DIY Backdrop Ideas for Photographers

backdrop ideas

Whether you’re planning your own photo booth or just having fun in a home photo studio, this selection of 60 DIY photography backdrop ideas will help you get inspired.

Pinterest is a great source for studio and photo booth backdrop ideas, so we took the time to curate the best options together for this guide.

We’ve also included some handy tips for when you create your own DIY photo backdrops, to ensure your photoshoot runs as smooth as possible.

(Read our guide to the best photo backdrops and backgrounds if you prefer to buy a ready-made one.)

Let’s dive right in!

60 Fun & Creative DIY Photography Backdrops

Hanging Leaves

Credit: afloral.com

Chalkboard wall

Credit: apartmenttheray

Clouds

Credit: A practical wedding

Paper fan wall

Credit: Bridal Musings

Hanging frames

Credit: brit.co

Mugshot Backdrops

Credit: brit.co

Gift bows

Credit: brit.co

Botanical wall with real or paper flowers

Credit: colinwieweddings.com

Ballon garden

Credit: collect.to

80’s Checkerboard

Credit: Dan Krauss photoblog

Polka dots

Credit: Designlovefest

 

Giant paper flowers

Credit: DarinaMama

Wooden slices

Credit: Brandon Kido photography via DIY roundup on Pinterest

Draped Curtains

Credit: Evetlyst

Tiles as Backdrops

Credit: Fantabulosity

Balloon party

Credit: Free People

Textured typography

Credit: From up North

Message board DIY photography backdrops

Credit: go.brit-.co

Greenery

Credit: Green Wedding Shoes

Metallic fabric

Credit: Handy Dandy Productions

Pile of books

Credit: Honeykennedy

Decorative wallpaper

Credit: howdoesshe

Polaroids

Credit: imgfave diy photography backdrops and photo ideas

Open books

Credit: kachergina on flickr

Wooden pallets

Credit: karaspartyideas

Floral hoops

Credit: loveloveloveblog

Ombre tissue paper

Credit: lovelyindeed

Records

Credit: lovelyindeed

Sticky notes backdrops

Credit: lovelyindeed

Polaroid frame

Credit: makingjoyandprettythings

Roses

Credit: Martha Stewart weddings

Christmas lights

Credit: Pixel Clicks via marvelousmommy on Pinterest

Christmas tree balls

Credit: mellysews

Decorative contact paper

Credit: mrsbeachbride backdrops

Newspaper

Credit: micolehill.blogspot

Sequence beads

Credit: Oh happy day

Origami

Credit: Oh happy day backdrop photo

Paper rings

Credit: Oh happy day

Rainbow with clouds

Credit: Oh joy backdrop photo

Balloon figures

Credit: Oh happy day

Geometric forms

Credit: ohmydesignblog photography

Craft paper fringes

Credit: ourfauxfarmhouse

Photobooth

Credit: Pop of pretty photos

Pegboard

Credit: Popsugar

Tissue paper ruffles

Credit: Ruffledblog

Tassels

Credit: ruffleblog photo shoots

Painted wood

Credit: sarahhearts

Doily paper

Credit: sarahhearts

Lit tulle

Credit: 6 clever sisters photography

Crossed curtains

Credit: smartpartyplanning

Checkered paper stripes

Credit: theeclecticlife

Paper flower daisies

Credit: thehousethatlarsbuilt

Leaves

Credit: thenletitbe

Decorated ropes

Credit: theselby photos

Fabric

Caption: theweddingscoop

Floral artistry

Credit: Balushka via weddbook ideas on Pinterest

Painted heart

Credit: weddinggawker

Plates

Credit: weddingomania

Wrapping paper

Credit: younghouselove photography

Bedsheet

Credit: beaut.vihoya.com

16 Tips for Building a Photo Booth Backdrop

Before you start putting together your DIY photography backdrops, it’s worth keeping in mind these 15 tips:

  1. Determine your budget. The fact that you’re doing it yourself doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be cheap. So, before making any aesthetic decisions, be mindful of what you can afford.
  2. Choose a theme.
  3. Choose a color palette.
  4. Consider the weather and location to decide on the material.
  5. Do you have to build it before the event? Make sure you make it portable – it needs to be easy to fold or dismantle, and then put together again in the location.
  6. Can you build it on-site? Then calculate how much time you need to do it and arrive with enough anticipation.
  7. Make it the right size. If your backdrop is too big, it’s a waste of time and resource. If instead is too small, you’ll have to spend a lot of editing time to fix it.
  8. Think about the floor. If you’re going to be photographing full-body portraits, do you want your backdrop to cover the floor too?
  9. Build a sturdy stand. One of the most important things your backdrop needs is a strong frame that holds it firm and steady. Otherwise, it could collapse in the middle of the photo shoot.
  10. Use matching props. Using props that match or complement the backdrop is a perfect way to round up your photo booth’s look.
  11. Experiment with texture. One fun DIY project is to transfer photos to wood using a product called Mod Podge, making a beautifully textured photo backdrop.
  12. Know your strengths. If you’re not very crafty, you might not want to consider an origami background – for example. The key to a DIY backdrop is that it has to look professional, so you have to make it right. If you feel there’s something you want, but you don’t know how to do it, you can always outsource the job.
  13. Consider composition. Think about where the subjects will be standing and arrange the decoration items on your backdrop accordingly.
  14. Light the backdrop properly.
  15. Be prepared. Between the people coming and going, and possibly the weather, your backdrop can get damaged half-way through. Always bring tools and extra materials to quickly fix any problems.
  16. Recycle. Whenever possible, store and recycle your backdrops. This will save you a lot of money and time in future photoshoots. It’s also good for the environment!

Photo Backdrop FAQs

Can I use a sheet as a backdrop?

Absolutely! Just make sure it’s not too transparent – otherwise overlap two of them to make it thicker.

How much fabric is needed for a backdrop?

It depends on the size of the subject. Usually, 7 feet of a wide fabric should be enough to do a full-body portrait. If you’re planning on doing headshots, you can use 3 to 5 feet.

What color backdrop should I get?

There isn’t a hard rule on color; it depends on the mood you want to set. If it’s a formal portrait, stay with neutral colors. If it’s a party photo booth, you can go as crazy as you want – consider some of the DIY photo backdrop ideas shared here.

What is the best backdrop color for video?

Neutral colors are always a safe bet. They aren’t distracting, and they are flattering for most people. Of course, it depends on the type of video – if it’s something for kids, you can use brighter colors or use any of the DIY backdrop ideas from this article.

What do professional photographers use for backdrops?

Professional backdrops on the market use specific materials that ensure durability, looks, wrinkle-free, etc. Depending on the preference of the photographer and, of course, the budget.

What can I use as a white backdrop?

A wall, a sheet, paper, poster board, basically anything. Just make sure it’s not transparent and is well lighted.

What can I use as a black backdrop?

A black backdrop can be made out of anything – even a white backdrop. What you need is to keep light away from it. Of course, it’s easier when the wall, paper or fabric is already dark.

What color background is best for headshots?

Solid colors are best to avoid distractions. Keep it simple using neutral colors (black, grey or white) for best results.

Final Words

A DIY photo booth is always fun to have in your photo studio or to bring into an event. It works well for wedding photos or baby showers. With it, you can have a lot of fun and create some wonderful memories for your clients.

I hope these DIY backdrop ideas gave you some inspiration for your next experience. Do you have another backdrop idea? Share it in the comments section.

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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