I am a portrait photographer who specializes in hand-colored B&W/sepia images of children and families in a vintage style. I provide the clothing, props, and backgrounds for use in creating heirloom portraits. Backdrop Outlet has been instrumental in providing me with important components for assembling the look I'm after.
I discovered Backdrop Outlet at the PPC Western States convention in Pasadena, California (approx. 1996). At that time, I purchased my first backdrop, several children's hats, dresses and accessories, and have added child-size furniture, props (tricycle, baby buggy, wicker cart, rocking horse, etc.), clothing for little boys and fairy costumes as the years went by. More recently, their line of petal mats and accessories (flower bonnets, bloomers and petal cakes) have been a fun addition to my baby and fairy portraits.
I am a great believer in the use of props in children's portraiture. Not only do they add texture and detail to an image, but they also give the child something to do, to look at, to focus on. They help put children at ease, resulting in a natural, beautiful expression. When babies and small children get restless during a photo session, a quick prop change often keeps the session running smoothly and also gives parents a variety of looks to choose from. The end result is, invariably, an increase in the size of their order.
Backdrop Outlet's vast array of children's props and clothing, coupled with very reasonable prices, have enabled me to create a successful niche market in the area where I live and work. Moms appreciate the fact that they don't have to go out and spend a fortune on a special outfit for their child's portrait session and are thrilled when they arrive at my studio and see what I have to offer. In addition to Backdrop Outlet's classic clothing, I have a variety of custom-made fairy costumes and vintage-style portrait clothing that allows me to easily mix and match.
Because I shoot B&W film and offer the option of hand-coloring to my clients, I'm able to blend a variety of elements to create the look I love. This eclectic, romantic, timeless look is what I strive for in my images. Being able to present my clients with a variety of options with regard to clothing and props not only enhances my creativity but is what brings them back as their children grow, and makes for a unique and memorable studio experience. Moms have told me that their children have actually asked to stop by as they are driving past my home studio. How cool is that? I consider this a great compliment!
Happily for me, Backdrop Outlet has recently added themed set pieces to their catalog, and, as of this writing, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Tuscany set I ordered at WPPI. Having seen it on display, I loved the detail! I've been using the Sparta wall and Bellagio banister & column for the past several months and they photograph beautifully! Both have that Old World look that works so well with my style of photography, and are equally at home in traditional, vintage, and fairytale settings. My fairies look beautiful perched atop these set pieces, as do little brother/sister combinations. They work well for seniors, too.
In addition to the versatility and classic styling of the clothes and props, those I purchased years ago have stood the test of time. I greatly appreciate this fact, as little kids can be really hard on props!
Most of all, I appreciate Backdrop Outlet's great customer service. They have exceeded my expectations on more than one occasion and I would recommend them to anyone.
Dorothy Wallace is owner of Dorothy Wallace Photography (www.dorothywallacephotography.com), of Claremont, California. She has been in business since 1995.