Thursday, July 16, 2015

6 Photo Backdrop Ideas for Taking Pictures of Your Pet

I love taking photos of my pets! Since I began blogging in October 2012, I feel like my photography has greatly improved. Taking pictures of my pets has become part of my job and so I am always looking for fun ways to improve and take creative photos of my pets. I am by NO means a professional, but I've learned a few things along the way.

In the past year or so, I really began to utilize backdrops for taking pictures of my pets. My home is not pretty (at least not to me) and the walls are decorated with marker and crayon paintings from my children. My floors are usually scattered with tons of toys, because my 3 year old thinks it's fun to dump out her toy box as soon as I pick everything up.


If you experience a similar dilemma, using a backdrop to take photos of your pets is SO helpful. I've used a few different items as backdrops, and I'll share my favorites with you to help you get some ideas. Remember that these things DO NOT have to cost you a ton of money.

Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper is one of my favorite backdrops. There are so many different kinds of wrapping paper and the possibilities are endless. I now find myself buying random rolls of wrapping paper every time I go to the grocery store. I especially love reversible wrapping paper. 


For the photo above, I used a pink polka dotted wrapping paper. I taped the wrapping paper on my entertainment center and opened my front door (it's off to the side) to let good natural light in. And because I also am not in love with my flooring, I placed a white fleece blanket down in front of the backdrop. 

Fabric

Fabric is something I really want to use more often in my photos. I feel like a kid in a candy shop every time I go to a craft store with a fabric section. Funny thing is, I don't sew. 

I purchased a shimmery, blue, tulle material from the fabric store. Behind the sheer fabric, I hung a white shower curtain to a backdrop stand that I made. I also used the white shower curtain for the floor of the photos. Here's the end result.  


Pretty darn cute! I also tried using bubbles as a sort of prop, but they kept popping so it didn't work out very well. Maybe we'll try again another day!

Tablecloth

While I was shopping at the grocery store, we passed a bin full of colorful tablecloths. For whatever reason, they spoke to me. They said "take me home and use me as a photo backdrop". I've used this tablecloth for several photo shoots, and I love the bright patterns and colors. It's durable so I can use it over and over again. Which I do. 



I just tape the tablecloth to my wall and take it down when I'm done. Also of note, I always try to use natural light and no flash so I set up these scenes in places where I know lighting is good. I don't typically have good lighting in my home unless I open a door or curtain. 

Curtains and Blinds

I've been searching for a good flooring prop for photos. I finally found something that works pretty well for both the floor and the wall. I was in Wal-mart and came across a shopping cart of clearance items. They were all blinds and curtains for windows on sale. I saw the wooden one and knew I had to have it. 

In the photo below, the blinds are hanging on the wall as a photo backdrop. I took down a picture on the wall and used that nail to hang them up with. 


You can see in the photos below how I've utilized cropping to get out parts of the background that I don't want. I also used my wooden blinds as both a backdrop and floor surface for the photo. Here's a similar one that I found on Amazon. 


Blankets

Blankets are easy to use, and something you probably already have handy at home. I like to drape blankets over the couch and the floor in front of the couch for a nice backdrop. 


One of my favorite items for flooring in photos is the blanket from the photo above. The back side is a soft and fluffy white and it makes for a nice looking floor in my photos. 

Mesh Ribbon or Fabric

I see this stuff at the store all the time. It's usually sold in 10 ft rolls of different widths and can be made in different colors or material. Ususally paper or plastic. I am not sure if "mesh ribbon" is the proper term, but that's what I see it listed as on craft store websites. Whatever it's called, it makes a great photo backdrop. I have some of this stuff that is a brown paper material, but it looks just like a burlap bag material. It's inexpensive and reusable. It also works great on floors. 


Here's a similar mesh ribbon/fabric that I found on Amazon. Different color and material, but you get the idea. This material seems so versatile. (And it's cheap!)

If you keep your eyes open, the possibilities for creating fun photos with your pets using backdrops are endless. These are all cheap and simple photo backdrop ideas that anyone can use inside of their home. Just remember that natural light and cropping are your friend! I use a free online photo editor called PicMonkey to crop and edit most of my photos. 

Do you like taking photos of your pets? What kind of backdrops have you used? 

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46 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing such cool ideas, I love the idea with the wrapping paper, specially for christmas photos :o) I bought a super cheap roll-up curtain at ikea once, it worked great till Easy decorated the white thingy with permanent pawprints :o)
    easy rider

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    1. Haha - I worry about white stuff for the same reason!

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  2. I would never have thought of wrapping paper and that is a GREAT idea....mostly for my cat, my dog would try to eat it ;)

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    1. Callie loves paper :) She'd much prefer laying on top of it then me putting it on the wall though haha!

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  3. What a great idea. Thank you so much for this post. I had honestly never thought of adding a drop back to my photos. I have the same problems regarding the toys (although mine mess is created by a four year old westie, rather than a child). Will definitely be trying the blanket idea when I get home :)

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    1. For candid and spur of the moment photos, there's not much I can do but oh well. But for planned photo shoots, I like doing stuff like this. It helps add a new spin to photos instead of taking photos in the same old place.

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  4. These are fantastic ideas!!! I feel like all I ever do is try to "crop out crap", make pictures appear lighter, and generally just pretty them up. I will definitely be trying some of these out!

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    1. Cropping is definitely helpful! I like to open the front door, (there's a glass door behind it, so it lets in light) and then tape paper to the door.

