If your clients are like mine, they usually don’t know what they need or want. They need a headshot, and they want it outside in a natural setting, but they’re definitely going to need one on plain white for an upcoming presentation.

That used to mean wrestling a background stand with a white background into position once the leafy picture was made. But I just got Angler’s PortScreen, and it allows me to provide background variety instantly.

It just pops up

I’ve never had a simpler backdrop. It’s all contained in a single piece. I’ve used all kinds of systems and stands and materials. This is by far my favorite.

Just look at the pictures of this thing. Swing the legs perpendicular to the case, open the latches and pull the handle straight up. That’s it. It’s even spring-loaded so there’s no weight, which makes it easy to raise even if it’s taller than you. To put it away you just push it down.

No wrinkles, no problems

The best thing about the PortaScreen is that there are no wrinkles. I’ve used it up and down a couple of dozen times and it remains perfectly smooth. I’ve put in the car, I’ve stored it on-end and flat and it continues to work well.


This background ends up 6.7-by-4.8 feet. The case when collapsed and latched close is 61.5″ long and about 4.5″ square. It’s got a carry handle on top and it weighs 19.2 pounds. It’s got a tough metal case and the screen itself is polyester.

It’s available in black, chroma green and white. I like the white because I imagine I can also use it for projecting movies.

Pop up and go to work

The only downside to the PortaScreen is that it’s a little heavy. But the 20 pounds make it stable without carrying extra sandbags. I really love this thing, and I’m planning to see if my collapsible backdrops can be clamped to it so it’s easier to use them, too.

I only wish it was a little taller. I photographed a 6’6″ fellow and he nearly surpassed the top. But it’s so handy whether sitting on the ground or sitting on a table. Angler’s PortaScreen makes it simple and reasonable to provide more options for your clients. And that makes you stand out from the rest.

Portrait Tips come out each week, and you can see them all right here.