DIY Backdrop Ideas for Photographers
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!
Table of Contents
60 Fun & Creative DIY Photography Backdrops
Paper fan wall
Botanical wall with real or paper flowers
Giant paper flowers
Tiles as Backdrops
Message board DIY photography backdrops
Pile of books
Ombre tissue paper
Sticky notes backdrops
Christmas tree balls
Decorative contact paper
Rainbow with clouds
Craft paper fringes
Tissue paper ruffles
Checkered paper stripes
Paper flower daisies
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:
- 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.
- Choose a theme.
- Choose a color palette.
- Consider the weather and location to decide on the material.
- 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.
- Can you build it on-site? Then calculate how much time you need to do it and arrive with enough anticipation.
- 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.
- Think about the floor. If you’re going to be photographing full-body portraits, do you want your backdrop to cover the floor too?
- 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.
- Use matching props. Using props that match or complement the backdrop is a perfect way to round up your photo booth’s look.
- 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.
- 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.
- Consider composition. Think about where the subjects will be standing and arrange the decoration items on your backdrop accordingly.
- Light the backdrop properly.
- 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.
- 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.
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.