October 04, 2014

Be ... Peaceful (with Some Pretty Backdrops Tutorial)

This month is all about finding peace in our lives. The funny thing is that is exactly what I need to find. Lately, I have been presented with some big choices about my future and it has created somewhat of huge headache of stress in my life. Decisions I thought I had more time to make, just like anything in life I do not. There is always the "what if's" about my future as well, what if this was the wrong choice, what if the other option would have propelled myself further. Do I look back in twenty years and have regrets? Ah, what I would do for a crystal ball! 


Enough about that, it's stressing me out just thinking about the ordeal. Ok, serious discussion about backgrounds in photography. May times I get kudos on my pictures, if you want to learn how to better operate your camera I highly recommend Ruth's posts at Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner. Ruth does a whole series about taking better pictures, and it has helped me A LOT. I still don't shot full manual but I am having better luck on the "P" mode, which is half manual mode. 

The problem with creative photos is, I rent, so I have limited options as paint and wall space, but still want interesting photos! Here was my solution. The background above is the one I use the most. You can purchase this board at from Home Depot, they have a variety of textures. That piece is  left over from the prop below, two backdrops for $10, winning!

Rainy day .. the lighting stinks!

My father is handy with the table saw so he helped (actually he did all the work). The design was simple. The boards, with strips of wood nailed to the back so you can clamp the two pieces together, using basic Home Depot clamps ($5 each, and already had a pair I use to clamp quilts to my quilt frame). When the prop isn't in use, it unclamps and stores behind the couch out of sight. If you're not so handy with a table saw, or terrified of them, Home Depot and Lowes will cut boards for you. Just give them the dimensions :). 


Ta da, a simple background that stores flat! You can see the stash of Sugar BOM fabrics is getting slim.  This month I also cut out a second block for each month, twelve wasn't going to be enough so I doubled up :). More on that later. The white background is BRIGT, so I was able to shoot this picture in low light on a rainy day without too much photo magic!  If you want brighter photos start with a brighter background.

The background helps overcome bad light!

Now for color! Pantone's radiant orchid is the color of the year, but really who wants a wall of it?  Eeek, that might be TOO much!  Here was my color solution.  I picked up two 24 inch square boards at Lowes, they were cheap with imperfections at $4 each, and some 4 inch foam rollers ($5 a pack and used 2). In this project I used left over paint and primer or already purchased paint.  If you want a particular color, I recommend the sample size jars, they are small and cost about $3 each.



Then I primed and painted BOTH sides, giving me four background choices. Lately, I have been having fun with the radiant orchid! The good thing about painting the boards they can quickly be changed. To photograph using the boards, just lay the blocks on top and stand over to shoot. It also takes away the step of hanging/taping/pinning the block to a wall. Much faster and easier. The hard part is choosing which color to use!  These also store flat behind a couch when not in use.





All these options cost at total of $35 dollars, if you need paint it's more like $50, for all 6 backgrounds! This is blogging on a budget ($5.85 each!). If you have any questions about the process, shoot me an e-mail I would be glad to help!

-Patch & Chels

21 comments:

  1. Awesome ideas! So, do you have your blocks just lying on the boards and you're shooting the picture from above?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the little bits of imperfections in the backgrounds - it adds a bit of texture that is subtle. Good luck with making your big decisions. *hugs* Hopefully the stress will melt away once the decision(s) is/are made.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I see your creativity extends past the quilts! This is a really great solution. Be aware that different colours of boards can shift the colours of the content in the photos because of how your camera's light meter works, and how our eyes perceive colour comparisons. That being said, I enjoy this playful styling a lot, especially the robin's egg blue. I'm moving into my own (like, I own it, own! yay!) place soon after renting for nine years. I'm ready to set up my own studio magic too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tips! Thanks Chelsea. I always struggle with taking nice pictures, so I'm off to check out that link next.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What I have found about big life decisions (made many, some right, some maybe no so much) is that no matter what you decide, in 20 years you will look back not with regret but probably with wonderment at how badly you stressed yourself out :) I could write a book about this . . . but I'll spare you ;) haha

    Love your blocks and those backdrops are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great idea! I will definitely be doing this. I had foamcore boards that I painted when I was choosing kitchen cabinet colors and I could have used them for this if I had thought of it. Unfortunately I tossed them when the kitchen reno was done.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your boards idea! Very clever. I laughed at your admittance your dad did all the work. When I was in highschool had to a wood work module, we all had to design and construct our own box. The teacher pretty much made mine for me and I got an A haha! I was so proud :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. All great ideas! Thanks for sharing, Chelsea. Also, I hope you find the peace you seek and feel good about your big decision.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome post - hope things turn around for you soon!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love all the new background colours, and I hope you get some new colour back into your own *life* soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good luck with your personal decisions. Big ones are often the hardest because of all the what ifs that pop into your brain. Just remember to trust your instincts and choose what will make you happiest. Great idea with the 2 pieces of beadboard for a photo backdrop.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post, Chelsea! Good luck to you in making what sounds like a pretty significant life-decision! I'm sure if you go with your heart you won't go wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the shout put Chelsea. Love your backgrounds, especially the grooved and purple ones! that shade is just so gorgeous and your Peace block just shines out from it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great post Chels! I have a very flash camera that I never use!!!
    You know what I'm gonna say about the big decisions....life is short go with the answer that sits best in your gut and makes you smile :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great ideas, thanks so much for sharing. I love the bead board the best.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for sharing this Chelsea! Definitly going to be making some of these for myself!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Unless your big decision is related to marrying a psychopath, it will probably all work out. When I look at my friends, the two most important factors that seem to determine their happiness are their health and the people they marry/have kids with. It doesn't seem to matter whether they choose a career as a ditch digger or rocket scientist. If you are healthy and in a healthy relationship, it will be OK.
    Great photography tips! My lazy method is to sweep the floor and photo stuff on that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is awesome!! Way better than colored foamcore/posterboard; that always gives too much glare. You are genius.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for sharing! Here in cloudy England (especially this time of year) it's hard to take good photos--this is on my to do list:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a great idea. Thank you for all the great details. I'll have to try it out!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am going to do this. My boyfriend just got his next project. Thanks, Chels :)

    ReplyDelete