The Advantage of Seamless Paper Backdrops
Amateurs exploring fashion and portrait photography often turn a room of their home into a studio space, and they get professional results with paper backdrops. Regardless of how much space you have in your home, sometimes the background isn’t appropriate for portrait photography. Even if a blank wall is available, your shots will soon lack variety. When setting up a temporary studio, investing in a range of paper backdrops is important. If you are one of the lucky ones with a dedicated photographic studio, a collection of colourful seamless paper backdrops is an essential part of your kit.
The Spectrum range of paper backdrops provides a smooth, durable, and reflection-free background for your subject. They are available in a variety of colours and sizes. When only a tiny amount of space is available, our high-quality half-paper backdrops (1.35m x 10m) are ideal for product photography, portraits, headshots and vlogging. The full-size rolls of studio-grade backdrops are suitable for shots of family groups, beauty photography, fashion, portraits and videography. And if you require a specific paper roll size to fit your space or suit your project, we offer a custom-cut service.
Setting up a Spectrum Paper Roll Stand
A roll of paper requires a sturdy supporting stand. Our most popular stand holds full-size rolls. This heavy-duty backdrop stand is 2.8 x 3 metres and handles 8 kilograms of material. Paper roll stands are similar to lighting stands, except they have a wing nut on top to hold the crossbar in place.
Before you set up your stand, put the four pieces of crossbar together to create the full length and slip the paper roll onto this supporting bar. Place it on the ground, ready to be lifted onto the side stands. Now you can set up the stands on each side, and they’ll be in the right place when it’s time to lift the paper roll into position. Open the stand’s legs into their widest stance and tighten the locks. Make it easy on yourself and ask a friend for help when it’s time to place the crossbar onto the top of the stands. Lock the crossbar into place with the wing nuts, and you are ready to set it to the right height. Raise the top section of each stand first, then the middle, and finally the lowest section.
Now it’s time to check the height of the backdrop against your subject. If you can lower it, do so. While your friend supports to weight of the crossbar, loosen the locks on the top section of the stands and bring the paper down to the correct height before locking it again. The top section is the thinnest, so whenever possible, reduce that area rather than the stronger segment at the base. A lower height makes a stand more stable.
For added security, use sandbags at the base to lessen the chance of the stands being knocked over. Our black Heavy-Duty Saddle Sandbags are rated for 10kg and are the best way to stabilise the legs of backdrop stands. Or choose the coloured versions of these heavy-duty sandbags for high visibility, which provide extra safety.
Opening Spectrum Paper Rolls
With the paper roll in position, it’s now safe to unfurl it. If the paper roll is sealed with a tab, grab a box cutter and gently slice across it, being careful not to cut the layer of paper beneath. However, if your roll has a perforated strip, start from the left and peel away to the other side. Pull the exposed edge of the paper to the floor or under your subject if preferred, and secure it with gaffer tape, so no one trips over a loose edge. Use a large backdrop peg clamp on the top of each side of the paper to keep the paper firmly in place and to stop it from unrolling further. When it’s time to pack away your backdrop stands, all sections fold down to a manageable size for storage and transport. The stand kit even comes with a travel carry bag.
Other Paper Roll Holders
If you have a permanent studio, consider using a backdrop wall mount. Slip a roll into position, and you won’t need stands or clamps because you easily raise or lower the backdrop from the wall with plastic chains. If you have more than one roll that you regularly use, the Triple Roller Wall Mount Retractable Backdrop System is ideal for busy photographers. Its counter-balanced chain and gear assembly make raising and lowering the paper rolls easy. Backdrop mounts are ideal for fast-paced shoots that require background colours replaced in a short period of time. You simply roll down the backdrop you need.
If you don’t have space for a full-size roll of seamless paper, our Single Backdrop Holder is a simple way to support half-rolls of paper. This paper backdrop support is easy to set up and use because of its all-in-one design. Set the height, drop the roll into the cradle, and you are ready to take photos with the seamless colour backdrop of your choice. To prevent the curling of paper rolls, use the included leader bar to hold the backdrop down. It helps create an evenly draped sweep to the floor. This set-up is compact, portable, and easily stored between use.
Another option for holding small rolls of paper in tiny spaces is the heavy-duty C-stand and boom arm. Set your half-roll on the boom arm and use one of our saddle sandbags as a counterweight. Move the sandbag along the arm to find the exact balance point. The C-stand holds up to 40kg and is on wheels, so you can quickly move it behind your subject for a change of backdrop.
Paper Roll Storage
Your Spectrum paper roll is delivered in a long narrow box. When unpacking, don’t throw away this container. At the end of your day of shooting, pack each roll into its original box. If you leave a paper roll on a stand, the inner core can go out of shape and cause ripples in the material. Store each roll vertically to avoid changing the shape of the core and to minimise wrinkles.
Spectrum supplies high-quality paper rolls to photographers who demand professional results. Now that you have your stands and paper backdrops, we’d love to see what you shoot. Show us the photos you’ve been able to create as a result of your new paper roll backdrops set up. Please tag us in your photos @spectrumphotovideo and @spectrum.aurora
If you would like more information about which photography backdrop is right for you watch this helpful video below!