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Let me start off by saying that I am by no means an expert when it comes to taking photos. I try my best and have definitely gotten better over the 4+ years I have been doing this but I definitely do not have a natural photographers eye; I have to work really hard for the shots that I get. However, I have picked up a few tips and tricks over the year that have helped me, especially when it has come to what backgrounds and backdrops to use when it comes to photographing both products and people. My main suggestion is to find something blank and then build off of that. So I thought I’d share my top 5 quick and easy backdrops to use for when you want to take those “Insta-worthy” photographs.
Take a look around your house, both inside and out and take a look at your flooring. If you are lucky enough to have any wooden floor boards, or slate tiles or even regular tiles, these all make a great backdrop. For many months, I was obsessed with using the flagstone path out in front of my house because I loved the effect it created… of course it meant that particular part of the path was well weeded whilst the rest less so. Of course you can also use carpet or a fluffy rug to create a nice back drop. Find a really clean bit of carpet with good lighting that isn’t too busy or nestle products into a fluffy rug with some twinkle lights.
Another cheap trick of the trade when starting out, is actually to go to a DIY store and grab a load of wallpaper samples. You can get loads of different ones, both plain and patterned and these serve as great backdrops for flat lays.
I am really fond of using these massive sheets of reinforced coloured card which you can get from The Range. They are £2.49 a sheet and come in so many different colours. I have a a grey/charcoal one, a pink one and a pale blue one. I find these are colours that suit both me and my blog and ones I can use for all occasions and then I simply add in the props.
Finally, another great backdrop for products is of course an actual backdrop. Every now and again I do treat myself to one and I wouldn’t go anywhere else than Capture By Lucy. I have 3, in similar colours to be matt card sheets, but these are just pure quality. They roll and store, they’re wipeable and they have a sheen but it doesn’t reflect so they just look awesome!
If you happen to be photographing people then my biggest piece of advice is to go outside. I think it is much easier as unless you set up a huge screen, a lot of inside areas can can quite busy. If you go outside you can stand up against fences or the brick wall of your house or a hedge or even in the middle of a field with nothing but grass and sky.
Top tip when shooting children as well is to let it be candid. Let them play and run and have fun and simply watch them through your lens and wait for that special moment. I have never asked Alyssa to pose, I simply take her somewhere fun and let her be a child and if SHE wants to pose, which she sometimes does then great and if not, there are plenty of natural moments to capture.
Be sure to tag me and share your backdrop tips over on Instagram.