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Blog by Eric Reichbaum

There are countless different photo backdrops you can use when taking photos, and if you’re like me you’ve tried them all. I used to use bed sheets, brick walls, apartment walls, basically anything I could find that would make a suitable background.

Then, one day I got a photo studio, with high ceilings, auto-poles and three different colors of paper backdrops. I never used a bed sheet again! Not that bed sheets make bad backgrounds, but seamless paper has many advantages that you can’t get using any other type of photo backdrop.

There are countless reasons for using a paper background, but for now, let’s check out 5:

1. Disposable

At first you might think this is a con and not a pro, since you have to replace the paper if it gets dirty or rips, or wrinkles, but believe me, it’s a pro. First of all, seamless paper isn’t terribly expensive to begin with. For example, you can buy a 53″ x 36′ roll of photo background paper for around $30. Even if that only lasted you for 3 shoots, that’s a great deal, and if you’re careful you can make it last much longer than that.

sienna seamless paper backgroundPhoto by Ryan Walsh, Featuring Sienna Seamless Paper

So what makes background paper being disposable a pro and not a con? If you’re billing clients correctly, you can add the price of the paper into your invoice for the shoot. It’s harder to justify a fee for something more permanent like a muslin backdrop, or a cyclorama.

2. Infinity Sweep

If you need to take a photo of a person or a product on a completely white (or black or blue…) background, there is nothing that compares to seamless paper, except a cyc, which has its downsides as well, but that’s another post.

Let’s say you need to take a photo of a model for a website, and she has to be on a completely white background, with no shadows. With your paper background rolled out onto the floor you have essentially made an infinity sweep, that, when lit properly, will give the appearance of a shadow-less environment. This is nearly impossible to do when shooting on a wall, as the floor is almost always a different color.

See more: Pros and Cons of Seamless Paper

3. Colors

Painting your walls or cyc is time consuming and buying new muslin backdrops each time you need a new color is much more expensive than loading your studio up with a decent array of colors.

One important thing to remember is that if you buy a white paper background you now have a white, gray and black background, depending on how far your subject and lighting is from the photo background.Likewise, if you have a medium toned Country Blue Seamless Paper you also have a light baby blue background and a dark blue one as well!

See more: The Psychology of Color: Creating a Mood with Your Backdrop

deep yellow seamless paper Photo by Ryan Walsh, Featuring Deep Yellow Seamless Paper

 4. Fast and Easy

Let’s say you’re shooting a model at your studio, and she brought three outfits; a black dress, a white dress and an orange bathing suit.  Most likely you won’t want to shoot her in all three outfits on the same color background right? If you have a Multiple Polevault Backdrop Stand you can simply roll up one background and roll down your next color. Changing rolls on whichever type of stand you use is fast and easy. The last thing you want is to lose momentum and make your subject bored waiting for you!

5. Less Time Post Processing

Time is money, so if you can save time, you can save money! Back in the days when I would shoot against a wall, there would inevitably be an electrical outlet, or an air conditioning duct that would need to be removed later in post. Simple solution? Cover it up with paper! Spend less time sitting at your computer removing wrinkles or imperfections in your background, and concentrate on the things you need to concentrate on to improve your photos and your business.

When you boil it down, shooting on a paper photo background has many benefits and almost no cons. So if you haven’t tried shooting on seamless paper, what are you waiting for?

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