Best Photo Backdrop Stand (+ How to Make Your Own DIY Version)
Need a way to support a photography backdrop for your next photoshoot? This guide to the best backdrop stands in 2021 is here to help!
Whether you’re doing product, portrait, newborn photography, or need a simple way to decorate your wall, a photo backdrop stand is an ideal solution.
Great value portable backdrop stand with everything you need to get set up quickly and easily.
You’ll need something strong, stable, easy to erect, portable, affordable and big enough to fit your scene.
We’ll reveal the top stands of the year and also teach you how to build your own DIY version if you’re on a budget.
Let’s dive right into the recommendations.
Table of Contents
Best Photography Backdrop Stand in 2021
|Folong Backdrop Stand Kit Support System||View Price →|
|Neewer Photo Studio Backdrop Support System||View Price →|
|Emart T-Shape Portable Backdrop Support Stand Kit||View Price →|
|Julius Studio Wide Backdrop Stand Support Kit||View Price →|
1. Folong Backdrop Stand Kit Support System
The Folong Backdrop Stand Kit Support System makes the top of our list for the best photography backdrop stands.
The kit is ideal for any photographer wanting to set up a studio environment for portrait, fashion, and product photography. The design team have clearly considered exactly what a photographer will need for shooting such genres.
Here’s what the Folong Backdrop Stand Kit Support System includes:
- 2 x Supports
- 4 x Cross Bars
- 4 x Clamps
- 1 x Carrying Case
(The contents listed above are for the standard kit. However, the system is also available in several different kits with a range of background options.)
You can also purchase the same Folong Kit to include a green, black or combination of backgrounds.
The main supports have a similar design and function to a light stand. The base of each features three collapsable legs with locking support arms for rigidity and stability under load.
The central pole comprises three telescoping sections with locking clamps at each junction. You can effortlessly set up and take down each frame within a matter of seconds.
As a result of this design, the height of these pair of supports is adjustable up to 8ft or 244cm. What’s more, the supports can hold a total load capacity of 30lbs or 13.6kg – more than enough for even the heaviest canvas backdrop.
With this height, the system is ideal for full-body portraits and fashion shoots too.
The kit includes four cross bar sections that lock into one another to form a 10ft or 305cm cross support. However, as the crossbar comprises four 2.5ft lengths, you can opt to use from one to all four of the sections. This gives you far greater control over how you use your support system and where you choose to locate it.
Once you’ve assembled the frame, your backgrounds fall over the crossbar or you can thread curtains like a curtain rod. The system is also ideal to filter out light when controlling the exposure for moody portrait photos.
Alternatively, the support system kit includes four clamps to securely attach backgrounds to the upright supports and vertical crossbar. All of these items can be safely stored away in the included carry bag.
2. Neewer Photo Studio Backdrop Support System
The Neewer Photo Studio Backdrop Support System is an all in one kit suited to professional and enthusiast photographers.
While the Neewer kit features all you need to set up a studio for portrait photos, it’s a little more expensive option than the others on our list.
Regardless, the Neewer Support System is an excellent addition to anyone wanting to set up a professional portrait studio at home.
Here’s what the Neewer Photo Studio Backdrop Support System includes:
- 2 x Tripod Supports
- 4 x Cross Bars
- 4 x Grip Clamps
- 2 x Sandbags
- 1 x Carrying Bag
The addition of a pair of sandbags in the Neewer Support System is handy. Each bag can hold 2lb or 0.9kg of sand and sit across the base of each upright backdrop stand.
Sandbags provide additional stability to the whole support system, especially when using heavy backgrounds or doing outdoor shoots in windy conditions.
The two upright supports are made of durable aluminium and feature three telescoping sections with twist locks.
Each of these is collapsable with a height range of 2.3ft to 7ft or 70cm to 213cm.
My most significant criticism of this kit is that a total height of 7ft may not be tall enough if shooting with a tall model. Even a short model with their arms raised in a pose could top the height of this support.
The kit includes a four-piece interlocking crossbar system that’s sturdy and capable of holding up to 8.8lb or 4kg. What’s especially neat about the Neewer Support System is that you can opt for one, two, three or all four of the crossbar pieces to alter the system’s width.
