Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY Photo Backdrop

I have been playing photographer for about as long as I can remember having any sort of camera.  Then last year, I got my first SLR camera for my birthday!  So over the last year, I have read multiple books from the library, scoured photography blogs, and taken a couple light classes.  I have a lot to learn still, but I love it!  Photography is so fun and creative and beautiful!  So here's my deal now,  I'm too cheap frugal do it myself minded to pay someone to take my kids pictures.  I really want to do it!  I have a decent camera and all!  What I don't have is a lot of experience or a proper studio.  That's where this post comes in!  I'm going to show you how I made my own photo backdrops, on the cheap!
This one is a water heater box.  Any large piece of cardboard would work!

I used some big straws and packing tape 
to stabilize the fold, just so it wouldn't flop too much.

The cute white bead board is  paintable wallpaper I got from Lowe's.  Yes, wallpaper!  Have you heard about this? It's going to make its way onto a wall soon, but it works great as a backdrop for now!
 I literally taped the bead board wallpaper to the cardboard, then cut a banner using lots of different papers and strung it with bakers twine.  And Ta-Da!
Welcome to Melanie's photo studio!
So like any 5 year old photo shoot, there are lots of blurry, too silly, or too wiggly pictures; BUT there are also these!!:

 While I realize I am no pro., I'm still pretty darn happy with the outcome : )

 These are some keepers:

This is the BIG picture:
Melanie's photography studio is totally unprofessional with bed head blondies running all around!  I actually have this picture stuck on my magnet board display in our family room because I think it's so funny!  This backdrop is also just a big piece of cardboard.  It's one of those tri-fold science project boards, I got it at Hobby Lobby.  Then I taped this barnwood butcher paper to it (also from Hobby Lobby.)  I have absolutely got the most bang for my buck with that butcher paper. 
 See here, here, and here. : )
I'm thinking about doing some sort of more permanent backdrop that would be interchangeable.  Different wall papers, fabrics, or butcher paper, or real wood!  Maybe I'll get to that by next year's birthdays.  And hopefully my photography skills will get better too. : )

Partying here:  Craft-o-Maniac


  1. Great ideas!!! I'll have to check out that wallpaper! :) Don't forget to play around with your ISO if your pictures are too dark!

    1. RaeAnna, thanks for the ISO tip! I tend to forget about that and some of the pics are too dark. I read that higher ISO can make the pictures too grainy, maybe that's why I don't think to change it. Any advice on that? : )

    2. I have dabbled w photography almost 20 years. Going nuts not understanding fstops , ISO and shutter speed. I took a basic class in Feb and the settings on your camera make a world of a difference. Feel free to check my dabbling out you can find me on Facebook under Kingdom kids Photography. Thanks Melanie Dennis

  2. I can't wait to take your advise and get busy building some fantastic backdrops. :) Thanks


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