DIY Basic Portrait Backdrop

Backdrops made for photography, whether paper or muslin, can get really pricey!

It’s easy to get caught up in brands and gear and think we need to spend major money on professional backgrounds, but we really don’t!


Backdrops can be as simple as a painted or white wall, thrifted wallpaper, wrapping paper, and even thrifted curtains, sheets, and blankets!

Most of the time, my go-to backdrop is a spare black blanket.  It’s easily tacked to the wall and looks great.

When sourcing fabrics, thicker, polyester blends tend to look best, as they won’t be translucent and don’t wrinkle as easily as cotton!

We can even make DIY, custom photography backdrops by painting on the fabric.


By using thrifted blankets and curtains, wallpaper, and wrapping paper, we can get detailed, versatile backdrops for our portraits for just a couple of dollars!

Let’s remember that we don’t always need the ‘pro’ gear.  DIY is often not only cheaper, but better!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’


If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

Dark fantasy portrait

gothic fashion self portrait photography

Golden Waves

Fashion portrait featuring a model in a red lace dress in a field during sunset Model: Yasae
Fashion: Thrifted

Photographed one fine Winter day while running around the hills!

Let’s give ourselves the freedom to experiment outside our usual subject styles and shooting themes.

We may find something we’re passion about, or not.  But the important thing is to be open to experimentation!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Fantasy portrait photography with a witch theme

fantasy portrait photography of a Doe Nymph and Spring Goddess

Open Book

Photographed in the same session as The Sword, this is a good example of variety put in practice.

Going into the studio, this was the original concept I wanted to shoot.  The Sword was added in for variety in case this image didn’t come out, and it ended up being my favorite shot instead!

Of course, there were several other variations and additions, but these two are the only ones that made it to the final pass!


Let’s remember to try new things, add variations and extra concepts into the shoot as a fallback, and remember that not every image needs to make it off the ‘cutting room floor’!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Dress and lace top: thrifted
Necklace, bracers, and ring: Handmade
Thrifted and aged by hand, ‘bound’ with leather from a thrifted coat

fantasy portrait photography of a Doe Nymph and Spring Goddess

Fantasy studio portrait of a medieval character

The Sword

An extra post this week, as this fantasy photograph left me too excited to wait!

This self-portrait was photographed in the studio recently, and was a great opportunity to put to use some props, costumes, jewelry, etc that I’d been hoarding for ‘just the right photoshoot’.


Hoarding with such ideas in mind has been a bit of a drag this year.

‘I just need….’ has unfortunately been a terribly common phrase in the studio!


Habits can be tough to break, but let’s try to get away from the ‘need’ mentality and better use what we already have!

Whether our costume closet is close to bursting or we have only a few items, let’s challenge ourselves to use what we already have, and only acquire more when we’ve exhausted all other options!

Easier said than done, but our prop boxes and costume closets will thank us!


Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Featuring: Thrifted dress, lace top, faux fur cape, and sword.  Arm bracers handmade using thrifted material; handmade rings.  Makeup using Mineral Fusion.

Fantasy portrait photography with a witch theme

Portrait photography with a vintage feel.

Magenta Flower | Alternative Fashion

Can’t express how much I love a face hidden by bangs, especially with silver hair!

For photography, that is.  It’s a bit uncomfortable in real life…


This portrait proved a great chance to practice adding little details in editing, like the nail polish, flowers, and color-matching.

Let’s give ourselves chances to try and practice new things, big or small.


Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Featuring thrifted clothes, as usual!

Boudoir photography of a vampire character

Bicycle, Bicycle

This much-loved bicycle top is now available in the shop!

While waiting for a cold to pass, why not play with the flashguns in the studio?

It’s easier to get a clean white background when you can evenly light it and get the subject far enough away from it to lose that pesky texture, unless you want to include it!

Shooting with a wider aperture is also another strategy, though if you’re like me, 5.8/f is the closest you can get to!

A new lens is currently on the way, an 85mm, f/1.8 prime to be exact, so we’ll see how that works out in the studio!

If you’d like to help support Roman Leaf, please check out the Shops and find something you like!


And as always,

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Rogue | Thrifted Style

Thrift shops are always fun to look through, whether we’re looking for everyday wear or something to work as part of a costume.

Pairing pieces together, whether for fashion or for a costume, is going to take some practice.  So far, going for pieces that are more general or timeless has been a good rule of thumb for keeping the collection to a reasonable size.

Though sometimes a knotted top just catches your heart.

Let’s keep our eyes open for what inspires us, either for our everyday style or a future photoshoot.  And let’s always keep second-hand shops and reuse in mind!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Self portrait photography of an elven maiden character in the studio.

Lace-Up Dress