I‘ve really been enjoying writing about blogging, in this post I’m sharing my tips and tricks for backgrounds for blog photography. If there are any topics you’d like me to cover then please let me know.
One of the best bits about blogging is the community you get to be a part of. Here in New Zealand we have a really great community – with a few Facebook groups for asking and answering questions and just generally supporting each other.
The other day someone asked a question about backgrounds for photos so I gave them some tips and explained what I use.
For the longest time I was so unhappy with my photos – I still feel like I’ve got a lot of improving to do – but in the last two months or so I feel like I’ve really got my backgrounds sorted.
A few other bloggers also commented on the thread and suggested I do a blog post on the topic so here we are!
WHITE STUDIO LOOK
I just love clean white backgrounds and for a while it was all that I was using. I used to use pieces of paper for this but they’d always get crumpled and ruined and I hated wasting paper just for photos. I also often struggled with getting pieces of paper big enough for some of my photos. I ended up buying a $40 white desk from The Warehouse and using the top of that. It was a flat pack so I just never put it together.
SLAT TABLE TOPS
You may have seen these photos and assumed I had a bunch of tables around my house. These are just some boards that Myron and I made. We got a bunch of cheap decking wood, nailed it together and painted one white, one black and stained one. If you’d like to see a proper tutorial on how to make these then let me know.
Other than white, my favourite backgrounds for DIY & craft blog posts are bright colours. For these I just use coloured paper. Depending on what I’ve got lying around and what the project is, I either place a piece on my workspace and shoot a bird’s eye view photo or I bend the paper slightly and tape it to the wall and run it down to my workspace, creating a continual background. This then allows me to shoot straight on from the front. I try to be super careful with the paper so I can use it for other projects – because it’s not white it’s reasonably easy to keep it unmarked.
MARBLE & STONE
My favourite looks right now are marble and stone backgrounds. A couple of months ago I went to Tile Depot determined to get a marble tile. When I told the sales assistant I only wanted one tile she asked why so I explained I was going to use it for photography backgrounds. She then told me to not get the $60 tile I had chosen and instead look at the back of the shop where they had end of line tiles (only a couple left in each design) for $2 a pop. Yes, you read that right. $2! I ended up buying six or so for a fraction of the price of one new season tile.
If I’m taking a photo of myself or of my hand holding something in front of a wall then I’ll often have fairy lights in the background. They break up my grey walls to make the background a little more exciting, without taking anything away from the subject of the photo. Plus fairy lights are just magical! I have cool white and warm white lights which I sometimes mix together but if I’m just using one set of lights then the cool lights are my favourite. It’s really hard to find fairy lights most of the year so I usually buy a few too many sets at Christmas just to make sure I’ve got what I need the rest of the year. My favourite fairy light brand is called ARLEC and it’s stocked at Bunnings. There is a huge range and they’re really affordable. I like that most of the lights come in either green cord for a tree or white cord which is perfect for hanging on the wall
HOME & FURNITURE
The last thing I use as blog photography backgrounds is spaces around my house. Until we moved into our new house I’d never loved my décor but now in this new house I’m feeling really happy with how it looks. It’s made me want to feature our space on the blog so I’m doing that more and more.
- Be thrifty. For most of their lives your photography backgrounds are going to be sitting on a shelf (or on the floor of your office if you’re anything like me) so you don’t want to spend a lot of money on them.
- Think outside the square. Want it to look like you’ve got a marble bench? Or a beautiful wooden farm table? Or maybe a studio with big brightly coloured backdrops? As I’ve explained above, they don’t actually need to be these things to look like them.
- Consider weight. You’re going to be moving your backgrounds a lot! The lighter they are, the easier it’ll be for you. Some of mine are really heavy – like the tiles – but I love them too much to care. You might feel the same way about a pretty background but just make sure you factor that in, especially if you have to transport it around.
Photography backgrounds are just one part of the equation – there’s also lighting, composition and props to think about – but if you get a good range of backgrounds that you LOVE then things will start to fall into place.
I’m certainly not an expert but as I tackle the art of photography do you want me to share my tips and favourite finds?
I hope you found this useful. What do you love using for blog photography backgrounds?