As someone who tries to regularly update a blog and sell on Etsy I know the importance of great photography to capture viewers attention and attract customers to your items. However for a long time I really have put no effort at all into my blog or product photography. To make matters worse I have a degree in photography and I work in a college photography studio. There really is no excuse for my laziness when it comes to the standard of the images I put online, I could easily bring items into work and use the studio set up there to create professional looking images, and I could have used the photographic knowledge I built up over years of studying to improve the photos I took for this blog at home but for some reason I haven’t.
Unfortunately when you have studied a subject for a long time, you can easily lose your passion for it. Equally when you work each day in an environment it can be hard to muster enthusiasm for using that environment to it’s full potential. I have wanted to focus on making and creating rather than improving the photos of the things I make and create.
Having recently decided that it is time to change all of this, I set out to make a set of simple bright photography backdrops that I could use easily at home to photograph small items for my Etsy shop and this blog. I was inspired by this post from A beautiful Mess to create a whitewashed wooden board backdrop.
Want to know how I made this whitewashed wood photography backdrop? read on, it’s so simple!
Once again having a father who is a carpenter came in handy: he gave me a few offcuts of MDF with a smooth white finish on each side. One sheet I will be keeping plain white. For the other sheet, I bought 5 sheets of soft wood cladding from a local DIY store and used them to create a wooden plank effect.
First I glued each piece of the cladding together, then I added some wood glue to the MDF and placed my assembled cladding onto the wooden board.
I then firmly secured the cladding to the board using nails along the edges. The 5 planks of soft wood cladding I bought just happened to be the same width as my MDF board so I did not have to cut them. They are however much longer than my board, but I decided rather than cutting them down to size to keep the extra length as it will give me more room to photograph my subject.
Once the wood glue was dry I used a tester pot of white fence paint to give the boards a bright, white finish. The test pot managed about two coats before running out, leaving my with a whitewash effect that is bright and white enough, while still showing some wood grain and texture underneath.
I am very pleased with the outcome of this simple DIY, I can place my backdrop in whichever room has the best natural light at the time and switch between white wooden boards as a base or as a background, using the plain white MDF board as well. This is essential in a house like mine that is often very dark, the darkness has really been holding me back lately in terms of photography for Etsy and this blog, I’m so glad I’ve found a solution!
The added texture that the planks of soft wood give add some detail and interest to the images, whilst the bright white keeps it fresh and avoids distracting the eye from the subject of the image.
The whole thing cost less that £5 too, which is always a winner with me! I’d like to try tiling one of the other boards with some simple but pretty tile next, more options for backdrops with texture can only be a good thing!
What tips and tricks do you use for taking photos at home? I’d love to hear!