because you asked.

I don’t think I have time to write a tutorial on shooting with background paper OR am qualified to write such a tutorial (since that’s really not what I typically do) but I’ve never been afraid to word vomit whatever is in my head. So here we go in bullet format…

 – I got my paper from B and H. I think it’s this one but don’t quote me on it. If you end up hating it, have no fear, it makes really good body art.

– I like shooting on seamless paper with a window directly to the side of my subject. It just so happens that I have the perfect spot in my house for this.

– Learn from my mistakes and TAPE the paper to a piece of furniture rather than, say, putting a heavy object on top of it to hold it taut. That method will not turn out well for your squirmy subject. Don’t ask me how I know.

– Try as hard as possible to keep the paper wrinkle-free. This will save you lots of time in photoshop. Again, trust me on this.

– If you do end up with wrinkly seamless, make friends with the patch tool. It may be my favorite tool in photoshop. Google for a tutorial if you haven’t used it before.

– Some people find it useful to put a piece of plexiglass down over the paper on the ground to eliminate wrinkles there and keep it from getting dirty and torn. I don’t use seamless enough to warrant this. It’s a great idea though!

– This is how my family room looks on a daily basis (minus the seamless). I hope this permanently obliterates any notion that any of you might have that my house is always clean.


Linda AtkinsJuly 19, 2010 - 9:33 pm

I love that you took pictures of your family room as is! Makes me feel so much better knowing yours looks just like mine! Actually, yours looks better than mine. You obviously don’t have two Austrailian Shepherds and all their hair living in yours.

LaurenJuly 19, 2010 - 10:15 pm

Thanks Erin!! Super tips that I will have to try soon! 🙂

Amy SargeantJuly 20, 2010 - 6:31 am

Oh thank you so much! I HAVE wondered, especially since you said you don’t use lights, how you had such great light with your backdrop. Thanks again. This will be handy in wintertime for sure. Do you use a stand?

Sally C.July 20, 2010 - 9:47 am

Just have to say, your living room looks awesome. It would be totally picked up in five minutes or less and looks cozy and inviting. Wish that mine looked like this photo even on its best days!

KarlyJuly 20, 2010 - 11:21 am

Thanks for the pointers! And obviously, you have no idea what ‘messy house’ actually means! 🙂

ellieJuly 21, 2010 - 5:59 am

i love your (totally not messy) living room & how you decorated it! question…what do those nine frames to the right of the backdrop say & where did you get them?! they’re really pretty.

adminJuly 21, 2010 - 6:53 am

Ellie, it’s a quote from the Beatles song “Imagine”: Imagine all the people living life in peace. I got them from this etsy shop:

amysJuly 24, 2010 - 11:41 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. Just seeing your set up is so helpful!

merryheart/sandraJanuary 11, 2011 - 9:03 am

thanks for the pointers. i have a big, sunny window like that which is perfect for photos. what kind of stand do you use for the paper? thanks again.

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