I recently relocated to New York City. I moved all of my stuff from my studio into my parent’s garage and took as much as I could fit into a suitcase and headed on up to NYC to start my life as a New York City Fashion Photographer at the end of last year. One thing I wasn’t able to bring was my beautiful collection of seamless backdrops. I was so sad, but I knew I had to get creative for all of the shoots I was doing. Luckily I was able to get my hands on a few of Savage’s Collapsible Backdrops which have become a saving grace for me. I have the Dark/Light Gray Collapsible, Light Blue/White Collapsible and Monsoon Collapsible versions.
Shooting in Small Spaces
These are perfect for shooting in small spaces or if you’re traveling, which is exactly what these were made for. If you are just taking headshots, the collapsibles are a really nice option for a quick setup and strike, which is perfect for someone who’s sharing/renting a studio space or likes to quickly change backdrops in between shoots. I use these for headshots and a lot of fashion & beauty shoots. I can usually get about 1/2 body shots in no problem, for 3/4 body, I usually extend the backdrop in Photoshop. I just use the liquify tool to take the edges of my collapsible to the frame. I had not had any success with shooting full length, head to toe.
Storing & Transporting
Once I got the hang of folding these up (just think of it like an oversized reflector, however there are folding instructions in the box, so read those!) they truly are so quick and easy to set up.
Reversible Sides Offer Two Backdrops in One
I love the color line because you have the option to use a colorful backdrop or a plain white backdrop with your set. That’s awesome when you’re shooting headshots. I also love that I can use the white side as a huge reflector.
My gray collapsible I also love and have gotten a ton of usage out of the dark gray side. I use it was a flag when I’m shooting and need to absorb a lot of light because these are larger than any of my 5-in-1 reflectors. These work as mobile alternatives to V-Flats, especially if you have them up on their stands.
Because these fold up, the fabric tends to get wrinkled, but a quick steam really helps to get those wrinkles out. If you’re using studio lighting, the wrinkles do show up and can be annoying to retouch out in Photoshop. Take a few minutes before your shoot to steam out any pesky wrinkles with a handheld steamer.
The lighter colors and the white can get dirty easily. I would suggest keeping the collapsibles in their case when they aren’t being used. If you have a stain, a little soap and water should clear it up. If the stain is super strong, maybe try a Tide pen, however you want to be careful you don’t use anything harsh that could bleed through or ruin the fabric dye.
The collapsible line is an awesome tool for any headshot or portrait photographer. Its size is perfect for storage and travel. They fold up a little larger than a reflector and aren’t too heavy so adding multiple collapsible backdrops to your photo gear won’t take up too much space or break your back!