Typical backdrop sizes for...

Sep 4, 2009
Hello again,

Was researching backdrops and sizes, noticed anything from 12+ feet to 4 feet. I am sure there is a reason for this large range.

Can you advise me on typical sizes for:
Full body shoots 1 to 3 people in studio
Family of 3 To 6, 3/4 and up, in studio
1 or 2 people, 3/4 and up, in studio

For location formals, would you use similar sizes as in studio?

Getting closer,
Jan 4, 2008
Sacramento CA
IMO, different sizes exist for 2 reasons:

1. Small studios may not have room for bigger sizes

2 Smaller may be better for on site set ups.

I would go with the 12 foot in the studio. Having the extra edge can help if get a a family of 4 or 5 (or more). For location work I would get 6 foot wide or wider.

Remember also that width needed is very much effected by the distance between camera and subject, and subject and back ground. For example if you place the subject 5 feet from the bg to avoid shadows, but are are then somewhat limited in camera to subject working distance, you would tend to shoot a little wider with your lens and this can result in running out of bg width. Hope this makes since.
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 26, 2010
Redwood City, CA
You can shoot nudes with a 12 foot x 24 foot muslin backdrop, but would have trouble with a 4 foot backdrop (unless your model was very small) - on the other hand the 4 foot is a lot easier for headshots. If you need flexibility, bigger is better. If you know you're shooting executive headshots, smaller is easier. That's why I have different sizes of different types/colors of backdrops in my small collection.
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