11 Best White Photography Backdrop Options

Does adding a white photography backdrop to your studio space seem too expensive or inaccessible?

There are so many inexpensive resources and ways to make your photos stand out using different white photo backdrops in your shoots.

In this article, we’ve compiled the absolute best white backdrop options for photography, along with additional tips for white background photography.  

Let’s dive in!


What is the best white photo backdrop?

If you’re shooting products, you can get away with seamless paper or even foam boards. Headshots or fashion photography usually will require them to create or use a set like a wall, cyc, or v-flat. 

How to light a white background

White backgrounds are naturally easy to light. Just keep in mind that the photo will look better if the background is lit up much more than the subject. 

The end result should be the background being three stops brighter than your subject. The subject shouldn’t be too close to the background. The key here is to separate the subject from the background to avoid light spills.

Another thing to keep in mind is to maintain even lighting to avoid any unwanted shadows on the background.

If you’re looking to do a white background photoshoot, here are a few ideas to make white background photography easier. 


11 Best White Photo Backdrops

  1. White seamless paper
  2. V-flats
  3. Cyc wall
  4. Foam board
  5. Softboxes
  6. White wall
  7. Movable walls
  8. Vinyl backdrop
  9. White fleece
  10. Muslin fabric
  11. Painted wall


1. White Seamless Paper

White Seamless Photo Backdrop — White Background Photoshoot — Sunny 16

This is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to create a white background photoshoot. 

Paper is a great white photo backdrop for nearly every photo need and it’s very cost-effective. Plus, it’s portable so can be taken anywhere and everywhere! 

You can keep sheets of different colored paper in your studio. 

When you need them, just roll out a new sheet and start to shoot. You can also buy hanging shelves for paper sheets. These shelves will attach to a wall, so you can pull down the sheet of paper when they need it. 

You can also buy the sheets of paper and cut them out when the time and need arrives. This way, there’s no need to set up a permanent fixture in someone’s house or studio. 

You can put the white photography backdrop up quickly and take them down fast as well. 

The sheets of paper can also be in many different locations, be careful that they do not get wrinkled or torn. 

There are a lot of additional accessories you’ll need for hanging up paper, including clamps, tap, backdrop stands and more.

If the white photo backdrop is getting set up on location, it’s important to keep the accessories all in one place within your camera bag for easy access.

 

In the Voyager camera backpack, you can customize the dividers and fit their accessories in one section. For example, just toss in the backdrop clamps within one compartment and your camera gear in another to maintain organization.

That way you will know exactly where everything is when it’s time to set up their backdrop stand.

If there is a need for a smaller set, just use a smaller amount of paper! Many models and photographers will hang up paper from the ceiling and let it land farther out on the floor. This way, if it’s a full body shoot, the photo will capture the entire subject with the background. 

Ideal Photoshoot: Headshot photography, Portrait photography, Product photography

Cost: $25-$55


2. V-Flats

White Backdrop for Photography — V-Flat Gator Board — Sunny 16

V-flats are perfect to bounce light — but they also make a great white photo backdrop for your photoshoot. They’re cost-effective, long-lasting and very easy to make if you’re feeling crafty.

V-flats are built with two foam or gator boards taped together and should look something like this:

White V-Flat Photography Background — Female Model Pose — Sunny 16

How to shoot a subject against a v-flat

After lighting your white photo backdrop (at least 2-3x brighter than your subject), just place them in the corner or on one side of the flat.

Just remember that you’ll need to create some distance between the v-flat and the subject for more depth of field.

How to make a foldable V-flat

V-flats are easy to make, easy to buy, and easy to use. These flats provide a seamless white background for your product photography and headshot photography. Because the V-flats can be as big or as small as you need, they can be easily adapted to whatever size space you have available.

Follow these steps to make your own v-flat

  1. Buy two gator boards (and some white tape)
  2. Cut them to their appropriate size
  3. Tape them together (leave a gap)
  4. Spray paint them white

For a more details breakdown, take a look at the video below:

Ideal Photoshoot: Fashion photography, Headshot photography

Cost: $5-$20


3. Cyc Wall

White Photography Backdrop — Cyclorama Wall in Studio — Sunny 16

Before we get into the details, you might be asking yourself...

