Pho­to: Antipor­da Pro­duc­tions LV, LLC / flickr.com

Tired of nail­ing the back­ground or glu­ing it with glue — maybe already buy a nor­mal mount? Jokes are jokes, but, espe­cial­ly before pur­chas­ing a new back­ground, it is log­i­cal to think about how and on what you will hang it.

How to choose a mount for a photophone

When choos­ing a hold­er for a back­ground, you should first of all pro­ceed from where you are going to shoot with it. For a small home stu­dio, loca­tion shoot­ing and a pro­fes­sion­al pho­to stu­dio, com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent hold­ers and types of mounts are suit­able. The size of the room, the porta­bil­i­ty of the equip­ment, and the shoot­ing for­mat itself are tak­en into account.

For small home studios

If you are lim­it­ed in space and can only allo­cate a small part of the room for work, the choice of avail­able options is sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced. In such a sit­u­a­tion, the best solu­tion would be to buy a T‑stand. It takes its name from its ‘T’ shape: the hold­er’s design con­sists of a light­weight stand with a bar that mounts on top. The back­drop is attached to the top rail with clips.

The T‑stand will fit in the small­est room, weighs lit­tle and, if nec­es­sary, folds quick­ly enough. This is a portable option — you can eas­i­ly move it around the room or take it with you on loca­tion. The main dis­ad­van­tage is the low pay­load. Such hold­ers usu­al­ly with­stand a back­ground of no more than a kilo­gram — sheets of paper, light muslin and plas­tic back­grounds are suit­able.

How­ev­er, T‑stands are bought not only because of space con­straints. If you only shoot waist-length por­traits or have a “sit-down” video blog, that is, you sim­ply don’t need large-for­mat pho­to­phones, a T‑stand will be a very con­ve­nient option.

The Ray­lab T‑stand is a bud­get-friend­ly mount for small stu­dios and on-site shoot­ing. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

For exam­ple, on the Ray­lab BT2 T‑stand, you can attach a back­ground 140 cm wide and 200 cm high — this is quite enough for a pass­port pho­to or self­ie vlog. Light­weight alu­minum stand with 1 kg load capac­i­ty, con­sist­ing of a tri­pod, an extend­able cen­tral col­umn and a two-part cross­bar. Thanks to its afford­able price, the stand can be a great start for your home stu­dio.

For large home and professional photo studios

If you are not so lim­it­ed in space (there is at least 3–4 meters of free space in width), then you can install a clas­sic gate. They are main­ly used for fab­ric back­grounds, but it is also pos­si­ble to hang rolls with a paper back­ground on the gate, although this is not very con­ve­nient. Dif­fer­ent gates dif­fer in size (width and height) and load capac­i­ty.

Both fab­ric and paper back­grounds can be hung on the gate. Pho­to: spectrum-brand.com

Lighter designs are well suit­ed for home stu­dios — such a stand is easy to move. They can with­stand 3–4 kg, which is just enough for a reg­u­lar muslin back­ground. The most pop­u­lar width (mea­sured along the ver­ti­cal bar) is 3 meters, the height may vary, but usu­al­ly it is around 2.5 meters.

Before buy­ing, it is impor­tant to mea­sure the width of the room: the width of the rack is indi­cat­ed only along the cross­bar, but the fold­ing legs also take up some space, so, for exam­ple, for a 3‑meter rack, you should have at least 330 cm of free space. The hor­i­zon­tal cross­bar in light racks is col­lapsi­ble and con­sists of sev­er­al sec­tions. In some mod­els, not all sec­tions can be used, result­ing in a nar­row­er rack.

Ray­lab B2530B gates can be adjust­ed in height (up to 2.5 meters), and their 3‑meter hor­i­zon­tal bar con­sists of three sec­tions, but using only 2 sec­tions will not work due to the fas­ten­ing fea­tures. The mod­el is light­weight and comes in a car­ry­ing bag, so you can take it with you on loca­tion if you wish.

Gates with a tele­scop­ic bar, like Ray­lab BS002, are the most con­ve­nient for­mat for this type of posts. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

In doors with a tele­scop­ic bar, you can freely adjust the width of the hor­i­zon­tal bar to suit your space and back­ground — this is a more con­ve­nient and ver­sa­tile solu­tion, but the cost of such mod­els is high­er. The Ray­lab BS002 sys­tem with a tele­scop­ic bar can already sup­port up to 7 kg, while remain­ing very light. The height of the racks in it is adjustable from 1.1 m to 2.6 m, and the width of the cross­bar is from 1.3 to 3 m.

