Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots

Studio Backdrop: Blondie Silver

It’s more important to click with people than to click the shutter.

-Alfred Eisenstaedt
Andrea looking fierce in a metallic evening gown paired with pearl accented stiletto heels.

The general rule of thumb for styling a photoshoot is that we photograph cool tones on a cool toned backdrop and warm tones on a warm toned backdrop. I have found that the “Blondie Silver” backdrop plays nicely with both cool and warm tones making it extremely versatile to photograph a range of looks and styles. I can also push the final toning of an image into cooler or warmer tones, as you will see while scrolling through the images in this post.

The “Blondie Silver” backdrop is large, measuring about 10’x20′. The largest group I have photographed with it is a family of eight. The backdrop also looks good when layered with the studio’s darker gold backdrop for added texture and framing.

Chrisie rockin’ the animal print and not much more. Chrisie visited the studio to participate in the Wise Women: The 50 over 50 Project.
Same Rembrandt lighting as the cover photo, just an alternate pose for Andrea.
Mother and son legacy portrait of Abby and Mauricio. We planned the timing of this photoshoot perfectly. Dad arrived with Mauricio after Abby had been styled, dressed and placed on set, just waiting for her son to be delivered to her arms. We had about 8 minutes to capture the shot, which felt like all the time in the world, before Mauricio wanted to investigate the new environment.
Someone cracked a funny. Dawn and her daughters having a laughing fit during the photoshoot. Yes, photoshoots really are this fun. You’ll love the photoshoot experience just as much as you do your beautiful images.
Ali is captivating in this monochrome look.
Amelia is pretty in pink. The wig was decorated on the fly during the photoshoot. It’s best not to overthink the bling for Marie Antoinette-inspired styling. We just go with it!
Beauty portraits of Maddie for the holidays.
Maddie styled in an oversized, off-the-shoulder pink sweater.
Behind the scenes of Julianne’s maternity photoshoot. The gold backdrop is layered on the floor to extend the reach of the “Blondie Silver” backdrop.
Flowing fabric is a personal and client favorite. In this particular case, Julianne’s husband did an excellent job of throwing the fabric. I promised him that he wouldn’t have to hand in his man card after the photoshoot.
Savannah looking fabulous in copper sequin frock with matching crown, both items are part of the studio’s wardrobe and accessories collection.

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots Natural Light Portraits

Studio Backdrop: Flower Wall

After women, flowers are the most divine creations.

–Christian Dior
I could tell by Andrea’s subtle reaction that she thought I was a bit crazy when I suggested placing that ginormous flower on her head as a hat. Happily, because you are seeing it here means it was one of her favorite images. I was inspired by the famous photograph by Patrick Demarchelier of Christy Turlington. This image was captured with natural light available from the Bay window.

The flower wall has been a studio staple since May 2019. It consumes a lot of space and every couple of months I toy with the idea of dismantling it or rolling it up and stowing it in the garage for awhile so I can clear space for a new backdrop. But every time I go to break it down, a client requests to add it to their photoshoot set list. So it remains. Admittedly the flower wall brings a bit of whimsy and good cheer to the studio no matter the season.

Chrisie is looking fabulous lying on the flower backdrop. Chrisie visited the studio to participate in the Wise Women: The 50 over 50 Project. This portrait is captured with natural light coming through a big Bay window. The Bay window is frequently used as a backdrop for photoshoots.
A behind the scenes glimpse of capturing Chrisie’s flower portrait in natural light. A big thank you to Gayle Petrillo for capturing the action.
Coral is a gifted dancer. Swan Lake was my inspiration for the styling of this image. A studio strobe provided the light which added some lighting drama.
As you can see, the flower wall is quite large. It was assembled by placing thousands of flowers by hand through chicken fencing. The creation of the wall was made possible by Michael’s 70% off floral sales and blooms purchased at the Dollar store.
Many expectant mother’s love to include a set of images with the flower wall in their portfolio of maternity images.
Behind the scenes maternity photoshoot with Julianne.
Abby was the first to be photographed in the “field of flowers” look. While she looks like she was photographed in natural light, this photograph was captured with studio strobes.
A moodier field of flowers portrait of Abby.

