Good backdrops at an affordable price are difficult to find. I’ve been painting my own for a couple of years now with mostly success but the drops I paint are small (around 4 x 6’) and sometimes aren’t even that affordable depending on the paint I use and the trial and error of using it on different canvases.
I decided it was time to purchase some drops and there are some amazing companies out there that are just out of reach for me. I happened on Gravity Backdrops and they seemed affordable and in the style I like. So I bought a few and here was my experience.
The first thing I noticed was there was no way to just buy backdrops directly on their site. A lot of these services are custom so that wasn’t a big surprise but I wanted to just pick from a lineup and purchase.
On their Facebook page you can see they actually do have readymade stock in various sizes. There still wasn’t an obvious way to purchase these but anyone who asked on their page were simply told to message Gravity on Facebook.
So I messaged Gravity.
This is a really weird way to order things, in my opinion. My spider sense was going haywire, “Is this a scam?” I figured that if it was I could summon the dark forces of the entire photography empire against them so I stopped worrying and dove in.
The awkward exchange went back and forth like this for awhile (I suppose before the internet people would merely have awkward exchanges on the phone instead). It all concluded in them invoicing me, me paying them via PayPal, and them (eventually) sending me my tracking number (it took about 3-4 days because they had to clear customs first – seemed reasonable).
I still half felt like these backdrops would never arrive – or they’d arrive damaged and months later. But it actually only took about a week! Note that I might just be lucky here because these ship from Europe and customs doesn’t keep a strict schedule. Your results may vary.
Now it’s time for the big reveal…
Seeing snapshots of these backdrops is valuable but even better is seeing how they render in actual portraits. I was commissioned by a couple for a shoot with their dog and I was excited to use these new drops on them.
I like my green-gray and blue the most as-is but I found the brown to be the most versatile. It provided a lot of latitude with color changes in post production. I’d imagine that a straight gray backdrop (textured) would be the most versatile if you are forced to only purchase 1 color.
I am looking forward to doing more shoots with these. They are much more affordable than their competitors but still not “cheap” by any stretch. I will likely continue to hand-paint my own backdrops when a unique color is needed and use my Gravity Backdrops as my standard set for most shoots.
If you have any other questions about my Gravity experience, I’ll do my best to answer but feel free to reach out to them on Facebook for details on pricing, shipping, and other logistics – they have a pretty good response time. Special thanks goes out to my models, Caitlin and Chris, as well as their dog, David Bowie.