It’s easy to run out of space.  No matter how much I get it’s not enough.  I would have to say I haven’t shot about 90% of what I have in the studio, which is hard to believe.  When I do a workshop it’s interesting to see what others are attracted to.

We were shooting Tiffany in another outfit and noticed it had a whole in the top.  Changing into this dress Dan and I went to my background rack and pulled out this one. High impact with a little bit of work.

I painted the background with flat black wall paint first, let it dry and then taped it off with wide blue painters tape.  I painted it again with the black and while the paint was still wet I dropped the copper glitter on.  I bought the glitter at our local craft wholesaler.  It takes quite a bit of glitter to do a 4×8 ft panel so the small containers at Michaels Crafts just won’t due.

If you don’t have this kind of storage space you could make a master background out of Styrofoam or some kind of paneling/board with Velcro on it.  On top of that you could use a product like Styrene sheets available in 4×8 ft panels that you can then paint and Velcro to the master.  The Styrene is very flexible and you can roll them up after you paint them. When I was a Decorative Painter this is how we painted our client samples, only smaller,  for our portfolios.

The only problem is the glitter ends up all over the place…just sayin

We shot this with my ProFoto ring flash.  Not the easiest ringflash to use and it’s literally falling apart with very little use, so it basically just collects dust in my grip room.  All my other ProFoto gear has been great except this one.

Shot at my May 2010 workshop.

4 comments category: Photographing models

1 Aurora Vanderbosch May 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Yeah…someone’s ALWAYS got to ask for the pesky details! 🙂 Thanks, Mary–you’ve given me a helpful starting point for my searching! 🙂


2 Mary DuPrie May 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I thought someone would ask me about what thickness of styrene…I’ll have to look up some of my old receipts. It’s been a few years.

You can go into the stores that carry it, they usually let you go in the back room where they store it. It is true that there is one particular thickness that is perfect. Not too think or thick.

I looked for some old receipts…I only found one for .020, I know it was too thin. I don’t think it was the .060 either. I would try .030 or .040.


3 Aurora Vanderbosch May 27, 2010 at 7:42 am

Yet another interesting post, Mary–thanks! 🙂

I was particularly intrigued by the thought of using styrene sheets over a foam background, as I’m operating in a 12’x20′ space–because being able to roll would be invaluable, since it would make getting materials shipped to me much less expensive. Googling came up with all sorts of thicknesses, though–and not being a numbers person, they aren’t terribly helpful. Do you have even a guesstimate as to what thickness would be thin enough to roll, but thick enough to be easy to manage? .060 was a number that seemed to come up quite often, in my search…


4 Joshua@Cameralogy May 27, 2010 at 1:55 am

Great blog Mary. Overwhelming content and quality – Bookmarking it in a hurry.

Thanks for your work.



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