Yes… remember Howdy Do It? Margot’s not here, but she’s been doing a few sporadic Howdy Do It posts of her own on Pitch. I was inspired to write this post today because I’ve been struggling a lot with my own product photography. I think I do an OK job with my West and Plum photos, but when it comes to photographing invitations for Hello Tenfold, I have a hard time getting an end product I’m proud of. I’d like to hire a photographer/stylist at some point, but right now it’s just not in the budget.
I started out with wood backgrounds, mostly because… well, we had just gotten married and there were a few fresh cutting boards lying around. The wood flattered some pieces, but not all of them, and I want consistency in my photos. After looking through a lot of invitation photography that I admired, I realized that many people photograph their work on top of fabric backgrounds. I’d tried this but I always had two big problems: (1) I don’t like ironing, and (2) I don’t have any great upholstered furniture, or even the right fabric scraps to make it work.
So, last week I went to a cheap fabric store and picked up half yards of five neutral linen fabrics. I ironed them and attached them to cardboard in the same way you’d stretch a canvas. I used 13×19″ cardboard cake boards for the base because I had them lying around, but you could also do this with wood and a staple gun. In case you haven’t stretched a canvas before, here are a few steps:
• stretch fabric across the longest side first
• put a staple in one side, then pull fabric taut and put another staple on the exact opposite end
• pull fabric taut and staple the third side
• pull tight (really tight!) and staple the fourth side
• once you have the first four staples, you just start going around and adding more staples. each time you add a staple, move across to the other side, pull taut, and add another staple. In other words, you should have an even number of staples. The more the better, I say! For the purposes of this project, nice and neat corners don’t matter so much. But if you have to have them and aren’t sure how to get them, I’d recommend watching this video.
Now I’ve got five neutrals to photograph with! I think I’ve finally figured out the best spot in the house and time of day to photograph with natural light, and my plan is to get some simple flowers to make the operation look more styled. Wish me luck! Here are some photos from the first attempt:
I think they look much better…