Elia Locardi is Back

The Best Way to Store Your Seamless

In my first rickety little studio I called a place to take portraits, I had nowhere but a corner to store my rolls of seamless paper. In my little budget corner I found a million ways to ruin whole rolls, or ruin parts of seamless paper on an hourly basis. The ends would get damaged, the rolls would become wavy, and I would typically end up cussing and throwing away seamless that should not have been destroyed. It was money being thrown away. I want to prevent this from ever happening to you.

In the above video, I wanted to show you the best way I've ever seen to store your seamless in a safe, and out of the way place in your studio. We use this method in both our Chicago and St. Louis studios and it works quite well. Plus, every photographer that has come in notices and compliments this system almost immediately. Many studios I've been to don't have a ton of room and are typically crammed with equipment. For me, the last thing you want in a studio is a crowded work area. This can severely hinder your creativity. So, if you have a seamless problem or are contemplating getting a studio, then I urge you to consider this approach to storing your seamless. It's not only going to save you duckets, but looks cool as well.

In this video, we used the same approach to seamless to create a new area for all of our Rosco diffusion. The biggest modifier we use for both still and motion is actually various rolls of Rosco Diffusion because of it's dynamic application. In our opinion, it's the best dynamic modifier on the market. Plus it's affordable and adaptable for almost any situation. It also stores quite nicely on a wall that's out of our way. Here's a list of Rosco products and a list of where you can go to buy them.

Here is what you will need to build this system. All of which can be found at your local hardware store.

  • Support System. This should be a piece of wood attached to your ceiling or wall.
  • 3-4 L Brackets (If attaching to a wall)
  • Wood Screws or Dry Wall Anchors (for L Brackets)
  • Eye Screws (Enough for all of your seamless/diffusion)
  • Rope (Use a rope with plastic so you can melt the ends)
  • Doll Rods.  1/2 - 5/8 works best with our seamless and diffusion
  • Drill
  • Screw Driver or metal rod (for screwing in eye screws)
Gary Winchester Martin's picture

Gary W. Martin is a commercial photography producer and founder of PRO EDU. His company creates documentary style Photography and Photoshop tutorials with some of the best photographer/instructors in the world. Gary has spent 20% of his life abroad and once made a monkey faint in Costa Rica. He speaks English and Romanian.

Log in or register to post comments

Casey Neistat would have made something better...

Great system for Rosco. Unsure for Seamless 2.80m wide as the weight of 10 of them would pull down the whole stuff. Congrats for the simplicity and the great tutorial, simple, to the point. Thanks for sharing :)

so he likes Rosco.. haha Very smart idea. Thanks for sharing as well.

Cool idea as long as you wrap and tape the rolls super tight especially with the heavier ones, if you don't they will sag and get damaged on the bottom end.

Thanks for sharing this. Looks like a fun DIY project :-)

amazing! great idea

I love how he says "go do it yourself" at the end, it's like he made it sound so easy! Hahaa

Was this not incredibly simple?

It's just that for me and I think a lot of people, it's just hard to get all the material to make it!

Having that said, yea that is actually easy but again only if you like have the stuff or have the space to work on it!

The material to make it is only around $20-30 if you went and bought everything at a hardware store.. If you're spending 30+ per roll of paper or hundreds on a roll of gel material, that is nothing. Stop thinking in terms of limits and think of ways you can do what you want with what you have.
Hell, you could screw a $0.30 eye-bolt into the stud in your wall, hang some string from that, and tie a pencil to the end of it. That will work just as well for small rolls as what he showed, no power tools required.

Oh I know how cheap the stuff are, I'm not talking about expenses here, the most important thing is the need of space, at least for me, if I had a studio then that would be freaking easy!

Is a doll rod the same as a dowel rod?

Yes, but I would use a 1x1. Easier to drill and a flatter surface for the roll to rest on. If that's too large, a 1/2 x 1/2.

now what do i do for my 12 ft rolls?

My kingdom for high ceilings. :(

That is a LOT of gel material. To those with studios, is it the norm to have big rolls of gel? Even working on indie films, we just get the pre-cut large squares of it and that's already almost prohibitively expensive.

that is a neat way of keeping rolls. i am gong to do it. saves up alot of space and it looks good on the wall