Seamless Paper Setup and Pullbacks

Mandy asked in a previous post if I could show a pullback of my setup, so during one of my shoots this past weekend I made a point to remember to take a few pics. Here is the Savage Coral Paper supported on my Impact Portable Backdrop Stand:

photography setup pullback

photography setup pullback

This is set up in the dining room, which is also Jasper’s playroom – hence the chaos! I also just want to say that if you are shooting kids it is generally NOT a good idea to have new toys around.. not a big deal for your kid if those toys are old hat, but if I have other kids coming in I generally try to hide the toys as best I can otherwise they want nothing to do with sitting still in the middle of a boring floor!

So the last time I posted about my set up I was clipping the molding to the paper with clips from Home Depot, but that was pretty precarious.. since then my dad put shelf brackets on the molding so it stands up on its own – so much better:

Thanks Dad!!

The cool thing about the shelf brackets is that if you happen to shoot in a place that already has nice wood floors, you can actually roll the paper down so it goes just underneath the molding and use the existing floor! I did this at a client’s house a few weeks ago and it worked out great:

y500

And now, here are the shots from the pullback pictures – this is Ahsley, who really didn’t want her photo taken- thank GOD for the lollipop which cheered her up enough to get a few shots!

Taken with my Canon 5D Mark II, Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 Lens at around these settings:
SS 1/160th, f 3.5 and ISO 1000

Oh, and one more tip.. if you DO use cookies or candy as props, be sure you’ve gotten all the shots you want without them because once the candy comes out there isn’t any going back. Just try taking a lollipop away from a toddler and then getting them to smile – yes, I learned this one the hard way!! :)

PS: If you are interested in studio setups, be sure to read this post. One update though, those bamboo fake floors are no longer available. I’d recommend instead a piece of this sheet vinyl from Lowes (available in other colors too) for just $28.

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Diane Bartoo says:

Great idea! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to get my baseboards on a shelf bracket!

Holly says:

Looks great! How did he attach the bracket to the molding?

Jill Thomas says:

Totally off subject but where did you get your area rug?

ariana says:

Hi Jill, I believe it was from Homegoods!

Adam says:

Is this paper 53″ width?

ariana says:

Yes :) I now have a studio where I use the 103 which I much prefer, but for at home or at a client’s home, the smaller is definitely the way to go!

Ashley Hearne says:

Curious! Where did you get the molding/trim you use? I have searched everywhere! Thank you

ariana says:

Ashley, just from home depot!

Simon says:

Hi ariana – great idea, was wondering how to create a skirting effect. One question, how do you keep the paper roll tight on the cross bar as I find it creeps a bit and causes the paper to sag.

Wendy O'Sullivan says:

Hi,

I love the flooring but can’t buy it as I am in Australia. Do you know of somewhere that ships to Australia?

Thanks in advance
Wendy

Sarah says:

Hi! I love the flooring you used in this setup. I searched for it on Bargain Outfitters under barnwood and can’t find it! Could you provide a link?

Cindy says:

I just wanted to say thanks so much for posting this. I’ve seen other pull-backs but you did the best job of explaining what to do. I’m inspired to try it myself now!

BTW, I’m an infertility survivor too (now mom to 2).

ariana says:

Thanks Cindy – and YAY for beating infertility!! :)

Robyn Regan says:

Pure genius!!!!!!! I love your Dad!!!! I have been trying to figure out a way to have a fake skirting board!!! I love him and you!!!

bianca says:

For those of you who are having trouble finding a woodfloor prop: Just go to ebay and type “wood floor photography prop”. There are a few “fake” hardwood floor props for sale. I purchased the Oak and the Dark Cherry mats. They work beautifully. You have an awesome website by the way!

