What is a Marley Dance Floor?
So…. simply it’s vinyl flooring, which can come in multiple colors.
The great news for photographers is you can use this material for portraits, which gives you a robust material for your subject to stand on.
Here I’m going to cover the 4 Benefits for using a Marley floor for dance portraits
- Flat and Smooth
- Easy to Clean
Using white Marley Flooring is especially useful if you are photographing dance portraits on a white background.
I’m going to cover the 4 benefits that are specifically useful when photographing with a white background.
1. Flat and Smooth
This is one of the main reasons to use a Marley floor.
If you just photograph dance portraits with a full length white cotton or muslin background, the problems that you may run into are:
- Moves if not taped down tight
- Hard to clean when dirty
- Difficult to stay flat when a dancer is moving around
Having a white Marley floor, gives you a solid floor that makes all the above reasons, go away
When posing dancers or when they are doing any kind of leaps or jumps, you want to make sure they don’t slip and they have a sturdy foundation.
Make note, that you will need to tape the floor down, so you have a smooth flat surface after you unroll the flooring.
When photographing on a white background you don’t want your subject to look like they are floating in the images.
Having a white Marley floor gives a little reflection of the subject so that it looks like they are standing on a floor.
This can give your image a better look and it prevents your eyes from being deceived.
3. Easy to Clean
This is another huge benefit of having a white Marley.
If your photographing dance studio portraits, you will be taking pictures of a lot of dancers.
They will have either tap, jazz, ballet, or pointe shoes that will all be dirty on the bottom, from dancing.
More traffic you have on your background the dirtier it will get
Marley flooring will get scuffed up and dirty, but the pro to using this flooring is the ability to quickly clean.
I have found that using a magic eraser and a mop broom, helps clean the floor either after each photo session or as needed.
Now, I’m not saying you have to constantly clean the floor, but when comparing to a cloth background this is WAY easier.
Now Marley flooring isn’t something you can bunch together and put in a bag for transport, as with a cotton or muslin background, but it does roll up nicely and compact.
Depending on the length of flooring you purchase, it will come in a container that you can reuse for transport.
Once you are done with the photoshoot all you have to do is roll the floor back up and slide in the container.
Most marley floors, that I have found, are sold with a max width of 10 feet.
The benefits of the Marley floor rolling up is you don’t have to mess with building your floor, as with tiled vinyl planks.
When you purchase Marley floor, it will come with two sides, a white and a black surface.
Just unroll the floor to the desired color and then tape down with either duct tape or gaffer tape.
Using a white Marley floor with a white background will make your images pop and create a better experience for the dancer, along with easy to clean, reflective, compact, and smooth
Since I started using this flooring, it has made the whole process of photographing dance studios a lot easier along with better quality images.
If you enjoyed this article or have other benefits for using Marley flooring for portraits leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!
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