Using Photo Walls as a Free Photography Backdrop!
Recently I’ve been featuring a lot of “wall” photos on my Instagram account to help bring in the bright cheerful colors of spring/summer and to add a pop of color. I’ve had a lot of question about where I’m finding all these amazing photography backdrops, so let’s go behind the scenes friends so I can reveal all my secrets!
In the last few months I have been really focusing on the “feel” of my Instagram feed and working to help make the over all look cohesive (read my 10 Tips on Photo Taking here). Since it has finally started to warm up outside, I’ve been inspired to bring more spring and summer colors into my photos, but have struggled with how to do that.
My epiphany moment came when I spotted a pastel pink wall in a nearby town and just had to stop and get a photo. It was down a side street so I didn’t feel super awkward stopping to take a photo. Behold Friends, the wall that started it all;
After I saw how well those photos turned out, I wanted all the walls all the time. I mean is there anything better than a free photo backdrop!? But sadly that wall was about 25 minutes away, so I wasn’t going to be visiting it often. I needed to find walls near me that I could use in my photos. But alas, there aren’t any! Or so I thought…
I don’t live in a huge town, actually we’re considered pretty small by most standards, and the majority of the buildings in my town are plain and uuuuuugly. There are two main walls that opened my eyes to the beauty of the town; number one was a hot pink wall smack dab in the center of town that no one seems to realize is there;
Can you see it friends? So there, in the middle of all the hustle and bustle in my little town (connected to the liquor store) is my glorious pink wall. The perfect photo backdrop. I’ve driven by it thousands of times (yes literally thousands, my grandma lives two streets over so I pass it minimum of twice a day in the summertime) and I’ve always wanted to stop and take a picture but I was scared.
This particular wall is right in the middle of a busy intersection and I was just too scared to stop and try getting a few photos. Then one day I thought “screw it! I’m going!” I pulled my van up front to help partially hide my little clan, set up my tripod, and vamped for all I was worth, because if there is one thing social media motherhood has taught me it’s that there will always be gawkers, but honestly, who cares what they think!? And just look at the photos I got!
The funny part was, as soon as I was in front of the camera and snapping shots of my kids, I didn’t care, actually I didn’t even remember, that there were people around and cars driving by. I was too busy having fun and getting a good shot! After how great these photos turned out, I’ve been bolder about stopping and getting a photo in front of a wall whether it’s hidden or not!
So here are my top 5 tips on how to get the best back drop for your photos by sniffing out photo walls that may be right in your back yard! (Or next to your local liquor store anyhow…)
5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Free Photography Backdrop!
1) Open your eyes! Like no seriously! I could not believe how many “cute” walls I found in my town once I started looking! I used to think my town was boring and plain but since I’ve started looking around more I’ve actually realized my town has some cute quirks!
2) Drive the business district! A lot of the photo “walls” I’ve found are located in the industrial or business areas of my town. I was amazed how when I’d pull down a random side street with seemingly ugly buildings I’d find a garage door that was a cute color, or even that the whole building was a fun color!
3) Don’t be afraid to ask! I found a wall, the perfect photo wall, the most beautiful color, I had to get a picture! Only problem? It’s someone’s barn… Did that stop me? Nope. After summoning all my will power and giving myself the pep talk of the ages I located the driveway, drove up and parked outside. I was almost too chicken to get out when I realized that I’d parked right behind the owner’s car -and it was running! Too late now! So I got out, put on a huge smile and carefully approached the vehicle. The woman seemed somewhat surprised but when I mentioned I spotted her farm from the highway and asked if I could take pictures in front of her barn she beamed and said “Go right ahead! People stop all the time to take pictures!” Say what!? Here I was thinking I was some rebel because I’m asking this lady if I can take some pictures and she said it’s pretty common. Ha, go figure I was sweating for nothing. (Oh, and there was a super sweet tom cat that kept my son company while I snapped some shots -#momwin!)
4) The wall doesn’t have to be huge! So the barn above was obviously the perfect canvas, and a large wall can make for some epic photos, but, if you’re just using it as a back drop, don’t worry about small blemishes or if there is not a huge amount of space. Some of the places I’ve taken pictures have hardly had enough room for the three of us, my rule of thumb is; when in doubt, crop it out! If there is something funky in the photo (like the white windowsill in the powder blue wall photos) just crop the photo down a bit to remove the distraction.
5) Case the joint! (Ha ha sorry I just had to!) Don’t be afraid to circle around a building, pull into the back, or stop in a parking lot. As with the yellow wall below, I saw the building from the front while driving by and knew it’d be a fantastic color for a photo wall if only I could find a bit of space to take the pictures! When I circled around back there it was! The perfect little area to stand in front of and vamp! And it was on a less trafficked road! Total win!
Okay, well, there you have it folks! I’ve laid out all my secrets for your benefit and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about the behind the scenes work for my Instagram Feed! Hopefully this post will help you to look at your town with fresh eyes and help you to find the perfect free photography backdrop for your photos!
PS) If this post helped you, would you please share the love and pin it on your page? Oh, and just for kicks and giggles, here’s a video I made awhile back that is a recreation of me “vamping” in front of walls. (The story behind this video is that I was taking photos in front of that lovely blue wall (above) in a side alley, thinking no one had seen me, vamping for all I was worth, and when I got done and hopped back in my car I realized a woman had been sitting in her car parked next to mine the whole time. *insert awkward laughter here*)