Tools of the Trade – Backdrops

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Recently I’ve had several questions asking where I get my photo backdrops and what I use. In the very beginning of my business, I did not really use great back drops. I photographed embroidered projects against a piece of felt or fabric.  While this worked okay, it really did not compliment the embroidered pieces very well and sometimes they would blend in with the busy backgrounds when using prints.

I next tried white foam board, and while this was a step up from felt/fabric it didn’t always work well either. I found the flash from my camera sometimes would create a glare or the colors would not be accurate. This was not that important when creating embroidery design in the hoop projects (where everyone uses their own choice of fabrics) but it would cause me a little trouble when I began sewing strike offs and needed accurate depictions of the fabric colors.

I next discovered 12×12″ scrapbook paper and that was game changing!  I could buy faux wood prints, burlap prints, cork prints, etc. and have a nice neutral background for my designs.  This worked well for keychains, trays and other small projects and the pieces were easy to store as well.

Once I began sewing Strike Offs for small fabric companies I needed a new larger solution! Outside pictures are generally best when taking modeled pictures as I get the best lighting and most interesting shots. However, for flat unmodeled pictures, or pictures when there’s a foot of snow on the ground, I needed options!

Y’all have probably figured out by now that I am an Amazon fan. I don’t have a sewing store in my town (other than small selections at Walmart and Hobby Lobby) so I often turn to Amazon for my stabilizer, thread, and other sewing supply needs.  Prime shipping gets it to me quickly and saves the trip out of town.

I found a wonderful four pack of faux wood paper backdrops on Amazon and ordered them. My favorite part about this particular pack was the four different colors. I’ve found that if I’m having trouble getting true colors on one, a quick change out to a lighter or darker backdrop will often do the trick!

Each of these rolls is 4 feet wide by 12 feet long.  I left most of them directly on the roll and just unroll enough to lay my project on to photograph. After a while, when the edge starts to get a little worn, I simply trim off a few inches. These have been large enough for photographing both baby clothing and adult items I made Sarah as well.  I will probably eventually make a pvc stand to hang it on to use for taking winter pics of Kai as well.  Right now we have a fuzzy blanket we like to use, but he is about to outgrow it! The large rolls of paper though, will make a great substitute.

There are many other paper photo backdrops available on Amazon, including scenic  pictures, brick, etc. You can also order smaller packs. I’ve been using this four pack for around a year now and have only trimmed very little bits off the ends and expect it to last for years to come.

I’ve been eyeing this brick one, though, for a little diversity in my pictures!

Brick Paper Photo Backdrop

 

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