How to Set Up Backdrops for Family Photos

Family portraits help to preserve a moment in time or a family memory. If the family are happy with your work, they will likely come back to you for repeat business. For this reason, you must make sure that you get every element of your photograph session right, including the backdrop. This piece can make or break how a family looks in the photograph. Do not take this setup lightly. Here is as step by step guide on how to setup the backdrop for your family photos.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

  • Mop or broom
  • Cleaning solution
  • Backdrop or sheet (plain material)
  • Props

Step 1 - Prepare the Studio

First, prepare the studio. Remove anything that has been used by another photo shoot and put it away. Thoroughly clean the floor and lay down a clean drop cloth. A photographer should always maintain a highly clean and sanitary location for any type of photo shoot.

Step 2 -  Choose the Backdrop

A plain, solid colored backdrop is usually the best option for a portrait. Never choose anything busy or with wild colors and designs. You want to focus more on the subjects than you do on the backdrop. Anything that has different colors will have the opposite effect. Mount your backdrop onto your wall. You can use anything from a professional digital backdrop to solid color sheets.

Step 3 -  Remove Wrinkles

If you are using a fabric for your backdrop, you need to remove the wrinkles first to prevent shadows (unless you want them there). Use a steam iron to remove wrinkles. Set up your backdrop and allow it to hang and straighten for several hours before the portrait shoot.

Step 4 - Add Props

If you want to have some additional elements in your photographs, you can add props. For example, if you are taking photographs that represent a Christmas theme, then you may want to set up wrapped gifts, holly or fake snow. When using props, however, make sure not to   use things that will detract from your subjects. The subjects must always remain as the center of attention.

Step 5 - Test

Before your clients arrive, test out the back drop. Take a few test photos and see how the light reflects. Look for any shadows or distortions and remove either of them before you begin your formal portrait studio family photo shoot. By taking the extra time to prepare, you will end up with great photographs.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: