Lady Babies Winter Campfire Scene // 4 Years Old
When I decided to take my hobby of photography to the next level to actual career, I enrolled in the Speos Institute in Paris France to study studio and fashion photography. Post studies, I arrived back in Boston and spent a little time pursuing this path. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that although there were a lot of aspects of fashion photography I loved, there was more I did not. I soon fell in love with photographing babies and working directly with families and all of the warm fuzzies that come along with that.
The absolutely awesome news is that becoming a baby and child portrait photographer, I was still able to use my fashion photography roots and love of creating sets and telling stories — just like in editorial fashion photography. My style is whimsical but it is also clean. My favorite backgrounds are my simple, rustic dark wood background and my simple, rustic, white wood background. But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s fun to get a little crazy (perfect example would be my tee pee shots of my girls for their 3rd birthday)! So when PhotoPie Backdrops contacted me asking if I wouldn’t mind reviewing one of their backdrops, I was totally game.
It was winter at the time and I had just received a fun little campfire set I was dying to try out. So I decided to go for a winter scene and thought I’d construct a little winter campfire set. I gathered up my lady babies, the backdrop, camping set and pair of polar bear hats I’d bought the girls when they were 6 months old, and headed to the studio.
The backdrop itself is super duper light. It was creased with wrinkles when it arrived but nothing a few minutes in a dryer can’t take care of. It was so light I used studio tape to simply tape it to my studio wall rather than dig out my background stand. Major plus.
I did receive a graphic beforehand with the specific size of the background, but sometimes you just gotta see something in person before you realize what you need. My intent was never to make you believe this was a real outdoor scene. I’d just head outside for that. But, I do like to have some distance between the back of the scene and my subjects for beautiful bokeh (blur!) to make things a bit more real feeling. The size of this floor did not allow for that so I would definitely get a larger floor for more distance next time. It would help make the line between the background and floor less prominent as well. I would also likely pull out my fake snow to complete the look and hid the big wrinkles on the floor (a big negative for me as I have to clean it all up in Photoshop in post).
A little behind the scenes look at how the backdrop was hung:
This backdrop is fabric and thus, no glare! This is huge not to have to worry about. The entire scene was on the magenta side. I do spend a lot of time in post processing editing the portraits and color balance anyway, so not a big deal for me specifically.
Below are a couple of sets of SOOC (straight out of camera) before shots and then the after shots where they have been worked on in Photoshop. Getting it right in camera is a huge time saver. I did have to extend the background in almost all of the photos and there was unfortunately a block of blue blank graphic in the bottom left hand corner for me to fix up.
After studying these photos a bit more and having had the experience of using the background once, I would do a few things differently. I would change up my position and the angle of camera, and add in the fake snow. But, all in all, a fun experiment and the girls had fun roasting their “marshmallows” and “hot diggity dog!”
How the backdrop arrived: it’s so light and easily foldable. Pop in the dryer to get rid of most of the creases.
Contact Kate today if you’re interested in family portraits for yourself!