Taking family portraits is a great way of spending some time when you are stuck indoors. Portraits taken by a window can look amazing, and if they’re taken in the comfort of your own home, they also present a great opportunity for you to experiment with light.
Finding a bright window isn’t normally an issue, but it can be a pain getting rid of clutter, curtains, and so on. You can buy a photo backdrop – but there is a cheaper solution. And that's to make one yourself, by putting up a simple background sheet next to your brightest window. It’s easy and cheap – just follow the steps below…(opens in new tab)
1: What you need
Using strong gardening wire, bind two garden canes together together to make one stronger cane to about the height of your room, and repeat using two more.
2: Build your ‘A’ frame
For one side of the support, take the two bound canes and use a straighter and thicker cane as the material support to create an ‘A’ shape.
3: Level with me
Rest the other end of the backdrop on a curtain rail secured with a plastic clamp. Make adjustments at the end to get the top cane as level as possible.
If you don’t have a curtain rail above your window to support your backdrop, just build another ‘A’ frame and use this as a standalone support instead!(opens in new tab)
4: Iron out the creases(opens in new tab)
5: Hanging out
Use plastic clamps to hang the sheet from the top cane. Space them equally along the top to avoid too much sagging in the material and adjust them as necessary.(opens in new tab)
6: Using your homemade backdrop
Remember to meter from the bright parts of the face. Shooting closer to the window light will render the background completely black and detail-free.
More ideas and hacks:
Photo hack: make your own speedlight softbox (opens in new tab)
Photo hack: make your own beanbag camera support (opens in new tab)
The best photography tips (opens in new tab) videos
Free lensing (opens in new tab): get the Lensbaby look and take macro shots with a standard lens
Create colorful cross-polarization (opens in new tab) effects