Seamless Paper


I get spoiled working in the studio. For example, I can control the light in predictable ways – not just the direction, but the intensity, softness/hardness, color, and distance from the subject. I can use one, two, three or more lights. I can use “flags” to block the light from going where I don’t want it and reflectors to bounce light back into shadow areas.  When shooting outside, you can do some of these things, but you are dependent to a large degree on weather, time of day, and such things as clouds passing  overhead just as you set up a shot.

Another thing I like about shooting in the studio is seamless paper. I like clean, simple photographs, without unnecessary distractions.  Using seamless paper helps tremendously. In this image of the model Carra, she is lying down on the paper. The paper comes in large rolls – over 9 feet wide. I hang it on a stand as close to the ceiling as possible,  pull it down and then across the floor and then tape it in place. Many if not most fashion magazine images are shot with seamless paper. The whole focus is on the model.

When working with seamless, you want to have some shadow on the paper, so the person does not appear to be floating in air. In this picture, it’s sublte, but you can see some shadow under her arm and dress, and especially behind her hand.

_DSC0252Here are a couple more images from the same shoot with Carra. In each one, you can see the shadow, so she is “grounded,” that is not floating in space.

There are lots of ways to use seamless. You can shine a light with a colored gel on it to instill some color. You can position the lights such that the “floor” is dark but the “wall” is bright, or vice versa.

If you remember the 1966 movie “Blowup,” there is a scene where the photographer, played by David Hemmings, and two models pull tons of seamless down, crinkle it up, makes a mess,  and just laugh and play.  When I saw the movie again recently, all I could think of was the expense – seamless paper is quite costly.  I must be getting old…

 For more pictures from my shoot with Carra, click here.




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