Thoughtful Background Selection with Josh Astor
As creative entrepreneurs, we are faced with many decisions. Sometimes there are so many decisions that the ones that should be exciting tend to be overwhelming instead. Trying to balance a large variety of backgrounds versus the amount of storage you have available can be challenging, but it can be done! When I became an Intuition client in 2014, I was impressed with all the beautiful colors and designs Becky offered. I ordered my first drop “Fall Dots.” At that time I was strictly offering in-home sessions, but since then I’ve worked out of a studio apartment and currently in a small studio space. Each one had its’ challenges and benefits, such as ceiling space, tenant agreements and natural light availability. Choosing backdrops can be one of the more exciting decisions of running a business, but there are some things to consider for long-term use. Today, I’m sharing my thought process on choosing the right background and some tips to help make that process easier.
Keep storage in mind
I love the different backdrop materials Intuition offers to us photographers. I started my background collection with Poly paper backdrops, and the colors were vivid and crisp. The Dream Weave material has proven to be another great and durable surface for my backdrops. For storage, I recommend rolling them up inside one another and storing them vertically.
If you’re really short on storage availability, the Fabric drops are the best solution in my opinion. You can use them as a drop, a floor, or even as a drop for a newborn bean bag. The possibilities are endless with the fabric drops.
Backdrop :: Delaney
Tip: When you first receive your fabric drop, throw it in the dryer before storing at your studio. Another thing you can do to prevent the drop from wrinkling during the session is by using the reverse side of a rubber Mat Floor to grip the fabric drop. I consistently use a 50x60 Fabric drop with a rubber Mat Floor for my newborn sessions. By using a Mat with the Fabric, I’m able to offer my clients a variety of backdrop options all while conserving space.
After considering what kind of material will best fit your needs, keep in mind what props and accessories you already have. Neutrals are always a popular favorite for clients, and easy to coordinate. If you do purchase a more colorful drop like, my personal favorite, Delaney, ask yourself do you have coordinating wraps? Headbands? Props? One thing I love about Intuition Backgrounds is their prop shop. They offer several coordinating pieces to help you create the perfect setup.
Backdrop :: Claire
Tip: Store all the coordinating pieces together in a bin so when you're preparing for your session, it’s all together! By considering what you already have in your prop collection, you’re able to sort through Intuition’s backdrops by color and theme.
The last thing you may want to consider when purchasing a new backdrop is its’ reusability. If you’re just starting your backdrop collection, I would suggest starting with gender and seasonal friendly drops first. Intuition’s wood floors, Divine Line, and gender friendly sections would be a great area to start shopping. Adding these drops to your collection will offer you multiple opportunities to use them. You can add props and other decorations to dress these up or use them for a simple subject focused image.
One of my most used drops is an 8x10 Fabric Blackbird drop from Intuition’s Divine Line. I use it for almost all of my family newborn portraits, but also use it for baby pictures as well. The possibilities are endless. Their Christian floor is also a favorite. It has the perfect blend of grays, and my clients love it.
While my process works many times, never underestimate the power of trusting your “Intuition”. You never know what will be your next favorite drop until you try it. As creative entrepreneurs we make many decisions on a daily basis. By setting up a guide for your decisions, you can make the shopping experience streamlined and more enjoyable. I hope sharing my decision-making process will help you to Color Your Studio purposefully, and get the best use out of your storage and budget.
Josh Astor, aka The Newborn Guy, operates his studio near Fort Knox, Kentucky. His background in elementary education carries through to his passion for helping and inspiring others. He specializes in newborn photography and is known for his unique sets and themed images.
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The way we, as Photographers, style a newborn session is one of the best ways to separate ourselves from others in our area and also help us form a consistent brand. It’s imperative that we listen to our client’s desires while also staying true to ourselves as artists. Prior to all of my newborn sessions, I meet with the expectant parents and talk about styling to ensure the overall aesthetic of the session suits their personal style and home decor. This leads me to my first tip on styling newborn sessions!