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Like Going "On Location" In Your Studio (1:16)

No one brings that 3D reality together like Photo Pie. Watch this demo and check out how to turn your own studio into a realistic looking "on location" shot! Check out our galleries for even more!


How It's Made: From Production to Studio (1:24)

Have you ever wondered how your Photo Pie backdrop is made? This video follows our Graffiti Alley Backdrop from website order, through production, and all the way to a beautiful finished product in your studio.



Why Pie? (2012) - A Photo Pie Introduction (2:39)

This video hits a few basic highlights about what Photo Pie can do for you and your studio, and how we can give you an edge over the competition. Check this out to see some sweet pieces to indulge your creativity!



Backdrop Photography, On Location Tutorial (4:43)

This on location tutorial shows you how to set up your backdrop shots and how to seamlessly tie together the subject and the background image, creating a sense of perspective and 3D reality in your studio photography.

Transcript of "Backdrop Photography, On Location Tutorial":

Hello again.  On this Photo Pie tutorial we’re going to be talking about how to set up the backdrop shots in your studio.  And how to create an appropriate lighting scheme around your backdrops.  

Now, there’s basically 3 questions we want to ask when we’re setting up these backdrop shots:

  1. What type of image are we working with?  We can see in this case, it’s an image that provides a lot of sense of perspective, and a lot of 3D.  It really sucks you into the depth and the environment of the backdrop.  So in this case we want to provide a very gentle sweep.  You want to pull the backdrop towards the camera, and have it as gently sloping as we can so that it provides an easy between the environment you’re standing on and the environment hanging behind you.  You don’t want the eye or the camera to be able to ascertain where the curvature happens.  Now there’s basically two types of images:  there’s one that provides a lot of rich environment and 3D perspective and there’s the type that hangs straight down from the wall and goes at a right angle straight towards the camera.  That would be the type that has the wall and the floor connected.  At Photo Pie we have many, many backdrop shots that are indoors and have this wall with a floor arching out.  So in that case you want to drop down until the wall reaches the corner of the wall and the floor in your studio and pull it straight towards your camera.  No sweep at all.  But in this one we want a lot of gentle sweep.  
  2. Now the second question we want to ask is what type of lighting scheme is going on in my background, because we want to match our lighting equipment to the image in the background so that it looks like one seamless reality.  Now, you can see in this backdrop, we have dark shadows underneath these arches.  So it tells us that there is at least one dominant light source coming from above.  You can also see on these columns, there’s another light source coming on the right side of some of these columns.  So it tells us two of the dominant light sources in this image is from the right and from above.  And what’s most important is not the lighting scheme that’s going on behind me but right where I’m going to be standing, where I’m going to be placing the subject of my photography.  So when you’re assessing the lighting, make sure you keep that in mind.  You’re not taking in every aspect of the image but you’re going to be looking for the lighting scheme of where you’re going to be placing the person standing in your shot.  So to the best of my assessment, the lighting scheme right here would be from above and to the right.  So what I’m going to do is I’m going to place a soft box on a boom stand so that you get an overhead, real dramatic light.  It’s a really hard and artistic light.  It’s one of my favorite types of lighting.  If I have the flexibility to choose based upon the leeway that my background image gives me.  So we have this lighting here, on a boom stand if you can see it here in the top right hand corner.  
  3. And the third question we want to ask is: where do we want to place our subject?  Or another question is: what is the richest part of this image?  In my opinion, the richest part of this image is right here.  The background is not so bad over here either.  But I think if you stood your subject right here you’d be blocking one of the richest parts of the image.  And this hall (if you stand someone right here) you still get to see the part that really sweeps back and draws you into the depth of the environment.  So I would place my subject right here.  I’d probably place a chair.  If I had two people, I’d probably have one standing and one sitting.  And then with all these techniques combined (the lighting, the gentle sweep and the proper placement of the subjects) you can produce and image that looks a little bit like this:

Now as you can see this backdrop creates a very good vertical image.  So I would recommend that you put your camera on the mount in a vertical position.  Also, if you place your camera on the mount, slightly higher than normal (not too much that it foreshortens the legs or or the lower part of the body but just slightly higher than normal) then it will help with the outward stretching of the outside of the background that you previously saw as I was standing on the background.  In this case it was make the bottom parts so the column and the floor not quite as stretched towards the outside because the raising of the position on the mount make everything more in perspective and straight in line with the eye.  

