HOW TO CREATE AMAZING BACKDROPS FOR YOUR PHOTOS!


I'll be honest with you...

Taking photos for my business is hard.


Basically to the point where I never want to take pictures of anything. I have to get my out my lights or plan around the time of day where the natural lighting is perfect, print my products, find items to stage them with from around the house, and find the perfect backdrop to use.


I always struggle with finding the best background for my products.


Because lets face it, using your desk to take a million flat lays on can be uninspiring.


I have contemplated and tried so many ideas to try and find out the best way to get the perfect background for my prints and invitations. I have tried your standard cloth backdrop (big nope from me), using my hardwood flooring (it isn't is the best shape and the wood stain is off), getting boxes of different titles (too expensive and too much to store in my tiny place), and I have even considering buying the surfaces from Replica Surfaces (which I LOVE but they are a little out of my budget right now).


Then a lightbulb clicked in my head...


I remembered using white foam board to get crisp white backgrounds for my photos. However, I don't always want to use white (a lot of my products are white and would get washed out too much in editing).


So, I thought some more.


Then I remembered that I used peel and stick contact paper to put subway tile in my kitchen.


Boom. It clicked.


I should buy contact paper and put it on foam board to achieve different backgrounds!


Let's get right to it!


Below is a list of the supplies I purchased for this mini project / supplies I used:

In total, I spent just over $80 to make all of these surfaces! Essentially it breaks down to $10 a surface which is not too shabby if I say so myself.


Note: You don't need a cutting board for this project. I have a bunch laying around because I went to architecture school for my undergrad and masters. If you don't have a cutting board just be careful when you cut on whatever surface you use! I would put something protective down so you don't cut up your table, carpet, floors, etc. You can use scissors to cut the contact paper, the ruler and box cutter will provide you with the cleanest edge.

I failed at taking step-by-step photos of assembling these boards, but I did film a video! It will be located at the end of the post. For now, here is my *attempt* at writing out the steps and providing you helpful tips and tricks!


  • Gather all of your supplies and find a large open space to work at. You can use your kitchen table or the floor!

  • I only purchased 4 pieces of foam board to save some money, so I ended up putting contact paper on both sides of the board. In order to figure out which two contact papers would go on one surface, I figured out what surfaces I would never pair together in a shoot.

  • For example, I would never pair the geometric gold pattern with the hexagon pattern so those went on one board. See the photo below for what I mean when I say "pair the surfaces together". In the photo below I paired the concrete board with the marble board!

  • After I decided which contact paper would go where, I trimmed down the contact paper to fit the foam board.

  • The next step is going to be - pardon my French - a pain in the ass. Take one of your trimmed pieces of contact paper a foam board and put it on your work surface. Start to peal off the top 1" to 2" of the backing off of the contact paper. DO NOT PEEL ALL OF THE BACKING OFF JUST A SMALL PART OF THE TOP PORTION. The contact paper will start to stick to itself and get messed up.

  • Place the top of the contact paper at the top of the foam board. Take your ruler and start to flatten out the contact paper and smooth out the bubbles.

  • Slowly and I mean slowly, start to peel the backing from the contact paper while smoothing out the contact paper at the same time. Please look at my video to see what this looks like if you are confused!

  • Voilà! You are done with one surface! Now repeat these steps with all of the other pieces of contact paper.

Here are a few pictures of what the finished boards look like!


You can trim down the exposed edges of the foam board if you want. I plan on doing that eventually but I am not going to lie, I was too lazy to do it after adhering all of that contact paper.


Don't get too frustrated if some of the contact paper gets messed up while you try to stick it to the foam board. The good thing about peel and stick wallpaper is that you can peel it off and start over again!


I messed up a few times while applying the paper and sometimes the paper was in good enough condition to try and put it on the foam board again and others I had to recut a piece. The smooth surface of the foam board allows you to take the wallpaper off without messing up the foam board which is really nice!


As promised, here is the video I made showing how I made these surfaces!



If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I will answer them!


All the Best,

Sam


**Use the photo above to pin on Pinterest!


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