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots Headshots and Personal Branding Natural Light Portraits

Studio Backdrop: Mobile Canopy

Color is a power which directly influences the soul.

-Wassily Kandinsky
Andrea photographed in natural light, towards the end of the day, when the sun was turning the evening light golden and a light breeze made the fabrics sway in the wind.

A 10′ x 10′ pop up canopy is an ideal structure to create an outdoor room. It’s tall enough to set-up a backdrop under the canopy to replicate a studio environment. The white fabric roof acts as a large softbox that diffuses the sun and softens sun light. One or more studio lights can be added to give direction to the light and provides an extra bounce of brightness to the eyes.

One of my favorite uses for the canopy’s frame is to hang sheer fabrics that catch the wind and reflect the rays of the sun making for a pretty and feminine backdrop to capture creative portraits.

Devi is ready for her picture to be taken for the group photo (see below).

In the late summer I was commissioned to photograph the outgoing Committee Chairs for the Marana Chamber of Commerce. Every year the Chamber has a group photo and the Chamber’s leadership team was concerned that it wasn’t going to happen this year due to COVID-19. Fortunately, I was able to photograph each person separately and then combine all the individual photos into one composited image. #missionaccomplished

Each person was photographed separately in the outdoor canopy to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Afterwards the ten images were combined in Photoshop to create a group photo.

My next venture with the tent will be to swap the white fabric for black. I am inspired by the work of Peter Lindbergh, and in particular, his “sun bounce cage”. The famous fashion photographer set-up three sided black tent to capture memorable monochromatic photographs of famous models and actresses.

One more of Andrea in the “outdoor” room.

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots

Studio Backdrop: Bay Window

Working in white makes people look into it. White is ethereal. There’s a purity to it, it makes things look elevated in a way.

-Jonathan Milne, Sculpture
Andrea is wearing the studio’s fabulous mauve robe that is seemingly made from miles and miles of tulle.

When I started the photography studio in 2017 I worked solely with natural light available from a northward facing Bay window. Even in sunny Tucson we occasionally experience overcast and rainy days, on an average of 53 days a year. I need to be able to capture photographs on any day no matter the weather, or the time of day (or evening for that matter).

Therefore, in 2018 I added strobes to my photography gear so I could create any kind of light I want depending upon the style of photographs my client’s need or desire. As a professional photographer it’s critical that my gear enables me to capture the types of images my client’s want me to capture.

Andrea captured in front of the Bay window. An extra layer of drapes were hung for additional texture in the image.

Portrait sessions include images captured with natural light, strobes and a mix of both. I have also added an outdoor farmer’s market canopy to better control the light for photographs captured in my backyard. A favorite set-up with the outdoor canopy is to hang sheer fabrics that sway in the wind and play hide and seek with the rays of the sun. It’s nice having two distinct areas to capture natural light images both inside and outside.

Ali and Coral look ethereal in the glow of the bay window.
It’s always a wonderful day in the studio when Lindsey and Campbell are in front of my lens.
Adalis and her daughters make my heart sing in this soft light.
Miranda chose both light and dark lacey fabrics to wear in front of for the window light for her maternity session. She had a boy!
Lowry and Lindsey are the sweetest sisters. When I discovered Lindsey is a twin I couldn’t get the sisters into the studio fast enough.
Coral is a gifted dancer and it shows in her poise, beautiful posture and pointed toes.
Brigette is lovely in corset and tulle and surrounded by dreamy soft light.
Maddie photographed using only natural light in front of the Bay window.

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots Headshots and Personal Branding

Studio Backdrop: Seamless Paper

The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.

–Ansel Adams
This image of Maddie was inspired by Stuart Weitzman’s shoe campaigns.

A 9-foot wide roll of white seamless paper is a staple at the studio. In addition to white, seamless paper is available in 55 colors which makes it an ideal choice for personal branding photoshoots to complement your branding colors. Seamless paper is also a terrific option for fashion-inspired images providing a commercial look.

