Photo Booth Backdrops: The Essential Guide to Choosing the Right Stand
If you're just starting out, choosing a backdrop and backdrop stands might have been over looked or under prioritized, but now that you (hopefully) have an event coming up, you realize that there are a ton of options on there. sound familiar? it's all good, I'll walk you through all the options.
Type of Backdrops
Before we plunge into the riveting world of photo booth stands, let's take a moment to paint a vibrant picture of the various types of backdrops available. Why, you ask? Because understanding the diverse range of backdrops will illuminate why you need different types of stands. So, buckle up and let's embark on this colorful journey through the universe of photo booth backdrops!
Think sparkle, think shine, think sequins! Sequin backdrops add an instant glam-factor to your photo booth. They shimmer and twinkle, adding a dash of magic to your photos. They can be a tad heavy and require a sturdy stand to hold them up.
Imagine a wall blooming with a myriad of flowers! Flower wall backdrops are a beautiful choice for weddings, baby showers, or any event looking for a touch of natural elegance. Remember, they can be quite substantial and might need a strong stand for support.
Custom Print (Tension Fabric):
Tension fabric backdrops, customized with your design, offer a wrinkle-free background for photos. They're lightweight and usually come with their own stand. But a word of caution: ensure the exact dimensions before purchasing. Even though marked as "8F x 8F", sizes can vary between vendors. This could result in a loose fit or an incompatible backdrop. So, always verify the measurements for a seamless fit with your stand.
Step and Repeat:
The red carpet beckons with step and repeat backdrops! Ideal for corporate events, these backdrops feature logos or emblems in a recurring pattern. I learned the hard way that printing on canvas material doesn't quite cut it for a professional look. Vinyl is better... but it can reflect a lot of light. Tension fabric is the best option for this type of backdrop.
Channel your inner Spielberg with green screen backdrops! They let you superimpose any background of your choice in post-processing. However, they demand a wrinkle-free existence, so a tension fabric stand is often the top pick.
Glam Booth Backdrop:
This backdrop, popularized by none other than the Kardashians, is as pristine as freshly fallen snow. It's pure white and needs to stay that way, so being machine washable is an absolute must! The slightest wrinkle or crease is a big no-no, meaning it needs to stay as smooth as a mirror lake at dawn. So, what's our material of choice for this superstar backdrop? Drum roll, please... it's tension fabric! It’s like the VIP of backdrop materials - wrinkle-resistant, easily washable, and ready to bring that touch of Hollywood glam to your photo booth!
Muslin backdrops exude a classic, ageless vibe. Lightweight and easy to transport, they play nice with most stands. But beware of the wrinkle gremlin! I recall spending hours steaming my muslin backdrops at events, only to end up with a less-than-perfect result. Unless you're going for an 80s school photo vibe, I'd steer clear of these.
Vinyl backdrops are the sturdy workhorse of the backdrop world. They're resilient, crease-resistant, and a breeze to clean, making them a winner for kid-centric events. Their robust nature requires a dependable stand for support. The catch? They reflect a ton of light, so they aren't the best buddies with a traditional photobooth flash setup. they are OK for a one off event, but avoid these as your main offering.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you'll need is the backdrop stand. The backdrop stand is what holds the backdrop in place and creates a clean, seamless background for your photos. You will probably use your backdrop stand at all your events, it needs hold up the abuse from the weekly setup, tear down and traveling you're about to subject your stand too. Most of your events will probably include people who have been drinking, and trust me, those are the people that will beat up your stand the most. in case you haven't figured this out yet, your backdrop stand is a critical piece to your setup. it might not be as critical as the actual booth or the printer, but you better believe that if your backdrop stand fails and the backdrop can't be used at your event, be ready to give a refund. But with so many different types of backdrop stands available, how do you know which one to choose?
Now, let's talk about the different types of backdrop stands available, and I'll go through my recommendations afterward.
Basic Tripod Stand
This option is good for those who are just starting out and need an affordable and easy-to-use option. However, I don't recommend this. The basic tripod stand consists of two or three legs that support a crossbar, which is used to hold the photo booth backdrop in place. This might seem like the obvious choice to a new commer, but it's not. this stand is for photographers, it's not for events. I'll explain with the pros and cons.
