Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Drop Studios Backdrop Review + Giveaway!

*The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering!*

I recently purchased a photography backdrop from Drop Studios. I've had my eye on one for a while, and finally decided I should just get it. :-) I was trying to decide between getting the Solid Teal backdrop, the Solid Charcoal backdrop, and the Solid Mocha backdrop. In the end I went with the Mocha.

The backdrop shipped quickly; I ordered it on a Friday and received it the next Thursday. It was nicely packaged in a cellophane sleeve. I pulled it out and snapped a few photos with it right away with my cat and sister as models. :-) The backdrop was naturally creased from shipping, but even with that I got some nice photos (I was too impatient to iron it first :-). The creases came out easily with an iron on synthetic.

The backdrop is very well made with a pocket at the top for inserting a dowel rod to hang. I'm hoping at some point to try constructing some sort of stand for it. The edges have a professionally serged finish to prevent fraying. It was more lightweight than I thought it would be, but it doesn't look like a lightweight fabric in the photos. The fabric has a nice drape to it and looks great hung "flat" or draped into soft folds. Below are examples of both.

My lovely sister, backed by a draped backdrop...

... and a smooth one!

It has a nice matte texture so you won't end up with shiny spots in your photos. The color is more of a tan color in person, but warming up the photo either with your white balance or afterward in photoshop can give you a more creamy, warm brown (which is my preference). So it's kind of like having two different browns in one. :-)

Bridesmaid bouquet with the backdrop hung flat...

...or draped. Can't decide which I like better!

It measures 5x9 feet. It is reasonably priced at $29.00; I doubt you could buy the equivalent in a fabric store for less. Drop Studios also offers 9x10 photography backdrops, as well as patterned photography backdrops.

I can see using this for a variety of types of photography. I purchased the Mocha backdrop for the reason that it was a neutral color that I could use for lots of things; portraits, product photography, food photography, or any time when you want to block out an undesirable background. Below are examples of some product photography

Now comes the really fun part. Drop Studios has generously offered to give away one 5x9 solid photography backdrop! Check out the details below and enter to win!

Mandatory first entry:
• Visit Drop Studios on Etsy, and and then come back here and comment letting us know which backdrop is your favorite!

For extra entries:
• Blog, tweet or post on Facebook about the giveaway with a link back to this post. Leave a separate comment here with the link to your post. Only one comment, even if you do all three.
• "Like" Drop Studios on Facebook (there is a Like button toward the bottom of the shop's sidebar). Leave another separate comment here saying you've done it.
• Follow my blog (click the "Follow" button in the sidebar), subscribe to my RSS feed or follow by email. Leave another separate comment saying you did so (only one comment, even if you both follow and subscribe). Those who already follow/subscribe may just comment saying they already do so!

Maximum 4 entries per person. Make sure you post a SEPARATE comment for each extra entry. Giveaway is open worldwide! Giveaway will close September 10, 2011. Winner will be drawn at random and announced by September 12, 2011.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid to do this review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Heart Faces - White

Here's another photo from Pine Crest, of my sister wearing her new white Regency dress that she just made. She even made up most of the pattern herself! This was the perfect location for a historical shoot, with all the stone and the beautiful bay in the background. *happy sigh* Tara has posted the other pictures that I took on her sewing blog here, so rather than reposting those pictures on my blog I'll just direct you there if you are interested in seeing the rest of this session.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pine Crest

 I promised you additional posts on our visit to the stone mansion, which goes by the elegant name of Pine Crest. The house was built by the first conductor of the Chicago Symphony!
Here are some pictures of the beautiful house and some of its contents. I still have another post or two of portraits of my sis, but you'll have to wait a bit until I can grab some more time to get those ready.

What did I tell you? Doesn't it look like you have stepped back in time, into a Jane Austen novel perhaps?

But nope, we're still in 2011 in the good ol' USA! Let me tell you, though... if I can't have England, this is a prettyyyy good substitute.

Round the house to the terrace...

And a sweeping view of the bay
(those stone steps lead down to the edge of a 300-foot drop down to the water).

The gorgeous back view of the house!

One of the first neat things you'll notice as you come in the back door to the kitchen is this TO-DIE-FOR phone hanging on the wall.
I was dying anyway. :-)

Winding steps with little criss-cross-paned windows! *squeals*

Up those stairs you'll find bedrooms and lots of neat stuff. Like this antique cash register!

One of the bedrooms had all these old suitcases in a pile. I was sorely tempted to take them out and use them for a vintage photo shoot with sis, but restrained myself.

Thought this was a pretty lampshade! I looove old handwriting!

This one's for my Opa... a deck-level photo of a model sailboat.

Could this house possibly get any better?!?!?!

Another item of note in the kitchen. I'm glad we live in an age where this sort of thing is decorative. :-)

I'm a key nut too. You should see my collection!

I love the colors in this... the contrast between the bright flowers and dark background.

One last photo to close out the post... we had a wonderful few days in this lovely place.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Heart Faces - Pets

Paper bags and cats... it's funny how the one attracts the other. :-) We brought in the bags, set them down and there was Gavana, tapping her foot and waiting for us to empty them so she could take possession. Ok, so she wasn't really tapping her foot. I caught her peeking at me through the handle. Sometimes she is just so irresistibly cute!
*My photo was picked for Angie & Amy's favorites this week!!!*

i heart faces favorite button

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Heart Faces - Beautiful Eyes

Who knew this could be so hard?!?! Catching the right light to make eyes pop - especially brown eyes - is a lot trickier than it sounds. I tried so many different shots. :-) It's funny how your favorite part of an image can be something so little - but I like the texture of the table with the reflections!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Formal Fun

I had the opportunity to take some portraits of my sister in her bridesmaid dress a couple of weeks ago, in an amazing location - a beautiful stone mansion! I took photos of her in several outfits, but I figured I would spread it out a bit, along with a post on the actual house. Stay tuned for more!

Posing comes so naturally to her... if I tried to do this I would just look dumb.
Thankfully, I'm the one TAKING the pictures. :-)

There were stone walls everywhere - which was great since I happen to love stone walls...

The morning light was incredible... and so were these steps. :-)

One of my favorites

This was actually the first picture I took and I just did a little happy dance and wished that she was in a wedding dress because this would make an incredible setting for wedding portraits!!!

Come back soon for round two!

Like the larger pictures?


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