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Magazine Article

  


Back in Black (and Green and Red and ...)
Backdrops and props in all sizes, shapes, and colors


Adorama
www.adorama.com
Adorama has introduced a full line of Belle Drape Muslin Backgrounds. More than 80 different styles are available in 10x12-ft. and 10x24-ft. sizes. Offered in a range of 16 solid colors, the Belle Drape line also includes Pastels, Splatters, 3-D types, and Old Masters series, which are hand-painted by background artists. All Belle Drape Muslin Backgrounds are lightweight, easy to carry, and feature a 4-inch hemmed loop with heavy-duty stitching for hanging on a crossbar.

"Having to shoot some portraits for my new book Digital Portrait Photography: Art, Business, and Style, I turned to Adorama's Belle Drape line of painted muslins. My favorite versions have a backlight effect painted right onto them. What a time-saver! There are also versions with graphic designs that add a modern touch to the traditional painted backdrop look. The Belle Drape line offers a wonderland of backdrops that are inexpensive and beautiful."
--Steve Sint

American Photographic Resources
www.aprprops.com
The Soft Spin Fabric Background is now available in a new size. American Photographic Resources has added a 9-ft.-wide by 90-ft.-long size to its line of backgrounds. This seamless, washable backdrop eliminates wrinkles when hanging. The Soft Spin is washable and dryable and comes in six colors and three sizes.

"We have a very small home studio, and space is always an issue. That's why we love our Soft Spin fabric backgrounds and material. Soft Spin comes in so many fabulous colors and lengths and stores so easily. We can quickly and efficiently change the look of the background without a lot of downtime. I also love to use the fabric for draping and wrapping of my maternity clients. It gives a beautiful illusion and matches the background perfectly."
--Mary Fisk-Taylor, www.jhayes.com

Artistic Backgrounds
www.artisticbackgrounds.com
Artistic Backgrounds provides hand-painted backdrops for any occasion, from Old Masters to abstract designs. The company also accepts custom orders, with all styles available in both muslin and canvas. All backgrounds are hand painted by artists.

"Gail's photography backgrounds are great! She has such an eye for color harmony and composition and paints a large variety of designs. I'm constantly amazed at the new ideas she comes out with. My clients really appreciate the diversity I can offer because of Artistic Backgrounds."
--Kathy Wierda, www.kwierdastudio.com/

Back to Back Design Works
www.b2bdw.com
Back to Back Design Works designs and manufactures designer studio sets, props, and backgrounds. All sets are double-sided and modular, designed with pro photographers in mind, and made in the USA.

 "The new 2009 Boutique set from Back to Back Design Works is fabulous!. This compact dream-world creates an old-world Tuscan look and feel. If you work with mothers and children like I do, this new set is a must-have! We just finished a three-day ‘Tuscan Courtyard Special' using the Boutique set. The Boutique set translates so well to our art line that we sold more large art prints than with any special we've ever done!"
--Lisa Jane Murphey, www.lisajane.com

Backdrop Outlet
www.backdropoutlet.com
Backdrop Outlet introduces a new series of scenic muslins called Rembrandt Scenics. These rich, warm backgrounds are hand-painted for an old-master feel. The top half is painted with the scene and is intended to be used as background; the bottom half uses the same blended colors and is meant for use as the foreground. A sewn-rod pocket and carrying bag are included.

"Having a few muslin backgrounds and some useful props are as much a necessity as your lights and camera when shooting professional images. I personally use about a dozen different backgrounds and use some of the benches they sell. The benches give you the opportunity to put your subject into different poses rather than just standing. I use both indoor and outdoor scenics, along with some graphic-pattern backgrounds, to make all my photography exciting and different."
--Art Ketchum, www.artketchum.com

Backdrops Fantastic
www.backdropsfantastic.com
Backdrops Fantastic stocks more than 1,000 hand-painted, themed backdrops designed to bring beauty and style to any event in any size venue. The Sectional Backdrops add flexibility, as they can be easily adjusted to fit various venue heights. In addition to the rental stock, custom designs are also available.

Backgrounds by Cole
www.coleandcompany.com
Backgrounds by Cole, which has been serving the professional photography industry since 1991, creates beautiful scenic and cloudscape backgrounds. A generous selection of draping material is available as well. 

"I simply love all of my backgrounds from Backgrounds by Cole. Since they're continually coming up with new designs, I am able to stay trendy and current, which is so important when specializing in the senior portrait industry. Every time I bring out a new background from Backgrounds by Cole, my seniors say ‘Wow, that's awesome!'"
--Beth Forester, www.foresterphoto.com

Backgrounds by Maheu
www.backgroundsbymaheu.com
The Tiffany background is just one of several new scenics that Backgrounds by Maheu has designed for the portrait photographer. The fine-art style of background gives the photographer a unique artistic style to market and is designed with several areas of interest to show many looks on one design. The company also has a new line of contemporary senior backgrounds and classic traditional styles.

