If you love photographing newborns on location but like the consistency of working with studio backdrops, then you’ll want to check out To-Go Packs by Intuition Backgrounds. These miniature backgrounds are easy to add to your kit and up your game when you’re working on location.
To-Go Packs are sets of six small portable backgrounds. You can even select your favorite backdrops and create a custom To-Go Pack like I did. Intuition Backgrounds offers a wide variety of options, including some in whimsical settings. I opted to test some that featured subtle and classic looks, so I selected Oatmeal, Boone, Lenno, Froth in grey, Mud, and Porcelain.
I was pleased with the quality of the backgrounds, which are lightweight yet sturdy and photographed well. The wooden plank backgrounds look realistic in the final images, and I love the subtle mottled nature of the more classic studio backgrounds. Each background has a small imprint in the corner with the title of that style.
A nice feature of the To-Go Pack is the sturdy storage tube, which includes a screw top and shoulder strap. I’ve purchased several portable backdrops that came in cardboard tubes, so it’s nice to see a company thinking about long-term storage and portability.
Right out of the tube, the corners of the backdrops refused to lay flat. I solved this problem by weighing down the corners with studio gear. By the end of my session, they stayed flat on their own.
Since I’m used to working with a much larger backdrop, I found the small size to be a challenge. I switched up my standard series of poses to complete the test session and was able to deliver a quality set of images to my client, who loved them.
I had fun improvising to explore different ways the backgrounds could be used. The To-Go Pack backgrounds might seem designed for floor use, but I enjoyed using them both on the floor and as a rear backdrop. I experimented with using one background on the floor and hanging another vertically. This allowed me to use some of my favorite poses during the session and move beyond direct overhead photos of the subject.
The backgrounds I tested are made of a material called Dream Weave, which Intuition Backgrounds describes as a strong woven material similar to recycled bags. The fabric is not washable and is very thin. It will crease, but unlike paper backdrops, Dream Weave doesn’t tear. The material looks professional, and while it’s no canvas backdrop, it is a budget-friendly, portable, and photographs well.
My only complaint about the backgrounds is that the white border that frames each one. This is due to the printing method used to create them. During my test session, there were several images I loved but that required me to use Photoshop to remove the white border before finalizing the images.
Would I buy a To-Go Pack anyway? Yes. The quality of the backgrounds is good, they photograph well, and they’re friendly on your wallet. The white border is a minor annoyance I can put up with. Overall, I enjoyed working with the backgrounds. They’re a convenient way to add variety to your images, whether you’re working on location or in your own studio. They look realistic, and my only wish is that they were borderless. Some may find the backdrop size to be problematic, so it comes down to a question of whether this product would work for your personal shooting style.
To-Go Packs retail for $294 (3x2.5-foot) and $528 (4x3-foot). They include six backdrops available in a number of sets, or you can make your own custom set of six.
Betsy Finn is the owner of Betsy’s Photography in Dexter, Michigan.