I have done a lot of goal-setting for this year, little things really, but the goal of improving my blog photos was one that I really wanted to jump on right away. Thanks to Pinterest, a lot of my past projects are resurfacing and the memories of my terrible past photography are fresh wounds. I wanted to really step up my game in what I was doing at this point and make each project and its photo pin-worthy. I still have a lot to learn, but I am pleased with where I am now! I already made the investment for a 50mm f/1.8 camera lens, so I needed to take another step in the right direction.
First things first: your materials.
I took a trip to Home Depot for two pieces of 2’x4’ wood board, pre-cut and ready for painting or staining. Each board was $5. I also got a 4’ piece of baseboard to help with the transition between wall and floor, and to make it look more natural, like a wall and floor. My dirty, white walls and cheap renter carpet are no comparison to this faux look.
On one board, I stained the darker side a dark walnut color (leftover from my desk), and the other side remained unfinished because I liked the lighter wood look.
The other board was painted a pretty gray color, a paint sample my sister had left over from painting her house, and the other side was painted white (also from my desk) and then sanded down to have a whitewash look to it. So, math friends, two boards each with two sides = 8 possibilities of photo backdrop combinations! Wall+floor combos and just single board backdrops.
After seeing Whipperberry’s Slate backdrop post, of course I ran to Hobby Lobby to get some black foam board while it was on sale. Each foam board was $5.99 regular price, on sale 30% off at the time. You can buy them individually with a 40% off coupon for an even better deal. I also grabbed some white foam board to help me bounce light onto my photos; my other white boards have seen better days!
On the back of one of my white foam boards, I stayed up late gluing pages from A Tale of Two Cities to it in a random scatter effect. You can pick up any paperback book from the dollar store, thrift store, or your bookshelf and do this. I first put a super thin layer of school glue on the board and started placing pages here and there, none overlapping. Then, I used a glue stick to start the layering. It took a while, but probably because I was watching TV at the same time…
While at Hobby Lobby, I picked up some fabric to also act as a backdrop. With one of my wood pieces propped up, all it takes is two chip or binder clips attaching the fabric to the wood, and a backdrop is born. If I put the remaining piece of wood over the extra fabric and put that little baseboard in place, it could even act as a “wallpaper” of sorts.
So, how is it working so far? Let me show you.
You’ve already seen this set up from the Bunny Softie tutorial, and I’ll bet you didn’t even consider the backdrop to be fake! (unless you’ve been over to my house and knew my baseboards aren’t this clean!)
I played around a bit to show you what options for photos I now have:
Chalkboard/Slate backdrop courtesy of Whipperberry’s post and my fabric roll I haven’t been brave enough to open,
Fabric backdrop for my Create Quote Printable,
Using a different angle for my cool colored pencils from HomeGoods using the book page backdrop,
Ruffle fabric goodness draped over a board to display a prop I made for Project Run and Play’s Boy Week submission,
And my colored pencils again, using the whitewash backdrop.
SO many possibilities! I spent $14 at Home Depot, and $14 at Hobby Lobby. Since I had everything else on hand here at my house, this photo backdrop project cost under $30! A great, cost-efficient way to take all-right photos up several notches!
Now, don’t hold me to perfection, but I do hope to keep making improvements and having the patience to wait until kids are napping or the light is right before rushing into taking photos. That is probably my #1 weakness… no patience!
So, now you know my newest photo secret! I actually don’t have any others, so… my only secret? :) Have a great day!