If you’re traveling to do an on location portrait shoot you can either utilize the surrounding area as your backdrop or bring your own. Using a nice location is great, but what if you don’t have one? I’ve done family portraits in hotel hallways and hospitality suites during family reunions and let’s just say that the wallpaper in these venues usually isn’t good enough. However, traveling with a full blown backdrop and support system can be a pain too.
Westcott X-Drop Backdrops
Westcott just introduced a series of 5′x7′ backdrops and a kit to hold them up. When I first saw them I was really only interested in the backdrops themselves. I wasn’t really thinking about a support to hang them since I already have a couple. However, I got a kit and I gotta say that I’m glad I did. First off I couldn’t believe how light weight this thing was compared to traditional pole type support systems. Secondly it goes up in about 5 minutes or less.
You have your choice of 6 different colors: Mist, Quarry, Saffron, Serenity, Eminence and Slate. Plus Black, White and Green Screen for a total of 9. The X-drops can either be ordered separately or as a kit with the stand. I highly recommend at least one kit with the color you want and then if you want additional X-drops you can just order them separately and use the same stand from the kit.
Like most cloth backdrops it will ship folded and therefore you will have to deal with the creases either by ironing/steaming them out or with Photoshop in post. I used a steamer with great fast results. The good news also is that they are machine washable. The kits come complete with a travel bag that would fit easily in the overhead bin or even in a suitcase.