Hanging Professional Backdrops with Magnets

Hanging Professional Backdrops with Magnets

Hanging Professional Backdrops with Magnets with Lauren Kelly

For years I have tried many different ways of hanging and shooting my professional backdrops. These include the good ole’ backdrop stand, mounting a curtain rod to the wall and clamping my drops to that, long heavy duty Velcro strips on the wall with bits of the opposing strips on the back corners of my drops, and finally, what I currently useMetal Strips with Magnets.

This has been, by far, the most convenient way for me to work with all of my backdrops! I chose to do the strips versus a full magnet wall mainly because it was easier for me to attain all the materials needed and put them together quickly.

What you will need:

  • Metal strips that you can find at your local hardware store. Mine are about 1” wide and it took about 3-4 strips per row on my long wall. I like to have side by side sets for easy transitions.  
    • Hint: Test a magnet on it at the store to make sure the strip is, in fact, magnetic.
    • Use screws to mount the strips to your wall. My husband drilled holes in the metal strips with a drill bit for the screws so we could mount the metal strips to the wall.
      • Safety Tip: Once you are finished mounting, be sure to vacuum or clean the area on the floor where any shavings have fallen. These can become little metal splinters which aren’t fun.
    • Heavy duty magnets.

    When installing, I put my 1” metal strips all along my main shooting wall at the 8’ and 5’ mark, and also at the very bottom of the wall because all of my backdrops are either at the 8’ or 5’ height. I have the lowest strip near the floor so I can secure the bottom corners of my backdrops to avoid curling and wrinkles in the material. I also added a few strips under my seamless paper system at the 5’ mark because I love utilizing whatever wall space I have in my 420 square foot garage-converted studio. It really allows me to make easier transitions from one set to the next without having to manipulate and work around backdrop stands.

    I use two different types of magnets I found on Amazon: Wukong Magnetic Hooks, 100lbs Pulling Force Push Pin Magnets.

    The push pin magnets are super heavy duty. They secure my mat floors, canvas, dream weave and fabrics with no problem! I love them because I can layer my backdrops on top of each other. This makes it so simple for me to just pull one down when I’m done using it and I’m ready to shoot on the next!  

    I love the magnetic hooks because they work just fine for the lighter materials, but they are also great for dangling or draping décor as needed with the backdrops. For example, when I want to drape a greenery vine from one end to the other I can easily hang the greenery on the hooks!

    What I LOVE about the magnet system:

    • It is convenient and easy for backdrops of all kinds to be hung and taken down.
    • It has been a lifesaver for fabrics because I can pull all the corners as tight as they need to be to avoid wrinkles in the material. 
    • It’s safe for your beautiful backdrops.
    • It saves on floor space if you’re used to using backdrop stands.
    • You can layer your backdrops for quicker transitions. 
      • I like to work in reverse, so I layer them all and peel away as I work. You can also do the opposite and just add them on as you go.
    • It causes less damage to the walls versus the Velcro strips, and it looks cleaner.

    I want to share some images that I took in a consecutive 3-session span. Because of my available space, I was able to have all three sessions set up in advance of the first session which is so convenient for me. My first session was a maternity portrait session in which I was using Intuition Background’s “Jade” fabric backdrop.

    My second session used the “Soot” backdrop and we transitioned to the other wall that had the “Coconut” dream weave backdrop ready to go on (this is the wall that has my seamless paper mounting system). 

    My last session used the 8x10 canvas “Juliette Light”.  It stays mounted on my wall since it’s the most challenging for me to put up all by myself. Less setting up time for me, easier transitional options for each session - it’s a win/win!


    About the Author

    Lauren Kelly is a Motherhood-Newborn-Baby and Child Portrait Photographer soon to be located in the Chicago area.

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