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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to Create Your Own Photo Backdrop for Your Next Party

Having candid pictures when you’re throwing a party is essential to capturing friends and family having fun and immortalizing the day, however, it’s not always easy to snag a snapshot of everyone in attendance, especially when you’re running around playing host or hostess as well.  Creating a photo backdrop for your party adds a fun activity for attendees, allows your guests to stage interesting or hilarious pictures with each other, and typically results in a bunch of cute photos of everyone attending.
Creating a photo backdrop can be as easy or as complicated as you make it, but you do need to cover a few facets to make it successful.  Start by asking yourself these questions.
  • What is my theme?
  • Will my guests be inside or outside?
  • Do I have room inside to create this backdrop?
Having a Sweet 16 party? Create a wooden frame that is 7 feet tall by 8 feet wide.  Use wood to create a tripod structure on each side to allow the frame to stand on its own.  Take wooden letters and paint them colors that match the theme and spell out “Happy Sweet 16.” Hang the letters with wire from the top of the frame.  Drape some pretty fabric in the theme colors over and around the frame to soften the look.  Place a bench beneath the frame and bring in a box of props, hats, scarves, feather boas, giant sunglasses, alien antennae headbands, and anything else that can serve as a silly or unique prop.  Your photo backdrop is complete.  Now just put someone in charge of taking photos and you’re done.
Having a Fall Harvest party? Arrange some large bales of hay into a semi-circle.  Stack a few extra bales to double up the height in the center back of the semi-circle.  Take some tall painted signs and stick them in the ground behind and beside the bales of hay.  Bring in a bunch of pumpkins and gourds and place them on the hay and in front of the hay.  Include a scarecrow in the center that people can pose with.  For props you can offer some straw hats with wide brims, rakes, and pitch forks.
Hosting a Black & White Baby’s First Birthday?  Find a corner inside where you can hang black fabric from about 8 feet high down to the floor on both sides of the corner.  Duct tape usually holds up the fabric well.  Include an empty picture frame that people can hold up in front of them.  Offer old fashioned hats for men and women, long beaded necklaces, and gloves.  The pictures will be printed in black and white so it doesn’t matter what color everyone is wearing.  Drag in a big old chair or settee if you have one.  Everyone can gather around the chair.  Signs can also be added for people to hold.  Another fun element would be mustaches on sticks that can be held up in front of a person.  Offer different kinds of mustaches and include the old fashioned handlebar mustaches.
If you’re interested in having an easy photo backdrop there are companies who offer peel and stick backdrops.  You can have a brick wall, a barn door, a tufted wall, or many others.
An easy backdrop for any birthday party is to take balloons and blow them up and stick them on the wall with tape.  Create a row of red, a row of orange, a row of yellow and so on through the rainbow.  Hang curling ribbon from the ceiling to the floor.  Have a bucket of colorful paper confetti and get ready to snap some awesome pictures.
If people are having fun with each other and the props, the pictures will reflect that joy, and you’ll end up with a bunch of memorable pictures.  Hire someone to stand and take pictures all evening if you have that in your budget.  You don’t want to be tied to the photo booth all night.  Or leave the camera there and as people want to take pictures someone can grab the camera and take them.  There’s usually at least one shutterbug in the crowd.
 P.S. This post was  proposed to me for publication by Patricia Salway.  I'm therefore publishing it by her invitation and under her permission. See also her own blog, liveoutnanny, on  the link below, for more information:

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