In pro­fes­sion­al pho­to stu­dios, you can find even heav­ier sta­tion­ary gates that can with­stand up to 20 kg. Some­times two si-stands with hor­i­zon­tal booms are used: in gen­er­al, si-stands are usu­al­ly used for light­ing fix­tures, but a two-post set­up is also suit­able for heavy back­grounds.

How­ev­er, the gate is not very con­ve­nient when work­ing with paper back­grounds. Usu­al­ly the diam­e­ter of the tube is larg­er than the diam­e­ter of the cross­bar, so the paper back­ground will scroll. This prob­lem is solved with the help of an end mount — it is installed on the gate, and a tube with a paper back­ground is put on it. Make sure that the weight of the tube and the end hold­er does not exceed the max­i­mum load capac­i­ty of the gate, oth­er­wise they may fall or bend.

Paper back­grounds in tubes are best hung on the gate using a spe­cial end mount. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

The Man­frot­to 046MC Expan hold­er will fit back­drops with a tube ID of 46–78mm, a range that cov­ers most stan­dard sizes. A chain is used to adjust the back­ground length. There are also gate mod­els with an already installed end mount for paper back­grounds.

Only one back­ground can be attached to the list­ed options (except for heavy gates) — it will not be pos­si­ble to quick­ly replace it dur­ing shoot­ing. There is a solu­tion to this prob­lem that will work for both home and pro­fes­sion­al stu­dios. With the help of wall and ceil­ing mounts, you can use sev­er­al back­grounds at once, choos­ing the right one right dur­ing the pho­to shoot.

These are sta­tion­ary sys­tems, so before instal­la­tion, you need to think through all the nuances of the loca­tion in advance. How­ev­er, after instal­la­tion, this will be the most con­ve­nient and reli­able option — you can eas­i­ly adjust the required back­ground length, while the design can with­stand seri­ous loads.

The Ray­lab BS-S3 lift­ing sys­tem is wall mount­ed and can be used with 3 paper back­grounds in par­al­lel. The paper does not twist or wrin­kle when lift­ed, and no spe­cial skills are need­ed to assem­ble and install such a sys­tem. Even more back­grounds are attached to the FST ST-B6 wall-ceil­ing sys­tem — six in total.

With wall and ceil­ing mounts, it is con­ve­nient to quick­ly change the back­ground. Pho­to: dw.kz

For outdoor photo shoots

If you plan to take your back­ground with you, the best option is a spring back­drop that can be attached to a reflec­tor hold­er on a tri­pod or leaned against some kind of sup­port. Such a sys­tem is com­pact and easy to trans­port and install, but, unfor­tu­nate­ly, you won’t be able to change the back­ground col­or at your own dis­cre­tion — it is usu­al­ly built into the design. This back­ground, by the way, is quite suit­able for a small home stu­dio.

For out­door shoot­ing, you can take light gates with you, espe­cial­ly if there is a bag for trans­porta­tion in the kit. The dis­ad­van­tage of this option is not too fast instal­la­tion.

What else might be useful

In addi­tion to the stand itself and the back­ground, you may need addi­tion­al acces­sories that will make your life much eas­i­er. Spe­cial clips are con­ve­nient for tem­porar­i­ly fix­ing the back­ground, stretch­ing the sur­face of the fab­ric back­ground in width, and for paper, they can be used as a weight so that the roll does not curl.

Anoth­er use­ful acces­so­ry is teip (adhe­sive tape). It can be used to quick­ly repair a torn back­drop, glue the rolled edge of a paper back­drop to the floor, or attach a gel fil­ter to a back­ground light. The advan­tage of tape over ordi­nary tape is that it prac­ti­cal­ly does not leave marks on the sur­face and does not spoil the back­ground mate­r­i­al.


  • When choos­ing mounts for a pho­to­phone, you must first of all focus on the room in which you will be shoot­ing, and then on the back­ground mate­r­i­al.
  • If you are very lim­it­ed in space, a T‑stand with a plas­tic back­ground or a back­ground on a spring is best.
  • In larg­er home or pro­fes­sion­al stu­dios, gates can be installed. They are good for fab­ric back­drops, and for use with a paper back­ground in a tube, it is bet­ter to install an addi­tion­al end mount (check that the gate can sup­port the total weight of the sys­tem).
  • If you want to use sev­er­al back­grounds at once, then a ceil­ing or wall mount­ing sys­tem, on which you can hang sev­er­al paper tubes at once, would be a log­i­cal option.
  • For out­door ses­sions, back­drops on a spring (com­plete with a hold­er for a reflec­tor on a tri­pod) and light­weight col­lapsi­ble gates are suit­able.

A beau­ti­ful and at the same time func­tion­al back­drop, as well as a secure mount for it, is an impor­tant invest­ment in your pho­tog­ra­phy future!