- Affordable (you can buy them for 50$ but the better ones are closer to 300$)
- easy to set up
- Fast to setup & tear down.
- Versatile (height and width ajustable)
- good for lightweight backdrops.
- Not the most stable option
- PEOPLE WILL TRIP ON THEM
- They're not be suitable for heavy backdrops.
- They are made of aluminium, event the good 300$ that are made of thicker materials will eventually need to be replaced. (1 - 2 years)
If you're looking for something more versatile and stable than a basic tripod stand, than you might think a telescopic stand might is the way to go. (TLDR: it's not) This type of stand has adjustable poles that can be extended to different heights and widths, making it suitable for a range of different backdrops. Telescopic stands are not more stable than basic tripod stands and look like they hold more weight but trust me, these stands are cheap Chinese garbage. I've personally purchased 3 of these in my life (from different online stores) and all 3 times it's the ame story: the materials used are so cheap that this "heavy duty" stand just breaks on it's own after a single use. the poles flex, everything moves, and you'll end up throwing it out sooner than you can get a new client.
- Cheap price
- Nothing to trip on!
- Good for very light backdrops
- IMO, these are perfect option for a DIY, planing on only using it once or twice.
- Cheaply made
- Many points of failure
- Annoying to setup and teardown
- They really don't last long
- They have a hard time with the weight of sequin backdrops.
- I would not trust any vendor trying to sell you these.
Pipe and Drape Stand
This here is the way to go, don't waste your time with the first 2 options. You need something that is actually heavy-duty and stable. This type of stand are the gold-standard for events and trade shows, where stability is key. It consists of vertical poles that support horizontal crossbars. The crossbars can be used to hang backdrops and curtains. Everything about these are actually heavy duty. the materials and the designs.
- Very stable, can hold a lot of weight.
- NOTHING TO TRIP ON
- can be used for indoor and outdoor events.
- More expensive than other options,
- Harder to set up. (might require a Flat head screwdriver)
- Takes 5 minutes to setup instead of 30 seconds)
- Some come with a fixed height
Tension Fabric 8 X 8 Frame
- Clean and professional look
- NOTHING TO TRIP ON
- Light weight
- Easy to clean backdrops
- Can hold a lot of weight.
- Can be used for indoor and outdoor events
- More expensive
- Requires more setup time than other types of backdrop stands.
When I started my Photo Booth business in 2015, I only offered sequin backdrops. I went threw buying cheap tripods, expensive tripod, tried the "heavy duty telescopic stand" but finally landed on the pipe and drape style which I still use today. The only reason why I moved away form the tripods was because people kept tripping on them. If you fully extend the legs to maximize stability, you end up with the legs are their lowest position making it very hard to see which garantees people will keep tripping on them. to minimize this hazard you need to install the legs as close as possible to the stand make the stand less stable, but even in this configuration, people will still trip on it. (even if you tape flashy hot pink tape hazard tape on them)
Around 2018-2019, trends starting shifting towards the pillow case style tension fabric backdrops. Today my photo booth company mostly rents out the pillow case style with less and less sequin year over year.
For anyone new who's starting a new photo booth business today would be to purchase a quality tension fabric from a reputable vendor such as Photobooth Décor. You can get away with using the frame with sequin as well.. but I would still purchase a pipe and drap stand if you're going to use a lot of sequin backdrop as they are the most stable and the strongest.In conclusion, when choosing the right photo booth backdrop stand, it's
important to consider how long you plan on using this thing and budget. your stand is an important crical part of your gear, it's an investment. If you're just starting out and need an affordable option, a basic tripod stand may be the way to go. (even though you'll end up upgrading in a year). SKIP the telescopic stand, you will regret buying it. The pipe and drape stand may be a good choice. For those looking to create a unique and professional look, a tension fabric stand is my recommendation.
Whichever option you choose, remember that the backdrop stand is just one piece of the puzzle. You need to mast your photo booth software, you need quality photo booth props and other equipment to make your photo booth stand out.
And finally, let's not forget that the ultimate goal of a photo booth is to have fun! So, let your creativity run wild and have fun with it. With the right backdrop stand and a little bit of imagination, you can create a photo booth experience that your guests will never forget.