With a total width of 10ft or 3m, you can shoot couples or even family portraits using this setup.
The kit includes six grip clamps to fix paper or fabric to the horizontal and vertical supports poles. The grips are spring-loaded and able to firmly hold material without damaging it.
The Neewer Support System includes a nifty carry bag that stores all of the included gear. If you’re working from home and have to take down your system so you can use the dining room again, this is a perfect kit to accompany your camera and lenses.
3. Emart T-Shape Portable Backdrop Support Stand Kit
The Emart T-Shape Portable Backdrop Support Stand Kit is an entirely different shape from the first two models we’ve covered so far.
As the name suggests, the frame is a T-shape and provides a flexible and lightweight alternative to hang your textile choice in a photography studio space or at home. While it’s a far simpler kit, it’s still just as useful for professional and enthusiast photographers.
It’s an excellent kit for photographers that want to capture portrait photos with their camera while on the go.
Here’s what’s included in the Emart T-Shape Portable Backdrop Support Stand Kit:
- 1 x Retractable Stand
- 2 x Cross Bars
- 4 x Spring Clamps
- 1 x Carrying Bag
The Emart T-Shape Portable Backdrop Support Stand Kit employs a single alloy retractable frame with an adjustable height between 2.9ft and 8.5ft or 89cm and 260cm.
With such a tall stand, you can photography a basketballer holding a ball above their head and still not match the height of the stand!
The single support base features a collapsable tripod with a broad footprint and locking arms to secure the legs. At the top of the centre pole is a standard 1/4″ spigot to attach the crossbar mount.
The support is super quick and easy to assemble, set the desired height and pack it back down.
The kit includes a pair of crossbars that attach to the top of the support pole – you can support a single crossbar or both to form the T-shape.
While the single support bar makes for a smaller workspace, my concern is that a heavy fabric may cause the frame to topple. As the kit doesn’t include a sandbag, there’s not much you can do about this other than attach the second crossbar and add a counterweight.
With both crossbars assembled, the system can extend to 5ft-wide.
The crossbars, supports and included clamps all fit neatly into the bag that comes with the kit.
4. Julius Studio Wide Backdrop Stand Support Kit
The Julius Studio Wide Backdrop Stand Support Kit is a complete all in one support kit to round out our list of the best. Professional and enthusiast photographers looking for storable systems should consider this option.
Here’s what the Julius Studio Wide Backdrop Stand Support Kit includes:
- 2 x Supports
- 2 x Extending Cross Bars
- 4 x Heavy Duty Spring Clamps
- 2 x Sandbags
- 4 x Elastic String Clips
- 1 x Carrying Bag
The backdrop stand features a pair of sturdy supports with tripod bases – the base has an expansive footprint for added stability under load.
The centre pole of each support features a three-section telescope with twisting locks to set and secure the desired height.
The vertical height is 7.2ft or 219cm – again, this is a little too short when shooting standing portraits and limits the creative options.
The top of each pole has a standard screw thread and locking nut to securely assemble the crossbars in place.
Rather than a four-piece crossbar assembly, the kit features two crossbars that have extendable lengths.
As a result, the total width of the assembled kit can adjust from 5.3ft to 10ft or 1.61m to 3m. This level of flexibility is ideal for those working with limited space and who can’t use the full width every time.
The kit is feature-packed with the addition of heavy-duty spring clamps and elastic clips to fit and secure a range of backing textiles. Along with the included sandbags, these accessories allow you to use the kit in outdoor settings where you have to contend with the wind knocking down your setup.
The Julius Studio Wide Backdrop Stand Support Kit packs down into a small carry bag with a total weight of 8lbs or 3.6kg. It’s the ideal kit for those wanting to set up for portrait or fashion photos and make the most of their camera and lenses.
How Do You Make a Cheap Backdrop Stand?
While buying one of the photo backdrop stand kits recommended above is the best solution, here’s how to create your own DIY version.
