Magazine Article


Behind the Scenes: Backgrounds & Props
Guides & Supplements

Virtual Backgrounds' Scene Machine is a front-projection system that projects an image onto the special background screen without having to alter lighting set-ups. Portraits appear as if they were shot in exotic locations, and the system works with film and digital cameras.
"The Virtual Background System is a great studio tool because clients can see the backgrounds during their sitting," explains photographer Dean McDonald. McDonald, who went entirely digital last year, found that when his clients see the backgrounds, they are willing to try more during a session, which results in larger print orders.

Looking for vintage clothing with a Victorian or Renaissance feel, or perhaps something a child would wear in an enchanted garden? Look no further than Etcetera-Three Blind Mice. Knicker sets in tweed or velveteen, complete with cap for little boys and taffeta dresses and bonnets for little girls, are among the many outfits Etcetera offers. Sizes range from infant to size 14 for boys and girls, and some adult pieces.

Studio Dynamics' Old Master Scenics can be painted on your choice of muslin or canvas. The Designer Soft Series of muslin now offers more than 39 styles. They also offer sports, holiday, and storybook scenics in addition to seamless in solid colors, patterns, and textures. Props include Pedestals, Posers, Cubes, and antique reproduction furniture.
Photographer Debbi DeMont has looked to Studio Dynamics for her backdrops since the company began in 1984. "If you have an idea of your own for a particular design that you don't find in the catalog, Bob and Tom are eager to listen; you're sure to get exactly what you want," explains DeMont.

Backdrop Outlet has been providing photographers with canvas Old Masters and Scenics as well as muslin backgrounds for over 10 years. Alternative background materials such as velvet, sheer, lace, and lamé are available.
Dave Cruikshank turns to Backdrop Outlet for his studio needs. "Backdrop Outlet has been a big part of our studio's success throughout the years. Reasonable pricing allows us to purchase more product for the money; durability allows us to continue using what we've purchased year after year; and new products allow us to grow and expand our studio/markets as we need to," explains Cruikshank.

Looking for an entire set with coordinated pieces? At Scenic Design, you can buy a complete set consisting of canvas background, floor covering, and double-sided props made to match. One of the hottest new sets for seniors is Scenic Design's Jump Street.
Kenneth Linge has been using Scenic Design sets since 1996. "What impressed me was their artistic integrity. Scenic Design sets look real—and that's important to me and my clients," explains Linge.

Whether your photographic style is high-key or low, Denny Manufacturing has a background to fit your needs, including Old Masters, Scenics, hand-painted muslin, Super Scenics, and Twist Flex portable backgrounds. Denny features background support systems and stools, risers, posers, and furniture for all your photographic needs. New for 2001, the Grand Collection of Hi-Resolution Denny backgrounds on four CD-ROMs for use as digital backdrops can be purchased individually or as a set.

American Photographic Resources carries props from antique reproductions to fantasy wings, to giant fruit that kids will love to sit on or pose near. Wicker and wrought-iron furniture, stackable pedestals, and posing blocks are available in various shapes and sizes. Children's tea sets are available in silver and china. And for the photographer who can't get enough of photography themed figurines, frames, and office decor, check out their miniature collectibles.

Pro Studio Supply's catalog includes a whopping 8,000 items, including hand-painted muslin backgrounds. Among the new items are the Child's Bridge, Sun Rise Bench, and Lazy River Dock and Boat. Pro Studio Supply also offers furniture in children's sizes in wicker and antique styles; columns, pedestals, and rocks.
Richard Bublitz has been using Pro Studio props and backgrounds for over 10 years. "They really add to my children's and senior portraiture," he says. "Before I buy anything photographic, I check out Pro Studio's website to see what's new."

The Rhapsody system is the latest from Off The Wall Productions Ltd. What makes the Rhapsody so outstanding is its extreme detail and beautiful lines. As with all Off The Wall's products, the Rhapsody system features distinctly different motifs on each side—effectively "two-sets-in-one." The walls may be reversed from intricate moldings and niched alcoves to solid walls with clean window treatments. Angled staircases, spindled railings, window insets, sleek vases and benches enhance depth and produce a rich, highly coordinated look. Wall risers allow for posing larger groups while a step extension expands posing possibilities.