Looking at seamless paper rolls online can be daunting. And the colors don't always match up with what you get. Here are some of my favorites with lots of examples to go with them!
Some of my favorites are Ultra Marine, white, black, gray (different shades), mocha, crimson and bone. Coral is another popular one for smashes, which is more like a pink really. But let's break it down for you:
Pink, Purple and Blues
Let's get the pink out of the way as I only own one of them.
When it comes to pinks, this one is probably the most popular. Although, I've only had to buy one roll in 4 years.
Superior has one that is a little bit darker, more Pepto Bismol looking according to the photo. It might be worth a buy if you do a lot of pinks.
I also own Blue Jay, but I can't find a single thing I've shot with it off hand.
On Amazon, Ultramarine can look to have a green tint to it. I find it to be more navy in real life. This is actually one of my all time favorites. It goes fantastic with all skin tones and blue is a real comforting color in general. Ultramarine has a real richness to it's color tone. I use it on children as well and with a little more light you can make it look a bit lighter and more airy.
Another darker blue option is Blue Jean, like below.
I like Orchid from Savage for a nice purple that goes great with boys or girls.
Red and Green
Tech green is more like a chroma key green and overall, I really don't recommend it unless you're maybe using it for chroma key/dropping out backgrounds. Above is an old photo I took with it.
Evergreen is another one that is beautiful whether you shoot it dark or more lit up.
I find it to be a good strong color for portraits. And if you add red, it could be a festive holiday backdrop too.
Red is one that seems to frighten people. I have Crimson from Savage and I have yet to use it with kids, but for adults, it's gorgeous!
Crimson has a very rich hue to it. The image above is just lit with one light and has a slight vignette which makes it look like the back is lit also.
If you look at it on Amazon however, it looks to have a purplish hue to me. I find that the color samples online are not always right:
There are other vendors out there for seamless paper rolls. Black is probably one of those I wouldn't mind picking up from a second party since the color should be what you expect when you get it, can't go wrong with black really. The black one above is from Savage. Superior also sells a black that may be cheaper online.
When it comes to white backgrounds, there are many that have white in the name but even one brand can have many different hues or tones--just like when you buy paint. I want a super clean white background, so I go with this one:
If you want something with just a little color, Bone is really popular among photographers. I find it to be great with all skin tones and also great for images you want a vintage or boho feel.
This is Bone by Savage. The name kind of grosses me out, lol, but I like the color!
If you want something a bit darker than Bone, go with Mocha.
Above, the child on Mocha was shot with more light than the one below. Both were shot with one light. But the one below was with a strip light whereas the above was with an 86" PLM, like this one from Paul Buff.
Typically, with grays, I go for Fashion or Thunder Gray.
Fashion Gray is a great neutral for families and perfect for corporate work. I actually have it in 107" and also a smaller roll to take with me on location for headshots.
If you want something a little darker, try Thunder Gray.
My swatch chart shows Focus Gray to be very light. It would be super ideal for kids, I might have to get that next.
Grays are def. a good neutral and if your clients have a lot of colors in their clothes, white or gray would be a good backdrop.
I would HIGHLY recommend the Savage color chart book to get a true idea of many of their colors. I find that many colors DO NOT look right on the online cart compared to what they are when you get them. It doesn't have all the colors, but it has a lot of them and the most popular ones.
It looks like it has been discontinued, but you can still get it from Savage directly for around $3!
About the author
Christy Whitehead is a newborn, family and headshot photographer in Northeast Florida. She is married and has two kids. Her home life often includes chickens, rats, cats, lizards and even a peacock.
Check out our shop for more photography templates!
Keep up with us!
If you haven't already, go join the Facebook Group for education and photography posts! There's even stuff on marketing!
Need to outsource editing or something else? Or maybe you need to pick up a little side work, we have a group that supports you there too!
There's even a group of photographers talking stocks and investing!
****Please note that the Amazon affiliate links in this article do NOT cost you anything to click through them, however they do help us!***