Backdrops

A couple of months ago I started messing around with using backdrops. I’ve gotten a ton of emails asking where these “backdrops” can be purchased.  But, they are nothing fancy and so inexpensive!

I’m a natural light kind of girl and love shooting outside, but with the winter here I wanted a way to shoot inside. I have an amazing spot in my house that gets great light. Pretty much every picture you see of Brayden on my blog is in this spot.

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But, a lot of times I would get the kitchen in the background or the living room and I wanted a way to utilize the great light without seeing all the clutter.

My backdrops are just fabric that I buy from the craft store of Joanne’s. Seriously. They aren’t fancy, expensive backdrops. I usually buy 3 – 4 yards and it’s always more than enough. The widths of the fabric vary from 48″ to 60″ so they aren’t very wide. After experimenting with different fabrics I’ve learned that the colors need to be fairly dark and the patterns can’t be too busy or too small. I shoot as wide open as possible and if the pattern is too busy everything will just kind of blend together and it will be too much.

So, here’s what you need to do. Find a spot in your house with great light. My spot is in front of our sliding glass door. Second, figure out when that spot gets the best light. My spot gets the best light between 9am and 11:30am. After 11:30ish the bright light comes in and I don’t want that harsh light creating shadows.

Next, you have to iron out all of the wrinkles from the fabric. I will usually throw it in the dryer and then iron it. The thicker the fabric you get the less it will wrinkle. Then you have to find a way to secure it. I just use two of my dining room chairs and two clamps that I bought from Home Depot. I use packing tape to secure the sides to the floor.  Here’s what the setup looks like.

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That’s it!  You’re ready to go!  Here are some pictures I took of Brayden for his first birthday!

You can see from this one that the background isn’t very wide

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So I just cropped it in photoshop

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Email me your pictures when you try it out!  I’ll post my favorites on the blog!

Comments

  1. Sheila says

    Very cool website!

  2. Kristen says

    Drew! Great, great, great idea!! (The backdrop AND the blog.) Thanks for sharing. I love the backdrop idea. We have a similar spot in our house, so I’ll have to try it out!

  3. Love the new site! And I love your tips on the backgrounds! I checked out Jo-Ann Fabrics a couple weeks ago, but you must live by a better store because the one by me didn’t have much to choose from.

  4. Elaine says

    I’ve enjoyed the photos on your blog for quite some time, so I’m excited to see this new Momtog site! I’m a Momtog! 🙂 I’ve added you to my reader and look forward to seeing what you share with us here.

  5. Daryn says

    Love the new site, Drew!! Such good advice and pictorial evidence for newbie photogs like me. Now I just need to get knocked up so I can have a cute baby to take pictures of… 🙂

  6. I just found your site through a comment that was left on http://www.iheartfaces.com. Looks like you have created a beautiful place for “momtogs” to hang out and learn more about photography. Can’t wait to come back to visit again! ~Angie (co-founder of iHeartFaces)

  7. I LOVE that owl beanie from Anthro! I almost got it for my daughter. 🙂

  8. LOVE this idea; this blog; this advice… THANK YOU!

  9. Oh, and this blog is a great idea! 😀 I knew about the backdrop idea, but love that you just simply used your chairs, and don’t have a fancy backdrop hanger.

  10. Sarah Riggs says

    Super cute website Drew! I love your idea, cute name, cute graphics and cute baby! Congrats!

  11. Thresha says

    I was wondering about this too! Thanks for sharing how you set it up!

  12. Wendy says

    love it love it. you are going to have tons of momtogs who adore you for this!

    xoxo
    wendy
    bluelily

  13. Hey… Congratulations for the first year of Brayden. Last 1 of Febreary Victoria had her first year too… If you want, you can check the (horrible) photos…;-)

    But…. What about Daddys? Only for Moms?…:-(…I want it too…

    😉

    Keep on it Drew…

    Kisses

    Victor and Family

  14. Nicole Mc says

    I love this Drew!! Great idea…can you repost about those adorable tutu’s?? I could have used one at this mornings session!! The mom said we have to get one for next time!! 🙂

  15. jenberry says

    perfect way to do it. i love it. thank you for sharing. very kind!

