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Photos Courtesy of Emily Voss

I recently received some 5’x7’ Printed Vinyl Backdrops from Savage Universal including the Blurred Street Lights and Blue and Orange Rust Backdrops. I have never utilized a vinyl backdrop previously so I was eager to give it a whirl and determine the pros and cons of the material! Upon unrolling the two drops I was impressed by the vibrancy of the color and found the material to be thicker and seemingly more durable than I had envisioned. Upon hanging the drops I did notice there was a white strip left on each edge of the vinyl. This would not be a problem on three of the four sides but I immediately cut off the strip on the bottom to allow for a more seamless transition to the floor.

Blurred Street Lights Printed Vinyl Backdrop

I began by photographing my first model on the Blurred Street Lights Printed Vinyl Backdrop. My model is a senior in high school and I thought the streetlights would be a fun, urban look for her. Upon seeing the backdrop she too was excited because of the colors and unique look of the drop.

Savage Universal Blurred Street Lights Printed Vinyl

Savage Universal Blurred Street Lights Printed Vinyl
For this particular backdrop I chose to place my subject a bit further from the backdrop in order to soften it further and make it feel more realistic. I did not light the drop but rather my subject’s hair to create separation. With having her stand a few feet in front of the backdrop it was a bit difficult to shoot full body images, as the result is a narrow image that would not be conducive to typical print ratios. The background could be expanded in Photoshop or the subject moved closer to the backdrop if it was necessary to capture full body images.

Generally with this size of drop I tend to stick with ¾ length images and headshots. I also realized I do not have a floor that matches the backdrop well. It would be recommendable to have a concrete textured floor or solid grey or black floor if you plan to see the floor in the final images.

Blue and Orange Rust Printed Vinyl Backdrop

I photographed my second model on the Blue and Orange Rust Printed Vinyl Backdrop. This model is also a senior in high school and I find that most teens and high school students love rustic textures.  With having a model with light eyes I knew this drop would compliment her really well. I am a big fan of unidentifiable but textured backdrops as I feel they really maintain the focus on the subject so I immediately loved the way this backdrop looked on the back of the camera.

savage blue orange rust printed vinyl backdrop

I photographed a few headshots with her placed farther in front of the backdrop and a few ¾ length images with her closer to the drop in order to see additional texture. Again the size can be an issue if you are looking for primarily full body shots but this backdrop would be even easier to extend in Photoshop as necessary. Furthermore I find the majority of my clients lean more towards ¾ length and tight shots so I tend to really limit the amount of full body images I shoot.

Savage Universal Blue and Orange Rust Printed Vinyl

I did notice with this backdrop a bit of glare unlike the previous vinyl backdrop. I often utilize clamshell lighting for headshots but found this threw too much light onto the backdrop and created shine. As long as I kept the main and key lights angled in from the side so as not to create fall off on the backdrop I was able to keep the glare down. I would recommend this backdrop for children, teens and high school students!  It has great rich color and a unique texture that really compliments the subject.

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