Sun, Rain - We Say 'No Problem'

Okay so we get super excited with each new addition to our outdoor portrait garden. It seems like every Summer it just gets better and better. To Kim's delight Francisco has just finished welding two more light filtering structures for photographing outside.

As photographers know when the mid-day sun hits high noon or the drizzle begins (a common occurrence in Oregon) taking pictures of people can begin to get very challenging. For a long time we used white parachute fabric as a kind of overhead curtain to filter the light and provide more flattering lighting on faces. But by the end of the Summer it was always in tatters. The rain would leave it sad and droopy because we'd inevitably forget to take it down before a storm hit. Last Summer Francisco built out two serious structures for just these situations and they've proven to be a hit with families and our photographers. Now we'll be able to offer another 5 backgrounds throughout the Summer and Fall. 

You might ask 'How do you make a structure to filter light for photography?' Well this time round he welded a frame out of steel (don't forget he's a sculptor at heart and loves any excuse to bring out the welder) and the screwed 8mm polycarbonate panels onto the top. On our signature red wall we used acrylic roofing material that is opaque because the sun looked so much better coming in from the Southern exposure side than from the roof.  But in other spots throughout our portrait garden we've chosen to have a semi-opaque roof so that the light will filter down and we can bounce it back onto the smiling faces.

We found extra long white cotton curtains at Ikea that have proven to be quite effective at filtering light as needed too. Plus they add a touch of romance to a garden. Don't you think?

In Oregon we are always looking for a good excuse to be outside. Now here's a good one for your photography studio experience.  Did we mention we even have a portable outdoor heater for chilly days?

Kim Campbell

Photographer, Portland, OR, USA