"David and Julie Maheu continue to design some of the most unique backgrounds in the industry. Their scenic designs give our portraits the look of a fine-art painting, which sets us apart from the rest."
--Dave Junion, www.junion.com

Backyard Pool Products
www.backyardpoolproducts.com
The classic Graeco-Roman-style colonnade arch system stands a mere 72 inches high and includes four 72-inch columns with Scamozzi capital tops; two quarter-circle colonnade tops; two quarter-circle colonnade bases; and the center arch. The entire set fits neatly in a van or large SUV and sets up in minutes by one person with no tools. All of the components are lightweight, durable, and weather resistant. The short colonnade arch system is available in white and a variety of colors and stone effects.

Barnes Portrait Clothing
www.barnesportraitclothing.com
Mermaid Serenity is one of the brand-new designs from Barnes Portrait Clothing. The outfit includes an adjustable top, a long finlike skirt with a tutu overlay, and an embellished halo. Mermaid Serenity is available in two sizes: Infant and Medium (2 years to approximately 7 years).

"Since we've started using their portrait clothing, our business has grown tremendously. Father Christmas is such a big event; we've ordered our fourth Father Christmas outfit, and our clients love them all. Our Dickens outfits are just the best. Clients were begging us not to take down our background so they could get their children in before the deadline. We've had great success with other outfits as well, including Baseball, Tiny Dancer, Beach, and the outfits we use for our baby plan."
--Mike and Pam Sanders, www.visionsphotography.com

Boss Backdrops
www.Bossbackdrops.com,
www.wrinklefreebackdrops.com
All BOSS backdrops are made from 100 percent polyester material. The wrinkle-free backdrops are washable, dryer-safe, lightweight, diffused, and easy to carry and store. They're available in Spray, Tie N Dye, Plain (Solid), Scenic, Hand Painted, and Chroma Key. A free carrying case is included with purchase.

"As the owner of a small studio specializing in fine portraiture, I need my client to be the focus of the image. My BOSS backdrops support my subjects, not detract from them. BOSS backdrops are wrinkle-free, nontransparent, easy to store, and, most important, out of focus. As a result, I spend less time in front of my computer and more time behind my camera creating my images."
--David Charles Gosse

 

Custom Scenic
www.customscenic.com
Custom Scenic specializes in prop and production rentals, backdrops, and set fabrication. Quality services and rentals include custom hand-painted backdrops, unique props, and themed party decor.

"Thank you so much, Custom Scenic, for always having such beautiful backgrounds available, and at such short notice!"
--Michelle Lashway, www.dewaltstudio.com

Denny Manufacturing
www.dennymfg.com
Denny Manufacturing Company introduced Freedom Cloth, the first wrinkle-resistant muslin-like backdrop. This new material is machine-washable, color-fast and vibrant, dryer-safe, and durable. Freedom Cloth and Super Cloth backdrops are exclusively available at Denny Manufacturing. Free Freedom Cloth samples are available upon request.

"I use a lot of different backgrounds and props in the sets from Denny Manufacturing when I shoot for licensing, clients, and studio specials. Denny provides an amazing selection of high-quality backgrounds and realistic props that inspire me and make it easy to be creative in my set designs. The personal service and variety of merchandise available from Denny has been instrumental in increasing my business and licensing products."
--Lisa Jane Murphey, www.lisajane.com

Dreamworld Backdrops
www.dreamworldbackdrops.com
DreamWorld Backdrops are painted on a lightweight fabric, and the paint resists cracking and peeling. The backdrops are painted by hand. Custom digital designs are also available, and DreamWorld Backdrops ships door-to-door nationwide.

Ferro Photo Props
www.ferrophotoprops.com
Ferro Photo Props supplies affordable children's portrait clothing, furniture, and tapestry backgrounds. They also offer a selection of books and CDs/DVDs by Rick and Deborah Ferro.

"I've purchased many items from Rick and Deborah. The quality and detail of their clothing reflects in my finished portraits. They have such a wide variety of children's themes to choose from at a reasonable price."
--Sandra Pearce, http://sandrapearcephotography.net

F.J. Westcott
www.fjwestcott.com
Westcott now offers six more color options with reversible sides in the 6x7 Illuminator Collapsible Backgrounds. These reversible backgrounds are ideal for individual or small-group portraits and are perfect for the imagemaker on the go or in the studio. The six color options include Smokey Grey with Midnight Blue; Autumn Red with Pearl; Storm Clouds with Heather; Bracken Brown with April Showers; Rich Mocha with Heavenly Blue; and Black and White. The backgrounds are portable, collapse to a third of their open size, and fit into a carrying bag.

