A few weeks before Christmas I was perusing Pinterest for menu ideas for my Christmas dinner. Things were not going well. I kept getting distracted with decorating ideas, new projects…you name it, I was distracted by it and my menu was going nowhere. For some reason I was on someone’s Pinterest board showcasing unique photo ideas (it was definitely not Christmas menu ideas) when I saw a family photo putting everyone in boxes stacked Brady Bunch style.
Time: 8 Hours Cost: $0 Difficulty: Medium
I’m thinking, that would be so much fun to try. My hubby’s family was coming in for the holidays and it is not always easy trying to get everybody smiling, not talking, eyes open, in one shot (you know who you are!). And with 18 people, it’s harder still to find a place to actually take the picture. The website said that the photos were all taken in a box. Great idea…but I didn’t have a box that big. What I did have was pallet wood! I shall make a box. Start out with a full sized pallet and lots of pallet wood.
For the top and bottom I started with 2 pallet wood side rails for each, 47 inches long (the width of my full pallet) and spaced about 27 inches apart. If you don’t have any extra pallet side rails you could use 2’x4’s.
To those 2 side rails, nail or screw on pallet wood pieces to completely cover the rails. I used a nail gun, so quick and easy. You need to make 2 of these.
Use wood screws to attach the 2 pieces you just created to the full pallet.
Nail on 4 more pallet pieces, 2 in the front and 2 in the back (not shown) to hold your side walls.
Fill in the sides with more pallet wood.
Side walls are done. The only thing I needed to do was fill in the back with even more pallet wood.
I was all finished and took a couple of test pictures inside my new box. Too dark and it needed some sanding, particularly on the bottom and sides so nobody ends up with a splinter or snag. My pallets were way too new, maybe if this pallet wood was properly aged with some nice gray patina it would have been OK. Back to the paint can with some watered down gray paint.
My backdrop is complete and ready for my victims….I mean photo subjects.
Before you go for the full family do some test photos. Test different lighting, where to hold the camera so the box is not distorted by perspective and different cameras. Most importantly get at least 4 or 5 shots of each person. We had the best luck using my camera with a flash setting and a tripod.
This is my oldest son, his wife and their big furry baby. To see the final project for how the full family photo of 18 people and 3 dogs turned out I'd love for you to visit me at the link below. It was so much fun to see everyones personality captured. I've also included a couple editing techniques.
Materials used for this project: