When taking photos the model is important, just as the lighting…. but also the background.
Sounds logical right?
Still when you look at a lot of images online it seems that the role of the background is often more to be “invisible” than to really enhance the image, and trust me, a good background can lift your images from ok to “WOW”.
For us it actually all started in our studio.
I was pretty much bored with using seamless, and don’t get me wrong I love seamless and still use it a lot, but to shoot everything against seamless is not something I wanted to do, in fact I was almost feeling like just picking a color to fit the styling/subject and that’s it.
Now I know that it’s often thought that to make a model jump out you need to focus really on the model with both lighting and poses/expression, but also to make the background darker/black or neutral so it doesn’t compete with the model. And in all fairness I also did this a lot. But as mentioned I got bored with it, and also constantly buying new colors and throwing them out after a few weeks of heavy use also pretty much became too expensive to be fun.
When working on location I found that I just LOVED using the available backgrounds and by incorporating them into my images I really fell in love with the more “rustic” “relic” backgrounds. Think about old walls, damaged doors, broken windows etc. But then when I came back into the studio… well it was just seamless.
So we decided to fix that.
We hired two painters that were familiar with painting custom childrens bedrooms with fairytales, movie themed walls etc. So for what I wanted they actually didn’t really have to flex their muscles, but the more walls they did, the more fun they had and the walls really started to get some “attitude” and character. In the end I believe there was not one white wall left in our studio, and it was AWESOME, I could still use seamless paper but I now also had a huge selection of truly unique backgrounds with structure and no reflections…. and that last part was something that bugged me a lot when using printed backdrops, first of all the material was often reflecting my strobes back when used under extreme angles (something I love to do). And although I did find some awesome non reflective backgrounds from Lastolite which were collapsable I did needed backgrounds that were a lot bigger and could be used in landscape mode but still fit a standing model and of course were easy and fast to change.
To be short I wanted my custom walls into a system I could take with me, or use in the studio via a background system (electric or manual) and that took a while.
A few years later I was in Johannesburg for workshops and I met up with the UK based company ClickPropsBackdrops, to put it into perspective I was just looking for a background to use during a photoshoot and was absolutely not looking for a new product, I was “happy” with my custom walls in the studio, and on location most of the times I could just use what was there, but it did limit me a lot when there wasn’t an interesting background.
The first thing that caught my attention that even on a standard background system the background was actually almost completely flat, and when you mount it on a roll it will be 100% straight by the way, but we used clamps in this case which is far from ideal. During the shoot I started to move my lights around and to my surprise the background looked awesome from almost every angle I used, and I became more and more interested, especially because the chosen background was not really fitting my preference, but while shooting I just kept exploring new ways to use it, and that’s a really good sign. Also when checking the images later I could not find any reflections or glare, WOW, that’s awesome.
Long story short (well actually it already was a short story to begin with) Charlie the owner of ClickPropsBackdrops loved my work and way of teaching and we agreed to do a custom signature series of some of the walls we use in our studio. From there it all went pretty fast and I can now announce that StudioFD (Annewiek and me) will start selling the ClickPropsBackdrops in the Netherlands starting in May 2022, the official launch will be during the professional imaging in the Netherlands.
Now I don’t connect my name to products left and right, when I promote something I REALLY use it and LOVE it, when we start distribution in the Netherlands that’s a whole step further and just means for you guys that I 100% believe in a product and think it gives the absolute best in quality for it’s price.
ClickPropsBackdrops delivers a stunning selection of prints that will fit every taste and occasion, it doesn’t matter if you’re a food/new born/wedding/event or fashion/portrait photographer there is more than enough choice for you and in almost every size you could wish for, from small to huge panoramic prints that can easily handle a whole family (well maybe not all families, but you know what I mean right? it’s huge).
The backgrounds are designed for and by photographers and you can really experience this when shooting. I HATE backgrounds that show up on the photo with creases and are not flat. The ClickPropsBackdrops are hand made and printed on non reflective thick materials that (even with the magnets are clamps) hang very flat, and also important they are super easy to clean. But most of all….. you can use them in many different ways with most prints. It’s not a solution where you are forced to use the same look over and over because the background is not wide/large enough or because the print “forces” you to place your subject in a certain location.
My favourite size is without a doubt the 2.72×2.72 meter profabric which is absolutely awesome and hails back to the wonderful painted canvasses which we all love but are often way out of our price range. Also the profabric is delivered on a sturdy tube that will fit most background systems, including electric systems. So it’s just hanging it up and.. well start shooting.
And due to the prints and size you have plenty of options on where to place your model, so you can literally use the backgrounds in many different ways and be super creative with it without customers/followers commenting that you use the same background all the time… I just love this way of working.
It might be more expensive than seamless, but if you start calculating… seamless you have to replace every few weeks with heavy use, my first ClickPropsBackdrops is still looking brand new, and is used a lot during events and in our own studio, so it’s many times taken down, rolled up and transported, and it still looks brand spanking new, that’s a super good investment because when I take seamless on location I already know I can throw it away right after the event. Plus it’s way cooler of course.
Because sometimes words and images are better and sometimes video, I decided to do this special introduction both ways. So here is the official Dutch and English introduction video.
DEALERS ARE WELCOME FOR THE NETHERLANDS