Foamway.com
www.foamway.com
Foamway.com offers the Quinceañera Rose (for the special "sweet 15" Spanish celebration). Foamway.com also offers custom photographic products.

Knowledge Backgrounds
www.knowledgebackgrounds.com
Knowledge Backgrounds has been producing hand-painted backgrounds for more than 10 years. The company's new mix-and-match backgrounds (in select styles) allows the photographer to choose two different designs that can be incorporated into one unique background.

I just received three backdrops from Knowledge Backgrounds; they were custom and were a little off from what I wanted. They did all three over,
no questions asked. They've always been fantastic to deal with. The backgrounds were for a dance school I've been photographing for 10 years; the owner was absolutely ecstatic over the look of the pictures, much of which was due to the backgrounds."
--Danny Izzo, www.onlineprintit.com/StudioIntro.aspx?StudioID=18240

Lastolite
www.lastolite.com
The HiLite background's range allows the photographer to work in a way that was extremely difficult to achieve in the past. By rear lighting the white background itself, there's no longer a need to use a background light. Because the background is actually illuminated, the subject can stand in front of it without casting a shadow. A HiLite background also works as a large rear softbox. The entire unit is collapsible.
 Lastolite also introduced two backgrounds: a pop-open Black Velvet background that's terrific for dramatic shots, and a line of Knitted Backgrounds that can be hung for half an hour to get the wrinkles out. The background can be stretched using the four included clip clamps as well. 

"Whether I'm shooting rock stars, models, black-tie events, or night-club events, the HiLite has made my life much easier and has become the ‘look' I'm known for. I've lit my HiLite with everything from studio strobes to a single Nikon SB-800 flash inside. And it only takes minutes to break down."
--Rockstar Photographer Tré, www.photographictendencies.com

Madcamp Backgrounds
www.madcamp.biz
Madcamp backgrounds are unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted pieces of art created on canvas, muslin, studio walls and floors, stretched canvas, or any other medium. Owners Todd Rigione and Judi Looyenga are also the artists who attend trade shows to establish relationships with photographers across the country.

"These backgrounds rock! I think that their designs and colors blow all their competition away. I can't wait to see how much money this great background will generate for the class of 2009."
--Robert Williams, www.tallmadgephotography.com

New Creation Photo Supply
www.newcreationphoto.com
The new Tea Cup and Ovals props are made of a polystyrene material and covered with a durable resin coating. They can be painted the colors of your choice. The Tea Cup set comes with a set of three sugar cubes and is great for portraits of toddlers to about 4 years old. The Ovals come in three sizes for toddlers to teens and can be ordered individually or together.

Ontrax
www.ontrax.com
The simple Ontrax track system allows a photographer to change a muslin background in less than 15 seconds. Based on the track that surrounds a hospital bed for the privacy curtain, the Ontrax System holds several muslins ready for instant use. As one muslin is in place behind a subject, several others are hanging on the track, ready to be moved in seconds. Ed and Diane Burns developed the system after struggling with muslin backgrounds in their studio. They had a pile of muslins stacked in a corner that were not used regularly; it just took too much time to change a background. The system is now in use by photographers around the world.

Peters Photography
www.petersphotography.com
Peters Photography's hottest new prop is the Dreamlight. This prop uses six AV slave lights and six standard household bulbs and adds simple color gels over the lights to create a versatile rock-star appearance. The unit is also reversible for a ringlight effect.

Photoflex
www.photoflex.com
The Photoflex ProDuty BackDrop Support Kit includes a BackDrop Pole, two LiteStands, and a carry bag. The BackDrop Pole is a single unit with telescoping sections. A twist-and-pull motion extends, and another twist locks in place. The Pole is 4'7" collapsed and extends to 12'6". Each LiteStand extends to 12' high.

"Backdrops are essential to photography and create the feel of your imagery regardless of location. The ProDuty Support Kit from Photoflex sets up in minutes and makes travel easy. I can't live without my backdrop support from Photoflex; it's like having a cyclorama or cove at your disposal."
--Fernando Escovar, www.nohostudios.com

Pro Cyc
www.procyc.com/mystudio
MyStudio is designed for use by both the amateur and pro photographer. Each MyStudio Complete Tabletop Photo Studio comes with a seamless white Pro Cyc cyclorama background and a continuous 5000K color corrected lighting system. The results are beautiful product photos that don't require image editing.

