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.

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