Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to make an easy DIY photography backdrop

I am a portrait photographer and I LOVE to photograph one year (and two year) baby cake smash photo sessions.  Although I love to shoot outdoors for most portrait sessions, I prefer to shoot indoors in a studio style setup for my cake smash photo session.  The reason why I prefer to shoot cake smash sessions in studio is because I love to make fun and colourful backdrops for these fun photo shoots.

I take particular interest in planning the colours for my props (including backdrop), cake icing colours and what clothes the babies should wear.  In order to get many variations for my cake smash photo sessions, I find the easiest way is to use coloured crepe paper--you know the party streamers that you put up for parties, baby showers and weddings.  They come in a huge range of bright colours and shades and they are pretty inexpensive.  Another reason why I prefer to use them for cake smash portrait sessions is because if they happen to get dirty from the cake or icing, it's not a problem because I can just trash/recycle the streamers after I have finished shooting the session.

I prefer to use 3-5 colours of streamers to make up my background.  You can purchase crepe paper streams at your local dollar store, party supply store or a big box variety store.  I have found that different dollar stores will offer different colours AND you get twice as much for what you would pay at a party supply store.  Thus, whenever I see a dollar store, I will go in and check to see what colours or shades they sell.  If I don't have the colour and it's one that I could see myself using for a future photo shoot, then I will buy one or two packages.  I then go to the party supply store to purchase whatever other colours that I can't get at any of the dollar stores.  However, with this particular photo shoot, I was able to purchase all of the bright colours (yellow, lime green, orange, white) from a dollar store.  Yay!  You can also purchase different coloured balloons from the dollar store or a party supply store.  The variation in colours applies the same as with the streamers.

All you need to do it tape each streamer to the wall and mix it up so that it offers variety and covers the entire wall.  OR, if you do not have access to shoot against a wall (due to furniture covering it), you can set up stands with a rod and then tape the streamers to the rod.

You can see more photos from this cake smash photo session on my portrait photography blog.  Enjoy.

The paper streamers are taped to the wall using scotch tape.
Here is a pull back of my set up for the photo session.
End result.  Shot using Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens.  Shot at f 5.6 at 250/sec 

You can view more photos of this cake smash photo session on my photography website.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Invisible bike helmet

My Facebook news feed keeps showing me some amazing things.  Today was no exception.  One of my friends in Vancouver (a very green friendly city that I had the pleasure to live in for a few years) posted a link about an invisible bike helmet.  Of course, this made me very curious because the photo of the model in the link just had a headband on her head, so I had to check out how this headband could miraculously save a biker's skull in a bike accident.  Boy was I wrong.

I used to cycle to work when I was a student going to my part time job.  I also used to cycle to work every day when I lived in Vancouver as well as in Japan, so I understand the importance of wearing a bike helmet.  I always wear a helmet because I want to protect my skull and brain.  However, some people are willing to go without a helmet because they don't like how it looks or feels.  This invisible helmet is for them.

Please take the time to watch the 3.5 minute video, which features two smart ladies (Anna and Terese) who came up with this brilliant idea (while still in school, no less) as well as at the end a demonstration of how their invisible bike helmet works.

If I still cycled, I would want to purchase one of these amazing invisible bike helmets.  Imagine having an air bag specifically for your head?  A.MA.ZING! ! ! ! 

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