New Backdrop - DIY

Today I thought I'd show you how we make quick and versatile backdrops for the studio, since the W word is coming (#winter) and we'll be shooting a lot more indoors. If you've visited the studio, you might know that while I do have some fancy 'proper' backdrops (bought from BHPhotos, etc), I usually prefer to shoot on what's called a Vflat. These are just 4'x8' foam insulation boards bought, taped together and painted. This is a trick stolen straight from Hollywood, where they are used as giant reflectors, fake walls, and more. 

Banged up, dented, and in general unfit for use. 

Banged up, dented, and in general unfit for use. 

I prefer the 2" thick foam insulation boards, as they stand up by themselves, and hold up better to the weight of paint. The thinner boards are slightly less expensive, but warp much faster. Eventually, my Vflats become too banged up to shoot on directly, which was the case here. So, I decided to cover this set with wall paper, instead of throwing them away! 

unnamed.jpg

I began by using gaffers tape to re-secure the two board together. You want the tape to be facing out on the side that you're going to wallpaper, so that the bend is seamless when you stand it up.

Then I rolled the paper out, and cut the first strip to fit. I did one panel at a time, and made sure to line up the pattern when cutting the next strip. It was pretty simple and straightforward. 

Using proper wallpaper adhesive... or Elmer's Glue.

Using proper wallpaper adhesive... or Elmer's Glue.

The instructions for the wallpaper said to use wallpaper paste, but I didn't know how that would work on the foam boards, and I had no patience to figure that out. So I used what every Mom does, and used Elmer's Glue. To be clear, Elmer's Spray Adhesive. I bought the large can, and used maybe half of it. 

unnamed (5).jpg

The entire project took 30 minutes, and that includes stopping to chit chat with a friend that popped by for coffee (Hi Adria!!) The end result is fun, and we used it later that morning for a video shoot! 

unnamed (6).jpg

The wallpaper was pretty cheap, and comes in so many different options! I love how easy and versatile this project is - you could make a new backdrop to suit almost any color scheme or brand needs. Floral? Stripes? Shimmery Gold? All doable for under $100, and without renovating the studio wall. 

My (super patient) husband modeling out the backdrop before my clients came in! 

My (super patient) husband modeling out the backdrop before my clients came in! 

Hopefully this inspires you to create a fun backdrop of your own, or starts you thinking about what backdrop you'd want for your photos!