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Best backdrops for photography: collapsible backgrounds for the home studio

Best backdrops for photography

Getting one of the best backdrops for photography is a fantastic way to produce striking images at minimal cost. Backdrops come in all different sizes and colors – and many of the best choices are collapsible backdrops for easy transportation to your shooting location. 

Backdrops are only a piece of the puzzle of course – and you may want to consider perusing our guides to the best portrait lenses or best lighting kits for some of the other gear you'll need. However, whether you plan to work in the studio or take a smaller backdrop to do some location portraiture, out list of the best studio backdrops will help you find one that suits your needs, whether you're shooting headshots, family portraits, product shots or whatever else.

Backdrops come in various forms – some are freestanding and can be erected anywhere, others require dedicated stands (which, it's worth being aware, are often sold separately). Some can be hung on a standard curtain rail, allowing you to easily transform a room in your home into a makeshift studio. Others are also in self-contained steel frames and can be held up by an assistant.

Maybe you want a plain white background for your professional headshots, or maybe you want a crazy pattern for a party photobooth. Maybe you want the option between the two and want to choose a chromakey background for greenscreening. Whatever you need, we should have a photographic backdrop for you. So, let's take a look at the list!

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

1. Lastolite by Manfrotto LL LB56GW

Best all-purpose backdrop for photography

Size(s): 1.5 x 1.8m | Color(s): White/Mid Grey, Black/Mid Grey | Material: Fabric

Collapsible backdrop
Easy to transport
Only one size

Photographic backdrops can be big, cumbersome things, and that’s what’s so ideal about this Lastolite model – it’s collapsible, and can easily be folded away and transported to your shooting location. The steel frames are securely stitched in place for durability and longevity, and the backdrop is two-sided, giving you multiple options in a pinch (choose from the white/grey version or black/grey version. Made from good-quality fabrics in neutral colors, this is an ideal backdrop for getting the shot in the can quickly and simply, whether you’re shooting portraits, headshots or whatever else. 

(Image credit: Neewer)

2. Neewer 6 x 9ft Photo Studio

Best cheap backdrop for photography

Size(s): 1.8 x 2.8m | Color(s): White, Blue, Grey, Green, Black | Material: Muslin

Very affordable
Well-made muslin fabric
Available in a variety of colors
Requires stand
Ironing requires care

If you don’t want to spend too much on a backdrop, Neewer’s straightforward photo studio is a solid bet. You’ll need your own stands or a rod on which to hang it, but once that’s sorted you’ll have a solid, well-made neutral background. Choose from a wide range of colors to get the look you’re going for – and it’s cheap enough that you can buy a few and have them on hand for creating different looks at a moment’s notice. Be aware that while you can iron out creases if they do appear, the manufacturer advises caution, and using a steam iron not a dry iron to avoid damage.

(Image credit: KateHome)

3. KateHome PHOTOSTUDIOS Abstract Photo Background

Best backdrop for newborn photography

Size(s): 1.5 x 2.2m | Color(s): Black, Red, Yellow, Grey, Blue, Textured Grey, Textured Black, Illustrated | Material: Microfibre

Machine/hand washable
Huge choice of looks & colors
Requires stand

Whatever kind of look you want for your newborn photography, it’s worth having a look at the impressive range of backdrops from KateHome. These microfibre fabric backdrops can be ordered in a generous range of colors, from darker textured looks to something lighter, or even a stylish illustrated look if you want something really different. The fabrics can be washed in a machine or by hand and then are easy to iron, so you can keep them clean and ready for the next job.

(Image credit: Fovitec)

4. Fovitec Collapsible Backdrop

Best backdrop for headshots

Size(s): 1.5 x 2m | Color(s): Black/White, Grey, Grey/Blue, Green/Blue | Material: Muslin

Fully collapsible and transportable
Double sided
Quick to set up
Stand sold separately

Thanks to its highly portable nature and its rigid steel frame that stops it moving in the wind, the Fovitec Collapsible Backdrop is a perfect take-anywhere backdrop and is therefore ideal for quick headshots. No matter where you are, you can quickly use the Fovitec backdrop to get the shot in the can, and it also comes in several double-sided variants, so you can pick and choose which combination of colors you want to have at your disposal. The material is soft but strong, and the steel lining in the frame gives the backdrop its structure and tautness.

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

5. Lastolite Panoramic Background (LL LB7623)

Best backdrop for group shots

Size(s): 4 x 2.8m | Color(s): White, Chromakey Green | Material: Fabric

Generous size
Great for photographing large groups
A little unwieldy
Limited color options

With 4m of width, the Panoramic Background Cover from Lastolite more than lives up to its name. If you’re planning on photographing families, sports teams or other larger groups, this will ensure you can keep everyone in the frame without any undesirable background elements poking into the frame – and what’s more, the background is self-standing, so no need to buy an extra frame or set of stands. It’s available in plain white or in Chromakey green, for those who like to add in their own backgrounds digitally.

(Image credit: LYWYGG)

6. LYWYGG Thin Vinyl Backdrop

Experiment with a stylish wood-look for your backdrop

Size(s): 1.5 x 2.1m, 2.1 x 1.5m, 3 x 3m | Color(s): Grey Wood, Light Grey Wood, Brown Wood, Hardwood, Nostalgia Wood Floor, Brick Wall, Brick Wall/Wood Floor, Wood Wall | Material: Vinyl

Lots of looks available
Durable and lightweight
Looks poor up close
Stand sold separately

Give your images a rustic look with the range of floor- and wall-style backdrops from LYWYGG. With various different wood and brick looks to choose from, the range is ideal for party or family photography, and the thin vinyl the backdrops are constructed from is seamless and wrinkle-free – be aware though that the print doesn’t stand up to super-close scrutiny and can look a little pixelated when zoomed in, so this isn’t one for product photography or anything else where you’re likely to be very close to the backdrop. For parties and group shots though, it’s ideal.

You will also need a background stand, such as the Neewer backdrop support system

(Image credit: LYWYGG)

7. LYWYGG Patterned Backdrop

Best patterned backdrop. Great for parties, in a wide range of designs

Size(s): 1.5 x 2.1m, 2.1 x 1.5m, 2.4 x 2.4m, 3 x 3m | Color(s): Rose Flowers, Lilac, Flower Wall, White Flower Wall, Flower Unicorn, Green Leaves, Custom | Material: Vinyl

Custom patterns available
Range of sizes
Stand sold separately

If you’d like to set up a photobooth at a party or something similar, one of the patterned backdrops from LYWYGG is a great and inexpensive way to do so. There’s a huge choice of preset patterns in different themes and colors, and you can also create a custom look with an image of your choosing simply by getting in touch with the company. It’s made from the same thin vinyl as the wood-look backdrops, meaning it’s wrinkle-free, reflection-free and easy to fold up and transport to your shooting location.

You will need to buy a background stand.

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

8. Lastolite by Manfrotto LL LC5981

Best greenscreen backdrop. Can’t pick a background? Then digitally create your own!

Size(s): 1.8 x 2.1m | Color(s): Chromakey Green | Material: Fabric

Designed for Chromakey and greenscreen 
Collapses down in seconds
Strong steel frame
Stand not included

Being able to digitally key in your own backgrounds obviously isn’t a skill that everyone has, but if this is something you’re comfortable doing (or are keen to learn to do) then Lastolite’s simple Chromakey background is a solid buy. It’s built solidly with a sturdy steel frame, but can still be collapsed down in seconds for easy transportation and storage. The material can be safely cleaned in lukewarm water in a standard washing machine, meaning it can be used and reused. 

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