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group shot of men and women in front of two different canvas backdropsSo, you have booked your photographer, chosen your outfit, and read up on how to prep your skin or apply makeup for your upcoming studio photoshoot.
But have you decided on what backdrop you would like for your shoot?
While most photographers are able and willing to help you choose from the range of backdrops they have available, you may be curious about the choices available, and what bests suits your purpose.

In this post, we will go through several factors that can influence which backdrop is best for your shoot.


Photography backdrops come in a variety of materials. These include paper, fabric, vinyl, and even leather.
However, the most commonly used backdrops are paper and fabric, usually muslin or canvas.
These are the two types we will focus on in this post.

Paper Backdrops for a Seamless Lookman in suit standing in front of a white paper backdrop

Paper backdrops often come in large rolls that are hung off a backdrop stand and can be pulled out to the desired length. This means they can be pulled to cover the floor, and the subject can stand on the paper during the shoot.
What this creates is a seamless look for a full-body shot, where the floor and the background look completely the same. The dirty or crumpled paper at the base can then be torn off and recycled, leaving a fresh new backdrop for the next photoshoot.

In comparison, fabric backdrops made of muslin look less smooth when pulled to cover the floor.
Creases and folds often show up in the photographs, and any movement by the subject can mess up the fabric. man in suit standing in front of a hand painted canvas backdropHeavier and more expensive backdrops made of canvas are usually never pulled to cover the floor, as they are costly, and difficult to clean when dirty. This means the canvas backdrop is always pulled to only where its edge meets the floor, resulting in an obvious transition where the backdrop ends- as you can see in the photo above.

So if you are looking to take a full-body shot with a seamless transition between the backdrop and the floor, paper is always the best choice.

Fabric Backdrops for A More Interesting Look

The smooth and flat nature of solidly coloured paper makes it a reliable and neutral choice as a backdrop.
On the other hand, fabric backdrops are a great way to inject a more interesting background into your headshot or portrait without overwhelming you as a subject.
Heavy canvas backdrops provide texture in your images, especially hand-painted ones like the Gravity Backdrops that we use at our studio. These add charm and character while keeping the look clean and professional. Portrait Photography Headshot Photographer Singapore COCO Creative Studio 3Other looser fabrics like muslin can be draped artfully to create a soft stage-curtain effect for more informal portraits and headshots. The pleats and folds that the fabrics fall in produce an elegant but modest background for a wide variety of in blue velvet shirt sitting in front of brown pleated fabric backdropwoman holding a stem of orchids in front of a fabric backdrop


As you might already know, colours are often used to evoke specific emotions from an audience.
This is no different when it comes to choosing a backdrop for your photoshoot.
The colour of a backdrop plays an important part in crafting the message you wish to convey to your audience.

WhiteCorporate Headshot Photography Singapore Portrait Photographer COCO Creative Studio 3

Pure white backdrops- especially paper ones, are a popular choice for a wide variety of purposes.
A white backdrop is a popular choice for a corporate headshot photoshoot, especially if a company prefers to standardize the look of all their employees’ headshots.
For more editorial-style images, white backdrops are preferred for the clean and polished look it produces.
They also provide a very convenient option of being able to be easily converted to PNG format, where there is a ‘transparent’ background behind the subject, allowing you to change the colour of the background to whatever you wish.
However, if your chosen outfit for the shoot is in white, it is recommended not to use a white background, as you may end up looking like a floating head!

BlackSingapore Chinese Orchestra Photography Studio Photographer Singapore COCO Creative Studio 3

Black backdrops are favoured for the moody and mysterious effect imparted on the images. If you are looking to get a portrait taken, black backdrops are a great choice.

However, black backdrops often result in you blending into the background if you wear darker colours on your shoot, so do take your outfit selection into consideration.

GreyHeadshot Photography Singapore Portrait Photographer COCO Creative Studio 25593

Grey is another great neutral choice for more formal or corporate headshots.
Grey backdrops provide the required sense of professionalism without being too flat or boring.
The colour is versatile, as it allows darker colours that are common in office wear to stand out better than black backdrops, and also prevents you from blending into white backgrounds if you are dressed in white or cream.

Other ColoursSingapore Tourism BoardHTX Portrait Photography Photographer Singapore COCO Creative Studio 7

For a more fun and informal photoshoot, a backdrop in a brighter colour can help provide more personality and capture audience attention.
This is especially useful in personal branding, where you can really convey aspects of your personality or brand identity through the use of selected brand colours. You might choose to use yellow to express the bubbly and cheerful side of your nature or communicate a sense of elegance and refinement through the use of a deep purple.

We hope this post has given you an idea of what choices are available as backdrops for your shoot in the future.
If you’d like to know what options we have available at COCO Creative Studio, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Links and social media:

COCO Creative Space – Photography & Video studio rental space:
Instagram: @cococreativespace
Facebook: COCO Creative Space

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