Step 1: The easiest way to create your own kit on the cheap is with PVC pipe. Take a trip to your local hardware store and purchase the following items:
- 4 x 10′ lengths of 1″ PVC pipe
- 2 x 90-degree 1″ PVC pipe bends
- 4 x T-couplers 1″ PVC pipe connectors
- PVC Pipe Cutter or suitable saw
- Tape Measure
Step 2: Cut the following 12 lengths from the PVC pipe – remember to measure twice and cut once:
- 2 x 8′ lengths
- 2 x 4′ lengths
- 2 x 3′ lengths
- 4 x 2′ lengths
Step 3: Assemble the feet by connecting 2 x 2′ length to each end of a T-coupler. Repeat this to create two feet.
Step 4: Connect 1 x 4′ length to the vertical open end of the T-coupler used in the previous step to create the feet. Repeat this to create the other feet assembly, so you now have two base legs that look like upside-down letter Ts.
Step 5: Attach a T-coupler to the top of each leg and then insert 1 x 3′ length into the top of each T-coupler. Repeat on both legs and ensure that the T-couplers point inwards at a right angle from the feet.
Step 6: Using 1 x 8′ length, connect the two legs by attaching the long pipe to the horizontal open end in the T-couplers. Your PVC support should be able to sit up on its own and represent a giant letter H.
Step 7: Take the final 1 x 8′ length and attached the 2 x 90-degree 1″ PVC pipe bends to each end. Make sure that the two bends face inwards.
Step 8: Lifting the 1 x 8′ pipe with the 90-degree bends up to the top of the backdrop stand, connect it to the tops of the vertical pipes.
Step 9: Ensure that all the connections are secure. Avoid using glue in the event you want to disassemble the support system and store it away.
Step 10: Drap your fabric or paper of choice over the top PVC pipe and secure it with clamps or temporary tape. Alternative, if you’re using store-bought, remove the top PVC pipe and thread the curtains onto it like a curtain rail.
Bonus Step: You could also create your own curtains from bolts of cloth to save money. Make sure that when hung, the cloth doesn’t reflect light and draw attention from the focal point of the picture.
What Can I Use to Hold Up a Backdrop (Without a Stand)?
Do you need a backdrop stand at all? Well, a support system is usually the best solution, but if you only need to use it once, here are some ways to hang a photo backdrop on a wall without using a backdrop stand.
- Pin or tape a lightweight fabric to the wall or doorframe – this may damage the wall and plaster and isn’t recommended if you’re renting.
- Use 3M velcro connectors to attach the fabric to a wall. One half of the connector stays connected to your wall and the other to your material for future use.
- If you have exposed timber beams across your ceiling, pin or nail fabric to the timber.
- Remove the existing curtains from a curtain rod and replace them with your textile of choice.
- Install curtain rod hooks and a curtain rod in your portrait photography space for curtains falling to the floor.
- If you have opening timber blinds, clamp fabric to the timber louvres allowing it to fall to the floor.
- Using a pair of strong clamps, attach your paper or material of choice to the top of a door or the doorframe.
- If you have tall furniture such as bookshelves, pin, tape or clamp backdrops to the top – make sure that tall furniture is stable and anchor it to the wall where possible.
- For outdoor portrait photos, peg or hang your curtains from the clothesline.
- If working from your garage to capture still-life images, clamp the material to the inside of your garage door or from an exposed beam.
- Use clamps to secure your choice of textiles to the edge of a dining table for ground-level portraits where the model is lounging.
- Use a thick cloth to filter out unwanted light and control exposure in your photos.
Regardless of being an amateur, enthusiast or pro photographer, backdrop stands are smart investments for your photography studio kits.
When it comes to investing in photography gear, these support systems are an affordable addition to any photography kit. When looking for the best system to support your backgrounds, keep in mind our recommendations in this guide.
Above all else, ensure that the kit you choose provides flexibility and options to work in your photography studio space when capturing portrait or fashion photos.
(It would be best if you also had something that’s light, features extra stability and is simple to assemble without a tutorial.)
It may not be the most glamourous piece of gear you own, but with the best photography stand, you can enhance our photography workflow and create pro-grade photos in no time.
What have been your experiences with these kinds of systems? Have you ever wanted to create a DIY support system to hang backgrounds in your own home?
Join the conversation by sharing your experiences and asking questions to learn from others. Happy shooting.