As organizations scrambled to establish fully remote operations, employees struggled to carve out office space in their homes that projected some semblance of professionalism. Suddenly thrust into all-virtual collaboration, many business professionals set out to find ways to hide their home life—including things like messy litter boxes, cluttered bookshelves, and exercise equipment encumbered with hanging laundry.
Today, remote workers are still searching for the ultimate backdrop solution. Many have opted for the immediate effects of free virtual backgrounds, but incongruent lighting, skewed color balance, and disappearing appendages don’t impart a sharp, professional appearance. Then there are the issues with green screens that warrant troubleshooting time and possibly a bit of tech and photography lighting know-how.
Enter the custom backdrop.
Like other remote personnel, you might be frustrated or unimpressed with other options and have a hankering to create your own backdrop. Who doesn’t love a good DIY project and the sense of pride that comes with it?
Yet, making a custom video backdrop might be best left to the professionals. That’s not to say you can’t learn how to make custom backdrops. But before you cruise down to the hardware store and drop your credit card for a pile of supplies, consider these hurdles.
Trying to create your own backdrop? 4 Potential Pitfalls To Avoid
What material will you use? All the most common options have some kind of drawback.
A backdrop made of wood provides a solid, unwavering visage—if you’ve got the tools and skills to pull it off. You don’t want your ‘professional’ background to look like your D+ shop project from eighth grade.
A custom fabric backdrop offers more flexibility and doesn’t require carpentry skills, but you can run into issues with weight, sagging, and wrinkles. Too-heavy material will be stiff and cumbersome to manipulate. And if the fabric is too light, you’ve got wrinkles. A thinner fabric can also appear somewhat translucent depending on your lighting. (That dog crate you’re trying to conceal just might peek through.)
Then there are paper backgrounds, which can be delicate. If they’re not handled with care, you can tear, scratch, or permanently crease them—and real brick walls don’t have wrinkles.
A high-quality backdrop indicates professionalism. Of course, the better the materials, the greater the price tag. A solid wood frame can ring up a substantial cost, but so can a good fabric and print jobs. But if you botch measurements, mangle cuts, or snap an aluminum frame, you’ll be in for more materials—and higher costs.
Paper backdrops are comparatively inexpensive, but the money you put out for a high-quality print job might not be worth paper’s far shorter lifespan.
3. Storage & Portability
For those who don’t have a dedicated home office and are working from a room where the backdrop cannot be a permanent fixture, storage and portability are main concerns. A 5ʹ-by-5ʹ cedar backdrop isn’t particularly mobile unless you build it on wheels. But where will you store it?
Fabric backdrops, of course, can be folded and tucked away in a closet or drawer, but watch out for folding creases. You may have to bust out the iron before every call. Depending on the fabric, continuous folding and ironing may make it look worn in no time. And what about the type of frame you devise? Can you easily and quickly set it up and break it down?
4. Professional Appearance
The internet is awash with creative backdrop ideas. Some are fine if you’re a social media influencer, but they may not be appropriate for an investment professional. Consider how you want to present yourself. Can you create a backdrop that reflects that image? Can you transform your vision into reality? Sagging cloth, crooked planks, or blurry imagery weakens your presentation and reputation.
Custom Fabric Backdrops, Professionally Made
If you’d still like to tackle making your own backdrop, go for it. I shall never stand in the way of determination and innovation. In fact, here’s how I built my own moveable wood wall background; these instructions might be helpful for you, too.
But if you think you’d like more of a sure thing, check out the Anyvoo Voodrop.
With Anyvoo, you can still flex your creative muscles to create your own backdrop, but without running across all the hurdles noted above. (Browse our selection of premade designs here, or dream up your own custom design.)
Unlike many DIY backdrops, Voodrops are mobile, durable, wrinkle-free, and easy to set up and store—no special skills required. No matter what’s happening in the background, your Voodrop has it covered. To start displaying your brand and professionalism on every video call, configure yours today!