November 10th, 2009 by ariana
With winter just around the corner and the end of “outdoor shooting” for many of us that live in temperate climates I thought it would be a good idea to discuss indoor photo set ups…
Do you ever wonder how it is that photographers all have beautiful hardwood floors, impeccable trim and an uncluttered gorgeous solid colored wall to photograph children on? Yeah, me too, until I discovered the secret, and it looks something like this:
These “hardwood floors” are actually bamboo floor protectors and seem to be an essential part of any photographer’s equipment arsenal. They are cheap ($15.99!), really lightweight and roll up for easy transport. The downside is that they are in pretty high demand and it took FOREVER for me to get mine.. I ordered it from Lakeside collection (you can also order fro ABC distributing their sister company) on September 15th and got it the first week in November (they go on backorder but they don’t tell you when you order that they aren’t in stock.)
The trim is just a piece of molding from Home depot that you clamp using pony clamps to the paper and then sort of have to figure out how to get it to stand upright (I put some children’s books behind it but need to refine this step a bit!).
The “wall” is of course seamless paper that you buy on big rolls from camera equipment stores like B&H. They come in 53″ and 107″ sizes – each with their pros and cons.. the 53″ size is MUCH more manageable, but also limiting – for example you can’t fit a group of more than maybe 3 and that’s a squeeze! The following pictures were all taken with the Savage Sea Green 53″ roll which is a beautiful and versatile color. Speaking of colors – do NOT go by the little squares they show online – the colors are totally off! Instead do a search for the name of the color on flickr to see actual photographs taken using the different seamless colors and there won’t be any big surprises.
I also ordered Sky Blue and Coral (a pink) because of photos I’d seen from other people and also because now I have white, a good girl color, a good boy color and a neutral – I can’t wait to try them! I have also since fallen in love with some grays like “smoke gray” that caught my eye in Sandy Wagerman’s photostream.
And lastly, you need a stand to hold the paper up! I have been really happy with the Impact Portable Backdrop Stand that was recommended to me by my photographer friend and also by several ILP members. It’s lightweight, sturdy and comes in a nice carry bag that makes it easy to transport.
Of course you don’t NEED any of this stuff – I just find that I got really tired of ironing the wrinkles out of fabrics! Plus, I thought you might appreciate learning the “secret” that so many pros use. I know it was an epiphany for me when I first learned about it ;)
And here are a few photos taken with my new set-up:
I can’t wait to try the other colors – I’m getting Abigail back to do some indoor shoots hopefully this Sunday!
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