I recently wrote a Lime Light (my card photography series) update at the end of a blog post mentioning the photo boards I’d found and have tested for the last few months. At the time I promised a video would follow and I finally found time to film a review of the photo backdrops I’ve used in the past from patterned paper, to panelling, flooring and now photo boards. See below for the video but here’s a photo run through too. I’ve linked all supplies at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links used. Oh and if photography related posts aren’t your thing then I’ll be back with a card making video in a couple of days :D
I started blogging in 2010 and after realising that my Ikea table top just didn’t cut it for taking nice pictures of my cards, I started using patterned papers as my photography backdrops. It was 2012 I found a nice wood grain patterned paper which I think was made by My Mind’s Eye but it is so long ago I can’t quite remember and it isn’t stocked anymore. However, Simple Stories have a great set of wood patterned paper and for a great price too. I paired the paper with a cheese board with a nice grain on the side for the cards to stand on.
After a while (2014) I started to investigate the local DIY store for options and bought a pack of wood panelling, cut it to size, nailed it to batons and whitewashed it. I made two panels – one for the base and one for the background.
I did find, however, that getting a true white in photographs could be quiet tricky especially in the low lighting I have here in Scotland. So by 2015 I revisited the DIY store and bought some click together flooring panels in a nice neutral grey. Again I cut them to size and had two panels for the base and backdrop.
By 2016 I was experimenting more and have on occasion used a slate floor tile such as the lavender pockets picture above. Another experiment was swiping plaster on an old shelf and painting it in a soft white chalk paint (above right).
The DIY options were larger and sturdier than the patterned paper which was great but equally, they were so much heavier and bulky to store. It was a faff to lug out the backdrops when I wanted to take a picture.
Later in 2016, I had an email from a UK photographer, Lyndsey James, I’d taken a course with before. Lyndsey was branching out from her photography business as she had spotted a hole in the market for lightweight, realistic Photo Boards. I ordered one of the boards straight away and wasn’t disappointed. The boards are a fraction of the weight of the DIY boards I’d made and easy to store – I keep them tucked in beside my desk. I quickly built up my collection of the boards in both the 40 and 60cm sizes. Some of my favourites are shown above – from top left; whitewash, splash grey, farmhouse floor, putty, marble and cement.
I’ve tested the boards over the last few months and you can see just some of the photographs I’ve taken above. Indeed, I’ve relegated all my old backdrops to the garage and just reach for a photo board when I want to take a picture now.
Usually, I set my camera to blur the background when taking a card picture but when I was taking this recent shot I purposefully kept the focus sharp so you can see more clearly how I set things up. In this photo, I’m using the whitewashed wood board for the base with the grey splash board for the backdrop.
Lyndsey has just released for pre-order 8 new designs and you can see my favourites in the above photo. From top left – merino, riviera, patisserie, sail, earl grey and antique tin tile. I’ve placed my order for the three in the top row and if I didn’t already have the whitewashed wood board I’d be tempted with the sail design also. The new boards begin shipping next week so keep an eye out for those designs in my photographs moving forward.
These boards have solved a problem for me and if you having the same issues then hopefully they will do the same for you too.
Watch below or in HD at YouTube.
You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or wording to get taken directly to the product. Where available I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my affiliate and product disclosure here. I truly appreciate your support.
Really useful post and video, thanks very much. I’ve been thinking of buying a pop-up light tent but I notice you never mentioned them, despite having to work with poor light levels. Have you ever considered buying one and, if so, why did you decide against it? Thanks!
Awesome video!!! And wonderful photos … as always!
Totally love those boards! Ordered two after I read your first blogpost on how you take your photos … and then yesterday my 3rd one arrived! :)
Thanks for sharing! :)
So great to have an inside look at how it all works..never heard of it!!
This is grea! Thanks so much. I can’t find an equivalent product for the photo boards in the US. If anyone knows of one, I’d love to get the information.
Thanks Debby! Fabulous post! Shipping is so much to the US, but I really want some of these! Thank you for sharing with us!!