My black and white paper rolls have served me very well over the years for head shots and portraits. The white is clean and professional and versatile too, since I can underexpose or put a colour wash on. And black, well that’s just pure rock and roll.
But at about 3m wide, they’ve limited the size of groups I could shoot and aren’t exactly family portrait friendly. So I’ve been wanting to refresh the studio by painting my background wall for sometime. Last week I finally did it, with the help of Alex Rinaldi, the fantastic young artist and designer who helped Mrs C and I with some design choices for our house renovation.
All I was thinking of initially was some kind of dark rusty colour with a sponged or rag effect for texture, maybe a distressed industrial look, but after much browsing of Pinterest and consultation with Alex, we settled on a bunch of blues and browns, and I put the rest in her hands.
First came the blues, and then like all good creative works, the texture started taking on a life of its own as Alex started the really painstaking work with her sponge. It must be her Italian heritage, but instead of industrial distress (which I think is starting to reach its use-by date in design anyway), we ended up with Renaissance clouds. I love it, and can’t wait to get some families and portrait subjects to shoot against it. It turns out that my timing was perfect since straight after this job, Alex started in her new position as designer at Steadfast Joinery (someone else I can recommend) But I couldn’t let Alex go without making her my first model. Is it just coincidence that my new background is a perfect match for her hair and eyes?
Whatever, she sure makes a better picture than the selfie I took. Hell, I can’t even find selfie mode on this camera, never mind the share button.
So, bring the family! And I already know my new wall is bringing families together. Somewhere in Italy, a very proud dad has one of my studio shots of his little girl as his screensaver.