Using Cotton Backdrops in Blog Photography

When I buy a backdrop for my photography work, it’s a multi-use purchase. I can use it for blog photography or I can use it for my portrait photography. A backdrop very rarely has one use in my world – maybe because I’m savvy or maybe I’m just cheap. Either way, whenever I do add one to my collection, I always tend to sway towards backdrop paper or vinyl. I’ve never tried material backdrops, which tend to be made from cotton, as I presumed they’d crease easily.

So, when I was offered the opportunity to test and review a cotton backdrop, I was delighted. Courtesy of iBackdrop, I was gifted a backdrop in exchange for a review on my blog.

I ordered a simple white brick backdrop with a pink rose pattern – it’s pretty enough to add something special but it’s also simple enough for me to use it in blog photography and portrait photography. I have hopes of using it in my newborn photography too! I did have a hard time choosing which pattern I wanted because the range of backdrops on the website is amazing – from simple patterns such as wood walls and floors to balloons, bunting, scenic views, fairy woods and dinosaurs.

iBackdrop Rose White Brick Photography BackdropiBackdrop Rose White Brick Photography Backdrop

Whilst a lot of the backdrops are more suited to portrait photography and children’s photography (such as cake smashes), there are a lot of options for bloggers too. I regularly use wood vinyl off cuts for my blog photography, which takes up quite a lot of space. Instead, using a cotton backdrop, which can be folded for easy storage, would save a lot of room and maybe allow you to have a wider range of backdrops for blog photographs!

Here’s a sample of just some of the backdrops they sell:

BackdropsBackdropsBackdrops

The material itself is lovely. It didn’t arrive creased, which I was very surprised about, and it actually feels a lot more like velvet than cotton. It’s a heavy material, meaning it will hang nicely and it’s not remotely see-through which is a problem I’ve seen in other, cheaper backdrops. The pattern itself is not as sharp as I would have liked, but as a backdrop doesn’t tend to be the focus of an image, that’s not a problem at all. In blog product photography, for example, the focus would be on the products, with a lovely shallow depth of field to blur out the background.

Blog photography is a huge part of blogging and any way of being able to improve it is always welcome. People tend to stick with what they know or what a lot of other people also use, which doesn’t easily allow for change! Cotton backdrops are an ideal substitute for the whole range of options that bloggers have out there, whether you’re using wrapping paper, coloured A4 sheets, vinyl cut offs or your shiny white desk. You can add so much more variety to your photography with these cotton backdrops.

Sleek Matte Me Lipsticks iBackdrop Cotton Backdrop

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I’m really happy with this backdrop and I’m sure it will be regularly used in both my blog and portrait photography.

If you’d like to have a look at their range of backdrops, you can find them at www.ibackdrop.com.

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

I was gifted a backdrop from iBackdrop in exchange for a review. As always, all views are my own. 

Backdrop Ideas for Blog Photography

For me, and for a lot of other lifestyle/beauty/food bloggers, blog photography is a really important part of each blog post.

They summarise the post’s theme and content to your readers, whether that’s an item, a mood, plans or ideas and they break up the content to make larger posts look less wordy. Good photographs also catch the reader’s attention and are more likely to attract new readers to your blog (and hey, who doesn’t want that?). Frankly, they’re quite important if you’re interested in growing your blog.

Using natural light is the most widely shared blog photography tip, and rightly so. Natural light does wonders. However, choosing the right backdrop is just as important when you’re looking to create simple photographs that are more likely to pop.

If you’re lucky enough to have beautiful marble counters in your naturally lit kitchen, then I envy you so much and we need to be friends. If not, you might want an alternative. A cheap, easy to store but just as brilliant looking alternative.

Maybe you should give marble style self-adhesive backing a go:

Using DIY Backdrops in Blog Photography

A couple of my mandalas on the green marble backdrop.

Nope, this isn’t my gorgeous new kitchen counter. It’s actually a marble-designed adhesive bit of plastic, sprawled across my coffee table.

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The only significant amount of natural light in my flat is in the living room, but there are no attractive looking surfaces in that room! I have a black coffee table, which isn’t exactly the most cheery of backdrops to have in photographs. I needed a quick fix…

When photographing bath bombs for future reviews last week, I turned to my crafts box and picked up some coloured crafting fabrics, thinking “why not use these?” I loved the idea so much that I ended up going on a blog-photo-backdrop-rummage, finding pretty bits of card, attractively designed wrapping paper and, eventually, a roll of self-adhesive green marble. Mine was from the DIY section in Wilkos, which you can find on their website here.

The other backdrops look pretty good too:

Using DIY Backdrops in Blog Photography

Fabrics used for crafting, re-purposed for blog photograph backdrops.

Using DIY Backdrops in Blog Photography

Contrasting colours of Pokémon cards and a blue fabric backdrop.

Using DIY Backdrops in Blog Photography

A selection of games on a polka dot wrapping paper I got from Home Bargains.

SO COLOURFUL

I guess if you’re into the simplicity of white backgrounds and marble designs, the colourful fabrics and wrapping papers may not be your cup of tea. However, it goes to show that a lot of items we all have lying around the house could be contenders for an appearance in your next blog post.

The marble backdrop set me back £4 at Wilkos. The wrapping paper was £1 from Home Bargains. The fabric backdrops also cost me £1 for the whole set at The Works. Bargains, and now I’ve got lots to choose from when taking blog photos in the future!

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What do you think?

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.