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Easy DIY Photo Backdrop

July 1, 2014

As a blogger, I am constantly trying to find ways to make my photography better.  One of the problems I have is trying to take pictures of things that I make in good natural light without a distracting background.  There is perfect natural light in my dining room, but I don't have large sections of bare wall available without moving heavy furniture and decorations.  I don't mind taking the time to move things around if I'm taking pictures of a piece of furniture or something large, but it is time consuming to move everything for one small product shot.  And normally, by the time I get everything moved around and set up, the light has moved on.

There are plenty of options when it comes to backdrops for photos.  Many bloggers are using paper backdrops that look like wood or patterned wall paper.  There is always the option of using some inexpensive wrapping paper or brown craft paper, too.  But both of these require a way to hold up the paper in order to have a continuous background.  I'm not crazy about the idea of taping my expensive paper up to the wall.   Plus, the paper can get ripped, crinkled, or dirty, especially if you don't have a place to keep it safely when it isn't being used..

I decided to make my own backdrop using a couple pieces of wood paneling.    I painted two so that I have the option of a continuous backdrop for taller items. The paneling is actually a fiber board with a thin layer of real wood, so it is lighter than a regular piece of paneling.


The wood was painted with one coat of white chalk paint and then distressed to show the wood grain.  I'm still weighing the option of antiquing the boards to make them appear old.  I kind of like the cleaner, white background, though (at least for now).

Here is my backdrop in action.....

And here is one of the close up finished shots....

I love that these boards are flat and relatively lightweight.  They are easy to store and can be moved around to wherever I might like to take pictures.  The day I shot these photos I choose to shoot outside and setting up the board on the outdoor table was so simple.  Now I have the option of shooting anywhere there is natural light regardless of the look of the room and surroundings.

Another nice thing about using a board like this, is that you can turn the board to find the best lighting, without having to restyle your display or food.  It makes taking multiple pictures so much easier and really saves time. Sometimes your set up needs to be moved just slightly in order to capture the best light, but that can be discouraging when you've taken the time to set everything up perfectly for the shot.

I'm thinking of painting a few more boards in some different colors to use as backgrounds in other pictures.  It seriously took just a few moments of my time to get a fabulous looking background for all my upcoming pictures.

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