A new project / by Gareth Jones

Something I've been wanting to photograph for a long time are portraits using old style backdrops.  You remember having your school photograph taken sat in front of a tie dyed muslin, making the photos seem completely out of fashion the following year.  Well I kind of love them, and so I have spent the last couple of months looking for this type of backdrop.  Turns out they're really expensive, often hand painted and quite scarce.  I thought about making my own which I've seen done on YouTube using a white muslin, dye and elastic bands; but I could face the wasted effort when it turned out to look like a 70's t-shirt.  Finally I found on Amazon a supplier in China selling vinyl printed photographic backdrops for around £15 and thought it was worth a punt.  However it arrived folded down to the size of a sheet of paper and I was left with a lovely gridded backdrop.  With a bit of trial and error I managed to iron out (melting once or twice) the backdrop and rolled it onto a piece of white plumbers pipe; voila an inexpensive vintage backdrop.

The next step was to see how it looked.  So I grabbed my resident model (Ivy), a single off camera flash with shoot through umbrella and got these initial results.