What is a cyc wall?

Cyc is abbreviated for cyclorama, which refers to a cyclorama wall or cyc wall. It’s essentially a curved wall used as a white photo backdrop and often used for fashion photoshoots. If it’s used properly, it’s very difficult to know where the floor ends and wall begins

There are a few different options if you’re looking to use a cyc wall for your photoshoot. You can either rent out a cyc wall, buy one, or make one yourself. Here's a video that breaks down the process of making your own cyclorama:

If you’re in a pinch for time, we suggest calling up some nearby studios to see if you can rent out a cyc wall. You can usually get away with a half-day (or full-day) rate.

If you decide on investing in a cyc wall, just keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of available space to set this up in your own studio. Cyc walls are professional white photography backdrops and they’re great to own, but it might exceed your budget.

Many photography studios that rent out their spaces come with a cyc wall or have one available to rent at any time. 

If you are looking for a cyclorama wall near you, just Google it and you’ll find tons around you!

Again, cyc walls are expensive, but they provide amazing white background photography with a professional edge (no pun intended). 

Ideal Photoshoot: Headshot photography, fashion photography

Cost: $75-$1,000


4. White seamless foam board

White Seamless Photo Backdrop — Food Photography — Sunny 16

White backdrops for photoshoots are not all expensive. 

Foam boards could make a great option for a white photo backdrop — plus, they’re easy to transport and easy to buy. 

The white boards provide a great background and a beautiful set up for the shot. The white background will also make the shoot look professional. 

You can find foam boards on Amazon or in craft stores for a very cheap price. 

Foam boards are best used for product shoots. The boards can be smaller, so you can place the product in front of the boards and bounce light off of them. 

Ideal Photoshoot: Product photography

Cost: $5-$20


5. Shoot Against a Softbox

White Softbox Backdrop Photoshoot — Photo Studio— Sunny 16

Softboxes are great white photography backdrops if you need a white seamless background. Just remember that this option requires a bit more professional lighting equipment than the others. 

A softbox will light the subject from behind. This light will give you a soft background and does not distract from the subject of the photo. The light will also give your subject a backlight which will separate them from the background.

Softboxes are wonderful if you are shooting something on a smaller scale. Product photo shoots are great for softboxes. 

If a wide shot or a long photo is needed, a softbox might not be the best choice. 

Ideal Photoshoot: Product photography, Headshot photography

Cost: $20-$100

6. Use a Simple White Wall

 

 

There might already be white walls in the studio, home, or wherever you are for the day. If a white photo backdrop wall is already a white seamless background, then use it! 

There is nothing easier or cheaper than what is already available.

That way, there is no need to cart around extra materials or crowd your camera bag with unnecessary things.

White wall photography also allows for texture in the background of the photos. Just make sure the texture doesn't distract from the photo’s main subject. 

Use lights (we suggest Dracast or Aputure lights) to correctly light the background. These will not overexpose the subject and will work well in a studio space. 

There may also be white walls outside. Painted walls outside provide for an excellent white seamless backdrop. 

While some walls outside might be white, you will be able to see the textured background in the picture. Keep the photoshoot to an inside and untextured wall.

Ideal Photoshoot: Headshot photography, Portrait photography, Fashion photography

Cost: $0-$20



7. Build a Wall

White Background Photography — Moveable Wall — Sunny 16

If there is not a wall to spare, consider building a white background. 

Anyone can build a wall rather easily by attaching wheels to a wooden board. Paint the wall white and it can move anywhere and everywhere! 

The wall can be as small or as large as necessary for the shoot. We would suggest making it a bit larger. A larger wall will give you many choices of what to shoot with the white photography backdrop. Here's an in-depth video to show you exactly how to make a white backdrop that can move in your studio:

The ability to move a wall around also allows you to get the best lighting any time of the day. A moveable wall makes a creative way to have a white background photoshoot anywhere!