Finally, one little behind-the-scenes secret that you wouldn’t know unless you’re paying attention to Photo Pie tutorials is the way this shot came together.  Originally we had two models planned: a tall guy and a tall girl.  But because the girl was unavailable and was not able to come we had to change our plans.  And so originally instead of having about a 6’ model, paired with this tall guy, we had to have a 5’ woman model fill in, in her place.  So we had to have her stand on a wooden box underneath the dress.  Now if I hadn’t told you, you probably wouldn’t have noticed but, we have a 5’ person in about a 6’ costume, standing on a box.  But if you have to work with ingredients you have, sometimes you can hide it and noone will even know.

Well thanks for tuning in to this on location, special Photo Pie tutorial.  And stay tuned for many more to come.  Enrich your studios with Photo Pie Backdrops.   


Introduction to Roll-Up Floor Mats (2:09)

How do our rubber-backed floor mats work? How do you use them? How can you match them with backdrops? Watch this video to learn how.

Transcript for: "Introduction to Roll-Up Floor Mats"

Hi. In this quick Photo Pie video we’re going to show you our roll up floor mats. We’re going to demonstrate a few ways that you can use them in your studio. When they come to you they will be rolled like this. But once you unroll them, you can see how well they grip the floor. If you have a high traffic event, they’re not going to wrinkle or show shadows in your photography. Also for this demonstration, we chose a very colorful image. This might not be the best style for the shoots that you’re doing. But we wanted to demonstrate the vividness of the printing. And also the detail and the clarity. If you want a different image, we have tons to choose from in our floormat category. Also we can print your own custom image. Any image that you provide to us, we can print on these roll up floormats. They also match very well with our squared images. Especially the squared backdrop images in our interiors category. Our niche at Photo Pie really is backgrounds and floor all in one piece. Backdrops that have the floor and background, and really surround the customer/client and creates sort of a forced perspective, a very realistic photography shot. But this works well.

For interior backdrops, just match them up with the baseboard as you see here. Choose a squared size so that it doesn’t have the flooring included with it. And also just scoot the floormat up to the baseboard as well. So you can mix-and-match several different flooring options. Several different wall options and have lots of different options for your clients when they come into your studio.

I also want to demonstrate what happens when you get these wet. You can see I’m pouring water over the backdrop (floormat)…nothing happens. You just blot it up with a clean rap, the same way you’d clean up any accident in your studio. Perhaps you have babies or events where people bring drinks on backdrops. Once you blot it up with a rag, you’re good to go. You can continue your event. There’s no bleeding. There’s no deterioration of the image because this is a dye-sub type printing (dye sublimation). The ink is actually infused in the fabric. And when I say fabric, it is a polyester felt-like top. It’s not woven. Like I say, it’s felt-like, but it has the infusion into the fabric itself so you’re not going to have any deterioration of the image. Let us know if you have any more questions. You can email us at

Constructing A Backdrop Pulley System (for under $35) 2:21

In this video we show you the parts you need to buy and how to assemble them in order to make a very affordable backdrop pulley system for your studio.


2 Solutions In Under 2 Minutes 1:59

In this video we talk about two of the most common problems we see in backdrop shots and offer some quick lighting advice on how to correct them and save time in post production.



Custom Backdrops In Action (With Surprise Ending) 1:09

This video features some ideas about how to turn your own great pics into an "on location" shoot without ever leaving your studio.


Making Custom Changes to Backdrop Images (1:34)

This, our shortest video, shows how to make smaller color changes to our backdrops and place your custom order.


Digital vs Real Backgrounds (6:44)

This tutorial shows compares digital backgrounds and real backdrops, discusses the pros and cons of both. This video also outlines the different retouch techniques and setup procedures used when doing green screen photography or studio backdrop shots.


Matching Foreground and Background (4:40)

This video demonstrates how to create a sense of reality using digital backgrounds by seamlessly merging the foreground and the background, appropriately adjusting the levels and saturation during the retouch process.


Matching lighting with Background Environment (5:18)

This video demonstrates various techniques for creating a studio lighting setting appropriate for creating a sense of realism that merges seamlessly with environments printed on backdrops.


Removing Wrinkles in Backgrounds (2:34)

This tutorial shows the basic retouch techniques for removing wrinkles when doing photography in front of digitally printed backgrounds.




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