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  5. Those are all great ideas. I haven't used a back drop, but I plan to now.

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  6. Wrapping paper is a brilliant idea! We generally use sheets or tablecloths.

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  7. Those are some mighty good ideas. I love to take my cat pictures outside. But I might have to try some of those ideas for the inside kitties. Great post

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    1. Outdoor pictures are wonderful too. Nature is a good backdrop :)

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  8. We heard about wrapping paper a while ago. Interior backgrounds are hard as we have so many outlets and vents on the walls, but for some reason we have a tough time with backdrops working for us as they are never big enough.

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    1. Well, that can be a bit of a problem for me too. Shiner is sort of big and it can be difficult to get her to sit in the perfect position sometimes. Wrapping paper and blankets are easiest when working with her because they are the biggest.

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  9. That is so awesome, I've always wondered how you had such cool backgrounds - now I feel like I know an insider secret :)

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    1. LOL - well, nothing too fancy honestly! Just some cheap random items I find at the store taped to the door or wall haha!

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  10. Good suggestions - I use the blankets, fabric and sheets. Wrapping paper is a fun idea but I know my cats would rather rip it than sit. I like to pose my guys in front of the window with the curtain showing - love the light and the curtain hides the dirty window!

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    1. Oh yes, those do make for nice photos as well with the cats. I have some nice ones of Callie in front of the window.

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  11. Miss Anne, we needed this post! There is always junk in our photos and Mommy will have a good idea for a post and then a junky photo so we'll end up with nothing to post!

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  12. Miss Anne, we needed this post! There is always junk in our photos and Mommy will have a good idea for a post and then a junky photo so we'll end up with nothing to post!

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  13. Great ideas Ann. I'm more of a "spur of the moment" picture taker. Action shots are my favorite "blurry" pictures.! :)

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    1. Haha - I feel you. I take those too. I think I use these types of photo shoots when it's a paid project or special idea that is planned ahead of time.

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  14. guys...thanx two yur mom for sum grate eye deas....de food gurl heer in trout towne takes crap N ola fotoz for sure;;;they look good at furst then when her brings up de fotoz slide.......eeeeeeeeeeggggggggaaaaaa...shiner...ewe iz rockin thoz shades by de way... ~~~~~ ♥♥♥
    heerz two an arctic char kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

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  15. GREAT tips!!!!! Thanks so much for these!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  16. Those were not only cool tips but the photos were fantastic!

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  17. Those are great tips ! Thank you for sharing with us ! Purrs

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  18. I love these ideas! I'll be looking closer at your photos now that I know your secret. :) My pics are pretty standard and I'm always admiring others' shots, like yours, and that pretty Emma dog. You know the one I mean? I'll be putting more effort into mine from now on. My mind is already swimming with ideas. Now, to convince my cat to sit "there." She has a habit of getting up and leaving just as I'm about to take the shot. Thanks so much!

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    1. Well, my cat likes to do the same lol. Emma's photos are wonderful! She is very creative with her photoshoots and I love the cool themes she comes up with and the props that she uses.

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  19. Great ideas! We'll have to try some of these.

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  20. I use fabric and blankets mostly, but wrapping paper is a great idea! I think it would only work for product though, as my dogs would rip it.

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    1. I can't use wrapping paper on the ground or else it would totally get destroyed too! I just tape it to the wall and no one seems to mess with it that way.

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  21. I'm so lazy and just point and shoot usually. You've inspired me to try to do a cute backdrop. Great ideas! Love that pic with the sparkliy blue fabric in the back!

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    1. Good luck to you Jackie :) I'm sure they'll come out nice with your cute photo subject!

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  22. A good background makes such a difference in photos! I love wrapping paper as a backdrop. Seamless paper backdrops last a long time if you have a place to store it, but it is more expensive initially. It holds up to claws better than wrapping paper if you are looking to have a pet sit or stand on the paper.

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    1. I'm sure you know many more fancy tips than I do! I'll have to look up seamless paper and check it out.

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  23. These are all great ideas! Mom is always getting creative to hide the background in my pictures especially in the backyard. She kept a straw mat from Hawaii that works really well like your blinds. Love Dolly

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  24. Awesome tips, Ann! A lot of times with the shelter cats, we don't have a chance to change the backdrops without losing the shot. But we will keep these in mind in the future, for when we DO have a chance. :)

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    1. Your shelter cat photos always come out great anyways. These aren't ideal for candid shots, but they are nice for planned photo shoots!

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  25. those are some great ideas, I would of never thought of the wrapping paper one.

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  26. Thanks so much for all of these great ideas! I'm new to pet blogging so this article is for perfect for me! Thanks again!

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  27. I just found a really inexpensive backdrop frame. So I'm going to start using fabric with it. Thanks for the tablecloth ideas, the clamps that came with the frame will hold those tight also. Great post.

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    1. This frame intrigues me. You will have to share sometime!

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  28. My favorite portrait of Parker is on a well-made bed with the wall in the background.

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  29. Love this! Especially for getting pics of my cat or indoor pics of Ace. What works the best for me is to take Ace outside onto some green grass when the lighting is right. Indoor pics are tough for me though. Our apartment is so dark and doesn't help that I have a black dog. I also take a lot of pics out on our balcony where we have some pretty textured backgrounds from the wall. But indoors ... I like the wrapping paper idea or the table cloth idea.

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