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Photos Courtesy of Emily Voss

A few weeks ago I received two of Savage Universal’s 5’ x 7’ Painted Canvas Backdrops. I was excited to unwrap the Midnight and Ash canvas drops! I have a wide variety of painted canvases but these are my first from Savage. Upon opening the packaging I was impressed to see the canvases had been wrapped with plastic against the painted surface for protection. Unlike other canvases I have received these were mounted to an aluminum core for easy hanging, additionally a wood trim is attached at the bottom of the canvas to hold it straight. In order to disguise the trim and give it a more finished look I clipped a piece of wooden baseboard to the bottom of the canvas.

Ash Painted Canvas

I photographed my first model on the Ash Canvas Backdrop. I was surprised to see some pink and purple undertones in the grey but was happy with how they complimented the models skin tones.

It is a subtle backdrop that could be used for a wide variety of subjects. In this case my model was a senior in high school but I foresee using this backdrop for corporate work, fashion images or even newborns. If you are looking to photograph more than headshots or ¾ length shots I would recommend purchasing the 8’ x 12’ backdrop.


When shooting these images I did not utilize a background light but opted to instead use a hair light to separate the model from the backdrop. One could apply a light to the backdrop to lighten it further or simply ask the model to step forward to darken the backdrop for a more dramatic image.

Midnight Canvas Backdrop

I photographed my second model on the Midnight Canvas Backdrop. It is a very rich blue that really brings out my model’s green eyes and draws the attention straight to her face. This is particularly ideal for headshot photography where you want the viewer to be focused directly on the subject.

Savage Universal's Midnight Painted Canvas

In the past I have tended to stay away from blue canvases, as I fear them turning into images that look like something out of a church catalog. This backdrop is a rich and beautiful color that would compliment any subject. I would use this backdrop for corporate headshots, senior portraits, newborns or fashion images.

The same rule of lighting the backdrop or allowing it to fall off into shadow applies to this backdrop. While photographing this particular model I created separation by lighting her hair instead of the backdrop.

Emily Voss

Emily Voss is a professional portrait photographer that stands apart based on her emphasis on clean lighting and strong use of color. She is the owner and sole photographer of VOSStudios, a state of the art portrait studio in downtown Wausau, WI where it is in its fourth year of business. Emily graduated from Luther College in 2013 with dual degrees in Fine Arts and Spanish. In 2012, she interned and photo assisted Annie Leibovitz in New York City resulting in a love of the city and passion for lighting. While her home base is in the Midwest, she makes trips back to New York to work with actors, dancers and models. Back home in Wisconsin, Emily specializes in high-end senior portraits and corporate headshots but has branched out to include newborns and pet portraits as well. She has been published in a variety of online and print sources such as Photo Vogue, Photographers Forum, Compliance Today, Boutique Design magazine, and the NCAA Champion Magazine. Check out her website here. Learn More