) Which material is best? From looking at fabric ones it seems you have to attach grips on the sides to get remove any wrinkles, which seems like a pain and difficult to do if my backdrops are going to be wall mounted. I intend to leave the backdrops hung all the while. And can you recommend any suppliers?

Sorry for all the questions! - any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you
Philh04 Avatar
Philh04 18 2.3k United Kingdom
5 Mar 2019 5:07PM
Hi and welcome...

Quote:Am about to set up a new studio and want to take photos of children


Quote: First question - am I likely to see any glare on the floor?

Angle of incidence = Angle of reflectance.

Quote:I am planning on using natural light from the right and a softbox on the left, angled towards the kids faces.

Hmmm, which are you planning to be the key light?

As for backdrops a simple grey can be lit to be any shade, tone or colour.
JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2019 8:10AM
Glare will depend on the angle and brightness as well as whether it's direct sunlight or cloudy. North facing windows help.
Also this only means daylight shooting hours.

Printed cloth Back drops are quite good from eBay for smaller subjects like children. Hanging back drops is a little fiddly. I try to use the wall it's self as backdrop tripods just lose working space.

If you have an example image of the setup to share then post it to give us an idea of the style you are aiming at.

Good luck.
danieltink Avatar
6 Mar 2019 10:44AM
Thanks for your replies.

I dont have a photo at the moment as the studio space is still occupied by the previous tentant. Essentially my 12foot wall has a 10ft window to the right of it at 90 degrees. This window faces East. Although i said 12foot of wall space I dont want to use all of this space as it's only for kids so I will probably use 6foot of this space at the end furthest away from the window. On the left side of the setup will be my softbox pointed and level with the kids face at probably 45 degrees angle.

Somebody recommended to me poly fabric floordrops, but I am concerned they will move about too much with the kids moving around and cause ripples on the floor. of course I could tape the edge i suppose.

I keep coming back to using laminate flooring or vinyl sheet flooring, but it's difficult to know if these will cause any form of glaring on the floor, i don't mind a little bit. Or I have also seen rubber floor mats with have the wood effect printed on to them. It's so hard to know what will work and i don't want to waste money.

Tianshi_angie Avatar
6 Mar 2019 11:17AM
I am no expert at all but personally I would have thought that a wood floor effect (or anything so defined) would limit you in scope. Matte grey flooring and matte grey walls would I feel lend themselves more to alternatives. At later stages far more adaptable to anything you might want to do and who knows where your imagination may lead in the future. (Or where your clients might wish to travel ?Outer space!)


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