  16. Bethany says

    YAY!!! How FUN is this?!! LOVE it! I can’t wait to see what all you cover here!! Thanks Drew!

    And enjoy your little man’s first birthday! Those first ones are super special!!

  17. jamie says

    i love this! BECAUSE i have been doing this also… i have big plans, like you had mentioned, just haven’t got around to it.

  18. Jenn Mac says

    yay! This is too cool Drew! I love it! What a cool idea and just what us “momtogs” need! Thanks! Happy Birthday Brayden!

  19. Ashley says

    You are the most adorable momtog I’ve ever seen! Congrats on launching this site! I’m not a momtog yet, just a tog for now, but I’ll stalk this blog just like I do your photo blog! What a great idea! So inspiring.

  20. Jamie says

    I’m so excited that you’re doing this Drew!!!
    How awesome of you…. I can’t wait to keep it bookmarked and check it out here and there for all the new posts. I’m being induced with my first baby next week and I want to take as many good pics of him as possible…. of course.
    I just got the owl hat in the mail today… cracks me up that little Brayden is wearing it so well. I hope it looks just as cute on my little boy when he gets bigger. 🙂
    Thanks so much for putting so much work into this. I can’t wait to see the next post!
    And Happy Birthday to Brayden!!!

  21. Kristi says

    LOVE these tips, thanks Drew!

  22. Katie Jo says

    I am definitely not a “momtog”…yet. But I am a photographer and love this new blog. This tip is great and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

    Katie Jo’s last blog post..It’s the little things…

  23. I love it! Why is it that sometimes the most simple solutions are the most stunning. I have dining room chairs, I have fabric, I can get clamps… Brilliant. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Julie Carson’s last blog post..The Cora Playground Treasury

  24. Cari says

    Thank you so much for your great ideas! I love when the artists I admire are generously transparent about how they make magic happen. You awe and inspire me!

    Cari’s last blog post..Temporarily Handicapped

  25. mel says

    Love this blog! I found it via Julie’s blog (joy’s hope). I have been to your photography site after you took those gorgeous pics of her girls! So glad you started this blog.
    I love the background ideas! In the past I have used a black bed sheet or a white fleece throw, but using patterned fabric is much more fun! I never thought of that!!! I am going to Joann’s Fabrics this afternoon as soon as my girls wake up! I can’t wait to take some pics with fun fabric backgrounds!

    mel’s last blog post..Wine & Chocolate

  26. Tonya says

    Hi there!
    I had a ah ha moment with this blog. I’m a mom of 3 boys, invitation designer/ photographer. Tonya Joy sent me here and I’m so glad you started this blog. I’m in the infant stages of my so called hobby/business. Learning buy trial and error, so to speak. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get by with make due backdrops in my bedroom. When I saw this post I was like ah ha!!! Perfect. Now why didn’t think of that? Two chairs and some clips. Big smack on the middle of my forehead!!!!
    Thanks for sharing and I’m a follower for sure. Keep the tips coming!
    Best,
    Tonya Riggs

  27. Thank you soo much for posting this, I’ve always loved your backdrops and wondered where you got them from!

    misty smith’s last blog post..The K’s . Family/Maternity

  28. kellie says

    Wow! This blog is so fantastic! I am a mom of four (2 girls, 2 boys) who looooooves photography. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on. And this is going to be like my new home! I’m juggling my biz and home life and ministry and I know that I’ll be some like-minded peeps here. Thanks for starting this! Yay!

    kellie’s last blog post..SuperKennabear

  29. Jill says

    I love your blog…thank you!! I am mother of 2 and wanting to learn all I can about photography. I love the backdrop idea but have a question about editing. What kind of editing do you do to your pictures. I don’t own any software although I have used picnik.com to play around with my photos. Do you edit every photo? What do you usually do (crop, brighten colors, etc). Thanks!

  30. Diana says

    I finally created a backdrop inside & of course I blogged about it & you… http://ddphotodesign.blogspot.com/

    I still need some practice with the indoor shooting & getting my kids to sit still!

    Thanks Drew!!!

  31. Amanda says

    I’m going to try this out this weekend! Thank you!

  32. Robert K. says

    awesome dude lol