Now you are planning to start or upgrade your studio, or just want a mini-session in your house. However, you may hesitate which size of backdrops to choose when ordering, that perfectly fits your requirements and style. Or you’re just not sure if the space you have is realistically big enough.

Different occasions mean changes in backdrop size! Selecting proper backdrops can not only match the size of your subjects and spaces, but also add personality and aesthetic feelings to your sessions.

To anticipate which size can work well for your shooting, here are 3 principles for reference when choosing backdrop size:

  • Size of Your Studio
  • Size of Your Subject(s)
  • Size Range of Backdrops

Size Of Your Studio

When choosing backdrop size, it's important to figure out the size of your studio first. Backdrop size should fits your studio to look both practical and aesthetic.

You need to measure 3 significant factors of your studio: Depth, Width, and most importantly, Ceiling Height. Accurate size measuring of these 3 factors will offer both primary and essential reference for you when choosing backdrop size. Here, we take sizes that can be applied in the most common occasions (e.g. Full length body shots)as a baseline.

【Please note: The following size references are relatively the most cost effective recommendations. If your studio/space is big enough, you can choose any backdrop size you want.】

    • The Limitation of Ceiling Height

The most important limitation of a studio is the ceiling height. You need to consider whether the height is enough for both setting a backdrop while implementing a ceiling light & a hair light when you begin your work.

First of all, in order to set lights above the model (5.5ft—6 .5ft tall when he or she is standing) , it requires at least another 4 ft height over the head of model.

By summarizing above, we can conclude that you need at least a 10-12 ft ceiling height. For this ceiling height of your studio can deal with the most of cmmon occasions, and that also means your backdrops there can be applied for full length body shots, headshots, waist shots, half-length shots 3/4-length portraits, etc.

    • Measuring Depth

Depth also needs to be precisely measured before choosing a backdrop. You need nearly 1.5ft - 3ft (0.5m - 0.9 m) of space between your subject and the backdrop, in order to get the subject far enough from the backdrop so it doesn't cast a shadow and leave enough space for possible ornaments or equipment.

Sometimes there is necessary that you need your backdrops extended onto the floor. Your model can lie or sit on it while you can shoot from various perspectives. Or you can add some ornaments and the extended part of your backdrop can perfectly merge into the whole background. Precise measuring can help you choose the right height of the backdrops you need.

Or just use a rubber floor mat to match the background! Our rubber floor mat have 4x5ft(1.2x1.5m) and 5x8ft (1.5x2.5m).You will always need that!

Space For Your Subject (Width)

After measuring the size of your space, then you need to consider the size of your subject(s) and your sessions.How many people will you shoot? How will your model(s) pose? What kind of compositions and shots you need? The answers of these questions will eventually decide the width of your backdrops.To figure out what your session needs is always the most direct way to help you choose correct backdrop size.

Kate Backdrop is available in multiple sizes – standard widths of 3ft, 5ft, 6.5ft, 8ft, 10ft and 20ft. You’ll be able to shoot big to small to everything in-between. Also, we are specializing in customizing even larger size according to your requirements.

For example, for kids, headshots, 3/4 -length portraits, you will need at least 5ft of width for a background, at least 1ft on both sides for the backdrop to extend beyond the edges. So you may need 7ft in total for a single portrait. And if your model needs to lie on the floor or you are planning family or holiday sessions, you will need more width. Usually, 10 ft wide is a good choice.


Ceiling height & Depth of Studio —— (Determines) —— Height of Backdrop
Space for your subject(s) —— (Determines) —— Width of Backdrop

Please Remember:

It is always safest to order a backdrop that is too large rather than too small, as it is much easier to crop an image than try to digitally extend the background. According to the standard we mentioned above, 6.5ft×10ft, 8ft×10ft, 10ft×10ft (Width×Height) is enough for most of regular sessions.

Also, we are specializing in customizing even larger size according to your requirements. There is no limit to the size range.

Size Range of Kate Backdrops

Now you can start to choose the size you want. Here are some examples of subjects or occasions that best fit a certain backdrop size. (Only For Reference) Please read the guide below:

(Please note: All backdrop sizes are displayed as "width x height" , 1ft ≈ 0.3m)

    • 3ft (W) x 5 ft (H) (1m x 1.5m) / 5 ft (W) x 3ft (H) (1.5m x 1m)
    • The smallest size recommended starting with, for tight headshots, newborns or kids, pets, small products.
    • 5ft (W) x 5 ft (H) (1.5m x 1.5m)
    • For kids, headshots and 3/4 -length portraits; It is also ideal for photographers who work in narrow spaces or a small home studio.
    • 5ft (W) x 7 ft (H) (1.5m x 2.2m) / 7 ft (W) x 5ft (H) (2.2m x 1.5m)
    • Ideal for headshots and portraits that are not full-body length; 7ft (H) for Standing posture and 5ft (H) for No standing posture. 1-2 people.
    • 8ft (W) x 8 ft (H) ( 2.4m x 2.4m) / 8.2ft(W) x 8.2ft(H) (2.5m x 2.5m)
    • It can absolutely finish what smaller size ones can do, but also allow extra space for your model(s) to move and more space for post editing in Photoshop.
    • 6.5ft (W) x 10 ft (H) (2m x 3m ) / 10 ft (W) x 6.5ft (H) (3m x 2m)
    • This size is good for single full length body portraits and other occasions we mentioned above, but still not the optimal size.
    • 8ft (W) x 10 ft (H) (2.4m x 3m ) / 10 ft (W) x 8ft (H) (3m x 2.4m)
    • This size is able to be applied in most of occasions, from portraits of children to portraits of families; This size of backdrop is versatile! 2-4 people.
    • 10ft (W) x 10 ft (H) (3m x 3m)
    • This size is ideal for shooting most full-length portraits and group portraits. It can be found in professional studios!
    • 10ft (W) x 20 ft (H) / 20 ft (W) x 10ft (H) (3m x 6m / 6m x 3m)
    • Large Size!
  • Custom size – As your requirements, please contact us.
Please note: A larger size backdrop can always do what a smaller size can do, but not the opposite! All the size suggestions above are only for references.


Read More Resources What Backdrops should You Choose : Handbook of Photography Backdrop
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