"Time savings and repeatability of photos is incredible. I was a bit of a skeptic at first, but not for long. This photo is the first one I ever took in MyStudio. I was instantly hooked and have been using it for just about all of my small product photography."
--David Krapes, davepix@teleport.com

Pro Studio Supply
www.prostudiousa.com
Pro Studio Supply has a painter on staff for all its hand-painted backdrops. The new brown backdrop was based on an oil painting–inspired old-master-style color blend with a border, split diagonally to help separate the subject (it can be lit from either side to change the mood). The Skull is something very different for the younger crowd: The skull-and-crossbones pattern was designed in a comic book–style with a choice of colors for the background and placement of two skulls.

"Pro Studio Supply has been my supplier for more than 15 years. Mark brought me a few backdrops to use in my children and portraiture business. The unique diagonal pattern made me play with my lighting to see which I liked best from subject to subject. The Skull will definitely appeal to my skateboarder kids."
--Richard Bublitz, www.richardbublitz.com

Probackdrops
www.probackdrops.com
ProBackdrops offers a new line of European Backgrounds to offer customers a high-quality choice without having to drag several backgrounds to the event. ProBackdrops is a one-stop shop for digital backgrounds and green-screen photography equipment, with a wide range of high-resolution digital backgrounds for any occasion.

"I've been using ProBackdrops Digital backgrounds for my photography events for the past two years, and I absolutely love them. They're easy to use, very high-resolution, and the best images I've found out there. It's so much easier than taking several backgrounds with me to events. I just put up the green-screen background, light it evenly, and shoot."
--Annie Trebolt

Savage
www.savagepaper.com
Savage introduces the new Infinity Background Line, six hand-painted and white canvas backgrounds that simulate the rich look of muslin and portrait white vinyl. Both the canvas and vinyl seamless backgrounds are perfect for all portrait and commercial work. Made from the highest-quality material for the most professional, durable backgrounds on the market today, Infinity Backgrounds have a matte finish, are easy to clean and reusable, and work on most background support systems.

Stilfondo Backgrounds
www.stilfondo.com
Stilfondo Backgrounds are handcrafted of top-quality canvas and muslin as original pieces of art. Located in Spain, Stilfondo Backgrounds, available in a variety of impressionistic and scenic backgrounds, are available in the U.S. through American Photographic Resources.

"When I first saw Stilfondo Backgrounds online, I knew they‘d be perfect for my shoot. When I received them, they were just like I visualized, with richness in color and detail."
--Kathryn LeBoye, www.studio656photography.com

Studio Dynamics
www.studiodynamics.com
The Tuscan Floral Scenic from Studio Dynamics helps the photographer capture old-world elegance. Dark, understated tones are used in the creation of this hand-painted background, available in canvas and muslin.

Skyhigh Backgrounds
www.skyhighbackgrounds.com,
www.larsonenterprises.com
Skyhigh Backgrounds' muslin backgrounds are all hand-dyed. Skyhigh is always upgrading colors to meet the newest trends in all phases of photography.

Superior Specialties
www.superspec.com
Superior Specialties has expanded its selection of muslins. Classic muslins are derived through intensive dying processes that result in unique patterns certain to enhance your fine portraits. Reversible muslins offer two backgrounds in one. Hand-painted Art Masters and Scenics create beautiful and majestic backgrounds.


Tanner Backgrounds
www.tannerbackgrounds.com
The artists of Tanner Backgrounds hand-paint canvas and muslin backgrounds of the highest quality, offering muslin backgrounds that are soft and easy to use while maintaining beautiful colors and textured designs. 

Virtual Backgrounds
www.virtualbackgrounds.net
A customized three-piece brick-and-stone garden step set that is ideally used with virtual backgrounds is available from Virtual Backgrounds. Ultrareflective material to cover props and sets is also available from the company. When used with a virtual backgrounds projector, the props "light up" with whatever colors, designs, or graphics are projected.

"I use the Virtual Background system exclusively to create my themed portraits. My studio is small (only 15x18 ft.). There's no more need for expensive and cumbersome painted canvas backgrounds. I've created my own painted backgrounds--just that now they're tiny slides."
--Diane Wilson, www.untildawn.com

Wicker by Design
www.wickerbydesign.com
With Jennifer Turner, a newborn imaging specialist, Wicker By Design offers the Newborn Posing Set. The set includes a large oval pillow in white or black vinyl with a hole in the middle, a small pillow to fill this hole when necessary, and an optional set of four small beanbags to lift, support, or highlight various parts of the baby's body. The large posing pillow measures 25x21x6 inches; the small beanbags include two cloth and two vinyl in colors matching the large pillow.

   







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