Posts in Photo Backdrops
Photo Backdrops • The Edit - Grey Marble

Today I want to show you one of my first and favourite backdrops in the store. I found this marble topped table on eBay a couple of years ago and drove to Glastonbury to pick up it after I won it as the only bidder! Marble is beautiful, has depth and has a chameleon like quality depending on the light it is photographed in and for me, is a staple in my own repertoire. 

There are lots of cheaper marble alternatives available, sticky back plastic material you can roll onto a board but the marble is almost too perfect for me, a very bright white with harsh black or grey veins running through it. I am never convinced the patterns come from a real marble and I am forever on the hunt for interesting coloured marble, really I need to make friends with a stone mason ;)

For the last 18 months I have wheeled my preloved table through from the kitchen, over the step up to the conservatory door which we use as a playroom/work space for me. And boy is it an effort. It doesn't lend itself to being flung in the boot when I have a photo shoot on location. It's heavy, unwieldy and the now three wheeled table (I'm not quite sure what happened to the fourth) sometimes seems to have a mind of it's own and I end up huffing and puffing trying to manoeuvre it into the small area of good quality light in the house in the winter. 

The vinyl version was a revelation. And I haven't used the real deal since.

I pop it out of the tube, position it wherever I like, curl it up and over a box, or I think I used my typewriter for this shot, and when I am done I wipe it clean with a piece of kitchen roll and pop it back in it's tube. Without even one whisper of a puff. 

Marble is so versatile and you can create different looks depending on the white balance settings or the type of light you are shooting in. I wanted to show you how different it can feel and the atmosphere it can create by setting my camera to auto white balance, daylight, shade, cloudy and then editing one using my favourite A Beautiful Mess basic action set.

Which feels more like you? The warmer tones? The cooler bluer hue?

I love that this marble is perfectly imperfect. There are real marks, wear and tear, slight stains, but in an Instagram friendly way ;) The grey marble is in stock and in the backdrop store as is it's new sister. A whiter piece from the shop front of a local delicatessen in our nearest town.

Head on over and see which takes your fancy...

Photo Backdrops • The Edit - Grey Planks

The last few days, few weeks really have been one of the most exciting and nerve wracking times in the life of my blog. I have finally, after almost two years (it might actually be almost three but that sounded so ridiculous) of fiddling and faffing with an idea, launched a product on a brand new new look site!

I have been so fortunate that this blog has led to some wonderful photography work, loyal clients where I feel like a remote but very real member of the team. I have spent the last few years getting to know my camera. I slap my own wrists for not reading the manual that still sits in the box in my office, but I have learnt what it can do, settings that feel like second nature, and each year I hope you see a little improvement in the quality of the imagery on this blog. 

I want to help others like me who often work from home as well as professionals who shoot for a living. People who might be like you, who take photos just for fun, style flat lays of pretty things, arrange products you have been sent to review, showcase gorgeous recipes you've made or take photos for a magazine or blog feature, stop motion videos or just generally have a good faff.

I've started with a first collection of textures and surfaces that I have photographed and made into vinyl backdrops that you can wipe, roll and store in the tube they get delivered in. I live with dented cardboard and foam boards and realise I spend more time editing out little marks and scratches sometimes than I do editing the overall image.

I share my work space with my boys and a lot of the time it's littered with Lego. I need to be able to set up a scene while they are at school and then whip it away for when they get home. And not have masses of enormous boards wedged behind my desk or under the sofa. 

Head on over and let me know what you think! What you love what is on your wish list for Father Christmas and what you think is missing. Tweet me, tag me, leave a comment. I want to develop the next collection with you in mind.

I don't want to flood the store page with too much information that it feels overwhelming, so instead I am going to share a series of blog posts here where I show you each backdrop in the range, one by one and some different edits. All my photos are taken in natural light and these have been edited using one of my favourite set of Photoshop Actions from Sarah Gardner.

Introducing the Grey Planks....

I spotted this set of planks hidden behind an old door in a garden section of a scrap yard at the back of an Antiques emporium. It has texture and age but was almost in pristine condition, protected from the weather by a peeling painted door in front. It can feel cold and moody or cleaner and airier depending on the light you are shooting in. 

My favourite detail is the subtle ombré effect from natural exposure to sunlight. You can't recreate this on a computer. Well I don't think so anyway. The planks aren't too close together to be real, I have photographed them true to scale. There's a slight variation from the original in the final printed version but I don't think you can notice it in your photographs. 

Smooth vinyl, but with texture and depth in the image. 

What feels more like you? My natural style fits with the first images, but I love how you can change the atmosphere of a photo with some simple edits. 

I've realised more and more as life gets busier and busier with after school activities, homework and party invitations I need a way to create general images for my social media accounts. I am most active on my Instagram feed and these style photos help let my gallery breathe. 

They give my more hectic captures space. Sometimes I look back at what I've posted and it's a mass of full frames, no negative space (which we all know the good people of IG love) and each one is practically fighting each other for your attention. Plus taking even five minutes out of a day to create something is good for my soul.

Next up I am going to show you one of my favourites, my old marble table that is currently drowning in paperwork, Christmas cards to write, car keys and uniform to stuff into pe bags tomorrow morning! 

It is such a pleasure to have this collection live, there's a few tweaks and bumps to iron out but it is such a thrill to see people ordering them! If one is coming your way with the postman next week I would love you tag me and use #cblbackdrops if you share a photo. It's like seeing your babies fly the nest! 

Happy shopping and happy snapping!