I love cute props and great background boards for my photos. I don’t want everything to look like it just came off the store shelf. I like to find things with character that will compliment and add interest to my pictures. Take this cute little pot for example. I think my grandma had several of these but, back then, I didn’t know I would want them. I found this one at an antique store. It was $5 and I happily paid it. I needed a dark background for this picture but, I was losing daylight and needed something fast. So I did what I always do, I used poster board for pictures.
Yes, you read the title correctly! Did you know you can use parchment paper for more than baking? You can! I use it for all sorts of things but, the most unique is for my photography. Let’s face it, you can have the most beautiful cookies in the world and they can look bad because of poor photos. I will never be a professional photographer but, I am always looking for an inexpensive way to take better pictures. I came up with a Parchment Paper Light Box to see if I could use it in natural light. It is not pretty but MAN it works for me! I might invest in “real” photography equipment someday but, for now, this is what I use.
Want to have a picnic with me? We can have hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon, and corn on the cob. Sound like fun to you? This was my world for a long time! A happy little picnic! A world of sunshine and watermelon! Then, it happened!! The storm rolled in!! Dark clouds, pouring rain, and lightning blots!!!! It totally rained on my PICNIK!!! Picnik.com is closing?? WHAT?!! I am the saddest girl in the world! I use Picnik for editing my photo so without it I am going to be lost! All I could think of it is why are you raining on my Picnik???
When I began my cookie journey, I had a lot of questions about everything. I felt like a sponge trying to soak up all the information I could. Your photos can make your cookies look AMAZING or just alright! I know how hard we work to make pretty cookies and I want us all to have amazing pictures to show off our hard work. Recently I shared my Sunshine light box with you and now it is time to share a tutorial on how to make photo boards! Photo boards can really help you take your pictures to the next level.
The good thing about these is, you can paint both sides so if you make 2 boards, you can have 4 different photo boards. This project was totally inspired by Recipegirl.com. She is a great blogger with a lot of recipes and wonderful tutorials like this one. I love her site and hope you check it out for yourself!
Photo Board Supplies:
Chocolate Brown Paint
Paint Colors You Like
GLOVES!!! (I didn’t wear gloves and let me just say UGH!!!)
Let’s talk about the wood before we get started. I have used luan that I got at the Home Depot. It was less than $6.00 for a 2′ x 4′ piece. You can get a full 4′ x 8′ if you have a truck to haul it in but I want something I can throw into the back of my Jeep. I also used some scraps I found around my house. Don’t be picky. It is just wood and if you don’t like the final results just paint it brown again and start all over.
Now you will still have to cut the photo boards if you intend on using them in your light box.I cut mine a little shorter than the box so it would slid right in without pushing on sides. I also painted the smaller pieces I cut of because I didn’t want to waste them. I will use them to photo individual cookies. They won’t work for platters but I can use a small plate and they will work just fine for that.
I used the paint I had on hand. This was leftover from a project I did last summer. I was happy to find a use for it. It is Behr floor paint but you can use any dark brown flat paint. I would not recommend a semi-gloss or a gloss paint because it will add a glare or a shine to your pictures. If you chose to use a craft paint I would recommend Ceramcoat by Delta (color chart) and you can purchase it at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s. Burnt Umber 2025 or any dark brown would be a good base color. How much you need depends on the number of boards you are making. If you intend on making several, it may be cheaper to buy one quart of brown because it is the color you will use the most.
The first photo board we are going to make is my favorite. I like white because you don’t have to worry about the board color clashing with your cookie colors. It is my go to board.
Squirt a little white paint onto an old plate. Next, dip the tip of your dry paint brush into the white paint. Brush it back and forth on a rag or dry paper towel to remove some of the paint. For this technique you don’t want a lot of paint on your brush.
No be brave and make your first brush stroke. The most important thing you need to remember about this is work in one direction! Do not go up and down and then from side to side. Make a decision which direction you want to go in and stick to it! You want this to look like an old board and not just random paint.
Now for green! This is the board I used for my alligator cookie. I didn’t like the dark green so I added a little lime green. You can wait for it to dry or add it when the first color is wet. You just need to be careful and not over blend the colors unless that is the look you are trying to achieve.
Perfect!! Do you notice I am not wearing gloves? Big mistake…HUGE MISTAKE!! I know better but sometimes I just get so focused on things and don’t think. Well, I had UGLY hands for days. I used some stuff to remove the stain but it didn’t remove all of it and I had to soak my hands in lotion for 3 days but everything is alright now! Did I mention you should wear gloves????
I love red so again, I followed the steps above to make it. This is one of the smaller pieces I cut off. It is a nice size but I won’t be able to use it for as much as I could a larger piece. It is still nice to add to my collection.
The last thing you need to do is protect your photo boards from scratches or from oil spots from your cookies. You can spray them with a light coat of Krylon Matte Finish Spray. It will protect them without a shine.
Here is the other side of them! I am ready to make some cookies now! I hope you get a chance to make a few photo boards. It really does make a difference in your pictures. I plan on making more. I need pastel colors for spring and warm colors for fall. I think I have a Photo Board” problem.
Leave me a comment and let me know what color you want! Can’t wait to hear.
My only sunshine, You make me happy when skies are gray, You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Cause you make my picture turn out great! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
This is my light box. I have named her Sunshine. She is my sunshine in the rain, at midnight or even at noon when skies are gray. She has changed the way I take pictures FOREVER! This post is not filled with perfect pictures because I did not have my light box to put them in so please forgive me.