Ideal Photoshoot: Headshot photography, fashion photography

Cost: $5-$20


8. Use Vinyl

White Seamless Photo Backdrop for Food Photography — Sunny 16

Vinyl is an excellent source to update the walls. Place vinyl sheets in a manner that will create a seamless white photo backdrop. 

If you no longer need the vinyl or leave the place you put it up, it comes off easy and transfers with no mess. 

Here are some options for vinyl backgrounds.

There are also textured white vinyl backgrounds to create texture and contrast in white backdrops.

Ideal Photoshoot: Product photography, headshot photography, fashion photography

Cost: $5-$50


9. Draping a White Fleece

Fleece is a great white fabric for a photo background that provides a white seamless backdrop. So many options for white backdrops can get crinkled or wrinkled. 

If the background has marks on it, the viewer’s attention will go from the subject to the mark. One way to avoid a wrinkly option for a white photo backdrop is to use white fleece. 

White fleece fabric is at almost every fabric store. Using the fleece option is good for many reasons. It is cost-effective, and will not wrinkle. 

Depending on how the fabric looks on camera, it might add texture to the photo and make the subject not as striking. The fleece should be rather small and easy to carry.

You can even put it in your Voyager camera bag if you need it for your photo shoot. 

This bag can fit 2 cameras with lenses, 7 additional lenses, a 16” laptop, and any more accessories you might need on your shoot! It’s wonderful if you’re spending the day doing multiple shoots or very hands-on and DIY set ups. 

Fleece fabric, like many fabrics, are often used in newborn shoots. There are so many blankets with fleece material and lay them out expertly on the ground.

White Seamless Photo Backdrop — White Fleece Newborn Photography — Sunny 16

A fleece will also provide a soft and non distracting background for your photos. Many photographers find success using fleece in their fashion photography or headshots. The soft background may not allow for the stark pop that some of the flatter options provide, however. 

Ideal Photoshoot: Newborn photography, product photography, headshot photography, fashion photography

Cost: $5-$20

10. Use Muslin

White Muslin Backdrop for Photography — Female Model Pose — Sunny 16

Everyone has fabric laying around their house somewhere. The fabric doesn’t have to be from the store and new either. 

The photographer or stylist can put the fabric on a backdrop stand, and move the subject anywhere. 

This way, the subject can let the light hit them in the best way.  Use a strobe light behind the fabric to give the picture the necessary backlight. 

Fabric is one of the easier options for a white backdrop. The fabric can be as big or as small as needed. 

Fabric provides a depth in photos that flat white walls do not. Fabric is also beautiful when it hangs up. 

Fabric can also go on the ground if the subject for the photos needs to sit down. You can place your subject on the floor and drape the fabric around them if you are using soft fabric like muslin. 

Muslin is most often used in shoots with children. Muslin is a great white photography backdrop for so many shoots. 

Ideal Photoshoot: Newborn photography, product photography, headshot photography, fashion photography

Cost: $5-$20


11. Paint a Wall

 

White Seamless Backdrop Wall — Chair Photography — Sunny 16

If there is a wall in the studio that gets great light, consider painting it white. 

This will create the white background that so many people need but cannot get. A white wall in a house or studio will also allow the photographer to shoot whatever, wherever, and whenever

White walls will never go out of style and they aren‘t imposing. 

Ideal Photoshoot: Headshot photography, fashion photography

Cost: $5-$20


Upgrade your Camera Backpack

There are so many effective options when you’re looking to incorporate white backgrounds into your photography. When you’re on-location, it’s important to keep your accessories (like your clamps) safe and organized in the Sunny 16 Voyager backpack.

The camera backpack can support tons of storage, water-resistant material, quick side access — and it doesn’t look like a traditional camera bag!


The Best Flash Photography Techniques

Photography with white backgrounds is very easy to accomplish when you have the right tools. The contrast that white backgrounds provide allows for the subject to really stand out in all of the photos too.

If you’re wondering how to get the best photo out of these photo shoots, look to the next article about the best flash photography tips and techniques.

What is your favorite way to use white backgrounds in your photography? Do you have any tips or tricks? Comment them down below!

Up Next: 23 Best Flash Photography Tips and Techniques

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