Choosing Interesting Backdrops

How To Get Creative with Backgrounds
As a photographer we have many obstacles especially when shooting in random locations. One of the most annoying issues is when you arrive to a location and there is just nothing interesting about your background. You don't see anything that will make your photo pop.
What most photographers don't even realize is that your local hardware store (Home Depot, DYI etc.) can be your best friend. There are so many choices there to create unique backdrops. Also the great thing about items that you can get at these stores is they come in large sizes. I have found so many different types of backdrops and at really cheap prices.
Let's talk about what I accomplished with this photo of pro wrestler Shelly Martinez.

Camera Settings  Nikon D300  F-stop f/6.3  Exposure 1/100 sec.  ISO 500    Focal Length- 80mm
 Let me start by telling you what I used for my backdrop. At Home Depot I picked up two separate 4ft x 8ft insulation boards. I would assume these are used inside walls to keep heat and cold controlled in your home. Well these have a very high reflective metal like foil on them. They are not perfect with lots of bumps and bevels and that gives you your texture.
My idea for this was if I keep one section directly behind Shelly straight at camera and on either side off to an angle this would create all kinds of lighting effects. So once I had my boards set how I liked them I started with my strobe in the back. I have a small square panel strobe that really spreads and spills light. I pointed it directly at the middle section from the ground up. This is where you can see the hottest light and basically was blown out. That made it white light. I had an orange gel paper completely covering the strobe so naturally it will give you different shades of that color on the foil. As you can see from the photo there are at least 5 different shades of yellow to orange. It really mimicked what fire would look like.
For my front light on this photo I used a steady hot light an Arri 750 with a bit of a round wide spot effect. This gave me some great shadows that really added to the photo. The area were this photo was taken was very small and tight so it was a bit tricky to get everything set so that one light was not interfering with another.  
Overall the photo came out very exciting and was really what I was envisioning with this foil backdrop. By the way each 4x8 pannel was only about $8.50 one of the cheapest backdrops I have every purchased.
Take some time and go walk around your hardware store and see what might stand out to you. Get a friend and have some fun. Happy shooting - Peace - Christopher