Just purchased your first roll of Superior Seamless Background Paper? We’re just as excited as you are! Skim through our setup guide below to ensure a safe and secure background for your portrait or commercial photography shoot.
Setting Up a Background Stand
A paper backdrop is most professional and secure when mounted to a sturdy background stand.
- Before assembling your backdrop stand, sweep or dust mop the floor to clear away any small debris that could damage the paper.
- Decide where you want to place your photo backdrop, and then assemble your crossbar and separate your backdrop stand uprights so they are at least 1 foot further apart than the width of your paper roll. This will enable solid support while still allowing the roll to unfurl freely.
- Extend the legs of each upright and position them with two legs against the wall parallel with the crossbar, and the nearest leg facing you. Weigh down the base of each upright with a sandbag. All of the weight of the sandbag should rest on the base legs of the upright, not the floor. This will keep your backdrop stand stable. If you are using an extra-large backdrop, use two or more sandbags for each upright. Check the maximum weight limit of your stand set by the manufacturer to ensure it can safely accomodate your backdrop.
- Extend the top section of each upright post fully, and tighten the tension knobs. If needed, extend the second section of each upright until the crossbar is at about eye level. Place the ends of your crossbar onto the background upright pins, ensuring they sit properly. Check to make sure the upright risers are still straight and that they aren’t getting pushed apart or pulled closer together by the crossbar.
Mounting the Seamless Background Paper Roll
- Lay the backdrop paper roll on the floor so that the cut edge is at the bottom of the roll and facing you. Carefully lift the paper using both hands and hold it horizontally. (Don’t cut the tape off of the free edge before doing this step.) Detach one end of the crossbar from the riser post and slide the paper roll onto the length of the crossbar until the paper is centered between both risers in the middle of the crossbar. Place the crossbar end back on the top of the riser and ensure that it is fully seated. Place an A-clamp on one end of the paper to prevent it from unfurling.
Two finishing styles are standardly produced. Your paper roll may have tabs or a preforated edge. Using a pocket knife, cut each piece of tape along the paper edge taking care not to cut into the layers of paper. If your roll has a perforated edge, peel away the strip across the width of the paper.
2. Temporarily remove the A-clamp and unfurl several feet of paper, allowing it to naturally curl back onto itself at the floor. Take care not to allow the paper to buckle, crease or crimp as you do this. If you want the paper to sweep onto the floor under your subject, be sure to unfurl enough paper at this time to allow for the additional length.
3. When you have enough paper extended, place the A-clamp back on one end of the paper, at the top edge and in front of the crossbar. This will keep the paper from unfurling further as you raise the backdrop stand uprights.
Raising the Backdrop
- If you have an assistant, raise the upright sections simultaneously until the backdrop is at the desired height. If you don’t have an assistant, alternate back and forth raising each upright 8”-10” inches at a time. Step back to make sure the top is level and the paper roll is centered. When mounted properly, the side edges of the paper will run parallel to the stand uprights. Make adjustments as needed.
- The bottom edge of the paper can be left rolled at the floor, or can be swept out flat to create a curved, continuous backdrop that extends underneath your subject. When sweeping the paper out, be sure to secure the end and sides of the paper to the floor with gaffer tape to prevent movement and tripping hazards.
- Remove gaffer tape from the edges of the paper at the floor. Allow the paper to curl up again at the base of the backdrop stand uprights.
- If the end of your backdrop is dirty or torn, use your utility knife to cut a straight edge off the used portion. Recycle the paper sheet.
- Lower each of the upright risers a bit at a time and allowing the paper to roll up naturally at the floor. Don’t allow the paper to crimp or crease. Lower the risers (with the paper still on the crossbar) until they are just below shoulder height.
- Remove the A-clamp and rotate the paper to tightly rewind the unfurled section back onto the paper roll. Secure the free edge with pieces of gaffer tape along the length of the roll.
- Lift one end of the crossbar off of the stand pin and slide the paper roll off. (Don’t allow the crossbar to hang unsupported on one riser as it can damage the end of the crossbar or bend the riser pin.)
- Collapse or disassemble the crossbar sections, remove the sandbags and collapse the uprights.
Proper planning and care of your paper backdrop equipment will allow you to use the same supplies to create beautiful, seamless background images time and time again. Enjoy!
These guidelines are step-by-step outline for using a standard backdrop stand, but if you are working in a small space you can also place the roll of paper on the floor at the base of the wall, pull the free edge upward and tape it to the wall using gaffer tape. When doing so with a wide backdrop, use a step stool and get help from an assistant to help keep the roll in position and to support the opposite end of the paper to prevent wrinkles and tears.