Hey, y'all! I have a great project to share with you today, especially if you're into photography. It's my Inexpensive DIY Photo Backdrop, AND it's reversible.
Since I started this blog a few years ago, blogging has changed. When I first started, good projects got good traffic. Photos didn't have to be "Pinterest Perfect." People were just looking for great ideas. Since Pinterest has taken over the world, professional-looking blog photos have become crucial to getting page views. Professional-looking photos get pinned more and featured more through link parties, etc. To stay "relevant," I am constantly looking for ways to improve my photography. I have a dSLR camera, and I only shoot in manual mode now, which I highly recommend you quickly learn if you want to greatly improve your photography. I also edit my photos using iPhoto and PicMonkey. (You can learn how to improve your photos using PicMonkey with this post.) Another trick that has helped me with my blog photos is "staging" my photos--freeing the pics of any unnecessary distractions and really trying to showcase the piece I'm photographing. One way to do this is to use scrapbook paper and poster board as a backdrop for my pics. Sometimes scrapbook paper is simply not big enough to get a great picture though. Recently when I was wandering the aisles of Lowe's looking for project inspiration, I stumbled upon a 2 ft. x 2 ft. piece of thin Birch plywood, and I KNEW that I had found a perfect backdrop for my photos. All the plywood needed was a pretty paint finish, and I would have so much more room for a wider project shot than I do with a piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper. I bought the piece for $7.44 and took it home to work my magic.
I lightly sanded the plywood with 220 grit sandpaper.
Then it was time to paint! I love taking different paints and just playing around with them to create a unique finish.
I painted the board with one coat of a light turquoise color. Then I lightly brushed a darker shade of turquoise and white over the board. As long as you paint quickly, the paint will stay wet enough to blend into the pretty finish in the above photo.
I love a distressed paint finish, so after the paint dried, I used 220 grit sandpaper again to sand off some of the paint in different places. I realize that the paint colors look different in the photos above. I took these pictures with the phone on my camera because I was too impatient to use my "real" camera. You'll hardly ever see awesome photos for each step of a project here at Pitter and Glink. It's enough work simply trying to get good finished project photos. ;)
Anyway, back to the backdrop. To further the distressed look, I used a foam brush to brush a coat of dark walnut stain all over the board. Then I used a rag to wipe the stain off. I was left with the awesome finish above.
To protect all my hard work, I sealed the paint with a coat of paste finishing wax. I simply followed the directions on the can of wax.
Using the backdrop is really easy. I just lay it in the shade if it's a really sunny day, or if I'm inside I put it near a window and use my reflector or a piece of white poster board to reflect the light so I don't have weird shadows. I put my object to be photographed on the board and snap away.
See how great it looks as the backdrop for this hymnal and brass deer I bought from the thrift store?
I also used it indoors for the backdrop of this photo of my succulents.
And I used it for the backdrop of the the above photo too. (This is a photo of the Nester's book The Nesting Place. If you haven't bought it yet, you should. It will totally change how you feel about your home.) Yep, since the board has two sides, I made it reversible. I simply brushed one coat of Rust-oleum's Ultimate Wood Stain in Driftwood on the board and wiped it off. I sealed this side of the board with wax as well. So for about $8 I now have an awesome REVERSIBLE photo backdrop. I am so tempted to buy some more of the plywood squares and do more paint finishes on them! Now that I've shared some of my photography tips with you, PLEASE share your best photography tip with me. I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. :)