PVC Backdrop Holder by Martin Kimeldorf
I decided last week that it is time for me to make a backdrop holder. I had a shoot recently where I wasn’t terribly happy with the results, so I knew I needed a proper backdrop holder. As luck would have it, I found some good tutorials on how to make quality light and backdrop stands. Also found a nifty tutorial on making your own muslin backdrops. I have some headshots to do tomorrow, so I will definitely be building some of this today. Check back next week to see which one(s) I build, and how well I think they work.

  • Kimeldorf system which uses PVC and a light stand. I like it, but may not build it since I will need both of my light stands tomorrow. There is also a followup article that has some improvements to the original design. Very portable.
  • Jeff Geerling design, which would be good at home, but not sure about portability.
  • Brian Zimmerman’s design which seems designed for portability (longest length of pipe is 5′), but also has modifications for lighting. Also shows how he made a backdrop. Certainly the most complete system of the ones I am linking to. Might also take the longest to build, depending on the mods you use. VERY cool though, and I plan to build this one at some point, just not in time for tomorrow.
  • Plunger head version that uses telescoping paint poles, plunger heads, and misc clamps. Not quite suitable for my needs, but possibly workable for you. Worth looking at anyway.
  • David Thurman’s design is for people who already have poles and just need to build a base to put the poles in (kind of like the base for an umbrella on a patio table or something). Not at all applicable to my situation, but still useful for some people.
  • Create your own muslin backdrop – I really like this tutorial and will use it at some point. Already have something I plan to use tomorrow though.

I also want to mention that I attended a Colorado Strobist meetup last night, and the guest speaker was none other than David Tejada. I have been following his work for quite some time now, and was very pleased to be able to meet him in person. His work is definitely an inspiration to me, and it was great to hear how he setup certain shots. He also agreed to speak at my daughters high school photography class. I am sure the kids will be excited about this. If you haven’t heard of him, check out his work – it will help you think creatively on your next shoot.

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