Em says:

I love the barnwood flooring! Can you tell me what size you used? Thank you so much for sharing all this valuable information on the studio setup! I am so excited and inspired to try it at home!

ariana says:

It’s the 4’x6′ size!

debra says:

Where is this antiqued white floor from? I have been looking all over for this exact look…TIA!

ariana says:

Hi, it’s from bargainoutfitters.com, search for barnwood :)

Ashley says:

Thank you so much for this post! I had no idea how to pull this off! It’s genius! Thank you! I LOVE that flooring!!! Where did you get it????

jesicalea says:

It’s all trial and error. haha I’m still learning so much. For every photo I post to Flickr there are about 50 I deleted. lol I wish I had more windows for natural light but I live in a small apartment. There is one window in the room I shoot in which is my living/dining room. I live in Michigan so outdoor photos are still a ways away.

In the linked photo I didn’t use lights at all. It was taken with a Lightscoop. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them but it’s a handy little light modifier. It’s basically a mirror that attaches to your flash shoe and goes in front of the on camera flash. It scoops up the light and throws it at the ceiling. You get the same effect with off camera flash pointed at the ceiling of course but I got this before I got my kit with flashes. It’s still handy for snapshots. It gives some interesting catch lights but also makes the photo way too noisy for my taste.

Thanks

ariana says:

Hi Jesica, wow, I’m so happy to have provided any push that you needed, but by the looks of things you are well on your way! Your studio lighting looks amazing – you could teach me a thing or two about that :)

jesicalea says:

Less than $40 I meant. ;)

jesicalea says:

I’ve been looking through your blog for the past two days and I just had to tell you how much you’ve inspired me.

I’ve just recently started to finally get my studio set up after 10 years of dreaming. I got my first DSLR last year (though only a Nikon D40 for now) and just a couple weeks ago I go a Strobist lighting set up.

I found your site by searching “fake hardwood floor photography” because I’ve been wanting to do this forever but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Clamping the molding to the bottom of seamless is genius. It never occurred to me that I could use my seamless backdrop paper. I only have white right now but will be getting Savage Mocha VERY soon. When I saw your blog I had a total DUH! moment.

I went out today and got some snap together pergo. 4ft wide and 5ft long (clearance price only $30). My floor molding was $6 for 6ft. So for less than $30 I can now achieve the nice hardwood floor/wall look in my carpeted apartment! :) I plan on attaching the brackets to the molding once my the backdrop stand I ordered comes. Right now my backdrop is rigged and up against a wall so that won’t work yet.

Thanks so much for all that you share. Your photography is beautiful and your son is soooo adorable!

Take care,
Jesica

A tiny glimpse at my new hardwood floor/wall:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63084262@N00/4374715909/

desirae says:

i would love to know what the floor that you have in these pictures?

TidyMom says:

Thanks for posting this! the shelf bracket…..GENIUS!! but then again…….that’s what dads are, aren’t they! ? I am SOO inlove with that fake floor you have!!….I don’t do portraits (yet)still trying to learn more, and need more lenses…..but I have all that info bookmarked so when I’m ready……..

Beautiful Photographs (as usual)!

jenn says:

where is the flooring from? love it!

ariana says:

Thanks guys!
Lisa & Abbey, it’s natural light. Abbey you were right, there is a window to the right and a slidding glas door infront of the paper. No flash, but I did use a high ISO, I might have needed to use flash if I had a camera less capable of handling high ISO!
Hope that helps :)

Abbey says:

Thanks for sharing your set up. Is this all natural light cause I notice the window to the right of the set-up, and possible another one parallel to the seamless paper? Also, did you use flash on any of these?

Your do amazing work!

bridgette says:

thank you so much for posting this !!! ive got a ton of ideas now !!

How much do I LOVE the lollipop in the photos with the pink background?!? I totally want to do this with my daughter when she’s a little bigger, but I’m sure she’d be a disastrous mess before we (meaning: my husband) got the perfect shot!

Yours turned out absolutely gorgeous. Keep up the great work…you definitely have a knack for photography!

Lisa E says:

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing! I do not have room for a studio, but maybe one day. What kind of lighting do you use?

Kimberly says:

It’s always so fun to see the pull-backs! Thanks for sharing. :)

Samm Ivri says:

I lvoe the pink setup. So girly and cute. I wish I had the space for a mini studio like this. Maybe someday…

trina says:

i bow to your genius- awesome!

mandy says:

thank you for showing this! i love the shelf bracket idea on the molding. your pictures are so great!


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