A lighter toned portfolio of images can include photographing against the white V-Flats, textured light gray backdrop, warm gray backdrop, and window light through the Bay window.

White seamless paper provides a commercial, fashion-style look to a photoshoot.
Maddie is wearing a black bodysuit accessorized with a cage skirt. There are bodysuits to compliment every body type. Cosmopolitan magazine proclaimed that the bodysuit is one of the “7 items of clothing that look good on absolutely everyone.” This may come as a bit of a surprise because bodysuits look terrible on a hangar, but when you find the right one, with the right fit, the bodysuit beautifully shapes a figure. The bodysuit also looks great paired with fishnet stockings, thigh-high hosiery or boots, a motorcycle jacket, tuxedo tails, and corset belts, to name just a few ideas.
Savannah wanted to capture edgy fashion-inspired images. Mission accomplished. Makeup by Areli Jones-Acosta and hair by Claudia Ratcliffe, the owner of Alluminare Salon.
Miranda was photographed towards the end of her pregnancy. She gave birth to a handsome baby boy who is absolutely adorable. Maternity photos are treasured keepsakes for a lifetime and beyond for the next generations.

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Life is like photography. You focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out just take another shot.

–Unknown
Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots Headshots and Personal Branding

Studio Backdrop: White V-Flats

The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but if you choose to guide and cultivate the brand or let it be defined on your behalf.

-Shama Hyder
Capturing a personal branding portrait at 3/4 length provides flexibility in cropping the image for a variety of uses.

Two sided white and black V-Flats are perhaps the hardest working equipment in my studio. They are predominately used to control light. The white side bounce light and the black side absorbs light. Both the white and black sides can also be used as backdrops.

Renoir said once that nothing was so difficult, and at the same time so exciting, to paint, as white on white.

-Ambroise Vollard, French Contemporary Artsit 1866-1939

When I employ a white V-Flat as a backdrop it tends to be for personal branding images. The truth is pretty much everyone in business needs a professional headshot on a light background. The old adage is true, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” This is also true of your online presence whether your headshot is featured on LinkedIn, your website, social media platforms, or dating service.

Maddie in the foreground and the tall V-Flats are stacked up like accordion cards in the background.

“A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments). Their research is presented in their article “First Impressions,” in the July issue of Psychological Science.”

-Association for Psychological Science

The white V-Flats, depending upon the lighting set-up, can be pure white or have a gradient from white to gray.

Elise is a participant in the Wise Women: 50 over 50 Project. She incorporated a personal branding set into her photoshoot. She is makeup artist who owns Boomer and Beyond Beauty LLC.
Personal branding headshot for Hilda, owner of Morava Services & Consulting, LLC located in Tucson, Arizona.
Dan is the owner of Danwidth, a Tucson-based company that creates customized website solutions.

White V-Flats aren’t just for capturing personal branding, this series of fun “dancing” portraits” were captured with the white V-Flats acting as a backdrop.

A “9-Up” portrait collection of Jaquesha.

And, of course, we can have a bit of fun too. White V-Flats don’t have to be all about serious business.

Savannah visited the studio to add images to her modeling portfolio.

The studio’s gray backdrops also work well for headshots, in particular the Light Gray.

Black V-Flats are also frequently used in personal branding sessions.

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots Headshots and Personal Branding

Studio Backdrop: Light Gray

Gray is the Queen of colors, because she makes everyone else look good.

-Helen Van Wyk, Painter
“Double Exposure” portrait of Andrea captured with a mix of natural light and strobe.

As you can see from the images in this post, this light gray backdrop can appear much lighter or darker in photographs depending upon the lighting used to make the portrait. In the studio I work with natural light, strobe light, and a mix of both natural light and strobe to create portraits that are light and airy to dark and moody and everything in between.

The goal with this backdrop was to choose the right tone of gray that would work as both a neutral and to pair well with just about any color. I also had in mind to select a tone that would work well in replacing white seamless paper for fashion-inspired images, especially when a little more texture is desired in the image.

