I know I mentioned these great prints quickly in my last favorite things post, but I wanted to show you how I REALLY use them, and talk about the best way to print them, photograph with them, pricing etc...
After you pick what you want from the Caravan Shoppe and pay for it, you will receive a zipped file via email that contains a printable PDF of the artwork that you have purchased; along with detailed instructions. It's then yours for life and you can print and reprint it as much as you want! (just be sure not to sell or use the prints to make any profit for yourself, mkay?).
Save some dough and enter 'houseofsmiths20' (all lowercase) to get an additional 20% off your order. Yeah, like their stuff wasn't already cheap enough- I know. ha!
There are a handful of different things you can do with the print files once you have them, (craft projects, frame them, make cards, decorations, etc...) but as you can see, I've been using the files to print large format prints of each design for photo backdrops. Just this past Saturday night I brought the latest Halloween themed backdrops to our annual Smith family Halloween party, and they were a hit!I snapped this quick picture below of my "super professional studio", so you could see how incredibly simple they were to use. Just a little duct tape on each end and you can stick those bad boys anywhere!
SIDE NOTE: I found that a small amount of duct tape, or Gorilla Glue tape works best on stucco, brick, wood and cement. The hold is MUCH stronger, and when I'm done, I just fold over the tape onto the print, and leave it. It's such a small piece, that I don't even worry about taking it off and ripping the paper. When I need to hang it again, I just put tape over the last spot. For hanging prints indoors on more delicate surfaces, I use painters tape usually.
These single backdrops obviously aren't big enough for more than one or two people to get in front of, but you can get multiple prints done of the repeating patterns and layer them to create a larger backdrop really easily. This was a fast setup, mostly intended for quick iPhone picture-taking use.
As you can see below, the picture on the left is what I originally shot, (not perfect obviously) and the picture on the right is what I edited it to look like before I actually posted it in my collage for Instagram.Using Snapseed (you can read a little more about the Snapseed app here) to rotate, lighten and crop the image a bit, I got exactly wanted!
The same goes for non-iPhone pics too. I usually just make sure my subject is in front of the backdrop, and then shoot, not worrying about whether or not I've got the frame completely perfect. You can always edit afterwards, by cropping in if you need to.
The artwork-type chalkboard prints that seem like they would probably be good to just put in a frame are really quite perfect for backdrops as well, and don't need to be as tightly cropped in for an awesome photo!
You can find the Birthday Trimmings Poster Package here. And yes, this was one of the better shots from her birthday party that night... more on that topic later :)
So yeah, at less than $2 per print download in some cases, or $5 for print packages, you can see why I sort of just HAVE to use these for everything, right? Don't get me wrong, I love the IDEA of creating my own chalkboard art for a special occasion or photo shoot, but this Momma ain't got no extra time for that! (right now anyway), so I'm THRILLED that Alma and Melanie have made it SUPER easy for me to just purchase, download and print what I need, when I need it.
How & Where I print these massively awesome things:
You can read all about the large format printing process here, so I'll just touch on this quickly.
In a nutshell, I just simply bring in a jump drive with my file on it or send it in via email to the closest Staples print & copy store, and inform them that I want a 48 x 36 inch print done on their black and white, large format printer. Sometimes these are called engineering prints too. It should cost you about $6.00 per print. Just make sure they know that this is the type of print/printer you want, or they may try to produce your stuff on a colored printer, which is quite a bit more money.
When you go to pick them up they'll be waiting for you all rolled up in a long skinny bag, and that's really all there is to it! Simple Simon yo; told ya... these backdrops are tops!
Honestly, go purchase the Happiest or Halloween backgrounds NOW, use the 'houseofsmiths20' code to get your additional discount and quickly snap pictures of your kids in their costumes before their school Halloween parade or trick-or-treating on Thursday. I promise they will quickly become some of your FAVORITE Halloween pictures to date :)