DIY Photography Backdrop

DIY Photography Backdrop

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY CANVAS PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP

Being on lockdown and having watched many photography training videos I decided to attempt to paint my own DIY canvas photography backdrop.

WHY?

Photography requires lots of equipment to keep photos current but none of this equipment is cheap. However, there are lots of ways that props can be made on a budget so I thought I would have a go at one. A new backdrop.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Paint of your choice – being on lockdown I couldn’t get to the shops and because I wanted it beige or brown I used some old fence paint. I used Ronseal One Coat in dark oak matt because that is all I had. I also used some old white matt emulsion.

A 12ft x9ft canvas backdrop. Click HERE to visit Amazon where I bought the backdrop

A fluffy roller. Click HERE to see which roller I bought.

Old trampoline cover to lay on the floor to stop it staining the grass. Tarpaulin or plastic sheets could also be used.

The Method

Being impatient when it comes to DIY I decided to just wing it! I laid the canvas on an old trampoline cover, so that the paint didn’t wreck the grass. I had heard of people priming the canvas or buying a primed one but I didn’t do either. Others had also pinned their canvas to the ground but I didn’t do this either. I wanted to use the texture and bumpiness of the grass to help me when adding texture to the canvas.

DIY Canvas Photography Backdrop
The start of the canvas

With the paint, I didn’t have a plan because again I wanted it to be random. Using a roller was easier because you could add a decent amount of paint to the canvas and then spread it around at random.

Mixing The Paint

To start off I added white emulsion to the paint tray and then added a small amount of fence paint so that its wasn’t too dark, as I wanted the centre to be lighter than the outsides. I also added a small amount of water to thin the paint down a bit. A few people have added fabric softer to the paint, so that the canvas is more supple at the end. I forgot to do this but the crustier feel doesn’t bother me. To paint the canvas I started in the middle but just slapped the paint on and continued all over the place until I emptied the tray.

DIY Canvas Painted Backdrop

Each time I filled the tray, the mixture got darker plus the paint wasn’t always mix it properly. Meaning there was bits of dark and light paint all over the canvas, to add to the texture. As it dried I did make certain areas a bit darker, as the white came through as it dried. Although this is better than the canvas coming out too dark. This day was also really warm so the canvas did dry quickly.

The Finished Product

As a first attempt I was really pleased with this canvas, especially as it only cost me the price of a backdrop. Which was £21. I did cut the backdrop down a bit as it was rather large for my space but the length is brilliant. There is a seem in the middle but with a wide aperture you can’t see it. Plus if you cut it down to make smaller backdrops, this won’t be an issue. TOP TIP… make sure you have the seam underneath.. you’ll notice mine is on the backdrop side! Something I didn’t think about in my haste to start painting.

THE VERDICT

I’m really pleased with the finished product. It cost me a day out of my time and was pretty easy to do. Both emulsion and fence paint seemed to work okay and I really like the texture it gives in both colour and black and white. Neither of these photos were taken with studio lights, the canvas was hung up and I took a quick photo of my son looking out of the window. Am I going to paint more? YES! Watch this space!!

If you’d like to see this backdrop in use during your photo session please visit my Families session to view details.

DIY Canvas Photography Backdrop