“Socially distanced” group photo of the Marana Chamber of Commerce Committee Chairs for 2019-2020. Each member was captured individually and composited into this group photo. I made a makeshift studio outside under a canopy.
Devi posing under the canopy for her participation in the Marana Chamber of Commerce photoshoots to capture the outgoing committee chairs.
Personal Branding image for Erik Anderson of Scar and Pain Solutions, based in Tucson, Arizona.
Pam is owner of Theia Hypnotherapy, LLC, a certified hypnotherapist.

In addition to this warm light gray backdrop, the studio has a variety of gray backdrops in inventory:

Warm Gray | Charcoal Gray | Blue-Gray | Portable Medium Gray

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots

Studio Backdrop: Warm Light Gray

In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.

-Hans Hofmann
Andrea photographed in front of the studio’s big bay window to add a base layer of natural light and then a strobe is added to give the light direction.

White, black and gray are essential in every wardrobe and this concept applies to backdrops as well. My general rule is to photograph lighter tones on lighter backdrops and darker tones on darker backdrops. Gray is the exception to the rule. As you can see with Andrea’s cover image there isn’t too much contrast between the lighter gray backdrop and her black shirt. It is subtle, but you can also see that Andrea’s blonde hair is complimented by the ochre color that was added as a golden accent to the backdrop.

The tones in this backdrop are cream, light gray and ochre. I had to photograph each backdrop before I could declare it finished. Backgrounds tend to look different in a photograph than they do lying on the floor.

In addition to this warm light gray backdrop, the studio has a variety of gray backdrops in hues that range from lighter to darker:

Light Gray | Blue-Gray | Portable Medium Gray | Charcoal Gray

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots

Studio Backdrop: Chalk Paint Blue-Gray

Andrea photographed in a lighting set-up called “the half-light”.

I thought I found a way to easily paint a backdrop by using chalk paint. I saw examples on the internet that looked absolutely gorgeous. One writer claimed that all she did was throw some chalk paint on a wall and voila gorgeousness ensued. So I went to Home Depot, bought dark gray chalk paint and excitedly – yes, excitedly – rolled on a layer of paint. It dried to a dull uninteresting color with no texture. 🙁

What painting project doesn’t involve thirty trips to Home Depot? Back to Home Depot I trudged to investigate what colors of chalk paint were available in sample colors. There were only three hues available: black, white and a pretty pastel blue. I bought all three. Back home I returned to apply the colors with a textured roller over the flat black paint. With a bit of patience I was able to say yes to success. The addition of the light blue chalk paint lends a hint of a cool undertone to the gray that is quite lovely. The key to success is in not giving up.

In addition to this blue-gray backdrop, the studio has a variety of gray backdrops in hues that range from lighter to darker:

Light Gray | Warm Light Gray  | Portable Medium Gray | Charcoal Gray

Interested in learning more about what the studio has to offer? Click on the following links to jump to the studio’s portfolio of images, and download a digital copy of the studio’s Magazine and Style Guide to learn how to prepare for your photoshoot:

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.

Categories
Backdrops for Photoshoots

Studio Backdrop: Portable Medium Gray

The best thing about a photograph is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.

-Andy Warhol
Andrea in red is giving me life.

This medium gray textured backdrop is a little less than 5′ wide making it ideal for layering with other backdrops in the studio. It’s also ideal for transporting in a vehicle if I’m shooting on location.

In the photo of Andrea, above, the backdrop is layered with the Old Masters Brown. If layering isn’t your thing, the gray backdrop can be easily extended in Photoshop. Here’s an example:

Laura is a participant in the Wise Women: 50 over Fifty Project.

The studio has five additional hand painted gray backgrounds to choose between for portrait sessions: charcoal gray, chalk paint blue-gray, light gray and warm light gray. For a more commercial look, seamless paper is also a favorite choice.

Link to the studio’s portfolio.

Link to the studio’s Free Magazine and Style Guide.