PHOTOG TIP: Lowe's Panels & Plexi Alternative
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
If you need some durable flooring that won't break the bank for your photography, here's an idea for you--wall panels from the Hardware store!
For flooring, I generally use either Savage paper OR Lowe's wall panels as well as some expensive ones I bought from backdrop shops.
Lowe's wall panels are a popular one that is fairly affordable and durable. Home Depot has some as well, but Lowe's seems to be more popular for these.
Here are some of them.
I have the Craftsman White Wall Panel, which is good if you want something with a little more texture than just plain glossy white. There's a couple of versions of this whiteboard look, some stores may not have them all. Get whatever is there that you like.
This one I have used as a backup or secondary white set. And I often blow the whites out so you don't see the slats at all.
The Oak Coastal White Oak Wall Panel from Lowes is a very light wood look. It's not my favorite, but I find it's much softer and goes well with boho and girly looks.
The Rustic Weathered Barnboard Wall Panel is probably my favorite. I did NOT think I would use it as much as I do. But it works great with all skin tones. It provides a nice texture and color range.
In the same section as the wood panels above is a plain glossy white one, I don't know what its exact name is, but I want to say it's about $15-$20 a panel.
This gives a nice durable flooring as well as gives you a bit of a reflection, which you don't get from paper alone.
My next purchase is going to be the grey wood (Can't find the link to it offhand) and/or this brick panel. I have seen some people do a whitewash look to the panel and I love it. If I ever get around to getting those, I'll update with photos!
How much to buy?
I buy two panels when I get any of these. One for the wall and one for the floor. Some people cut one panel in half (at the store) to make it easier to haul and this works well for shooting newborns. I like the extra width, so I don't cut mine.
All of mine except the plain white are two panels, one for the wall and one for the floor.
My white ones are pushed against a white wall. I have three panels laid out vertically, towards me in the studio to create a huge white shooting area in one corner.
Protecting Your Flooring
To protect your flooring and/or give that nice reflective look, a plastic table cover works great. You can pick one up from Amazon here. Get a size that completely covers your largest flooring. One of mine goes just past the flooring at me. This is great so no babies come running at me and wipe cake on my backdrop accidentally and it helps save it from leaks.
I store my plastic roll rolled up. I lay out my sets the day before and they flatten out a bit. Some waves stay a little, as you can see from the image above. But it doesn't bother me.
I prefer this over plexi though, as plexi was a pain to store and scratched easily, not to mention expensive and harder to come by lately.
The one thing I can tell you, EVERYTHING sticks to it. I have to Windex both sides before I use it typically.
I NEED MORE!
If you need more info on Lowe's Panels, I am a member of a group on Facebook that might be beneficial to you. Please note, I am not an admin or anything like that! Check out the Lowe's Panels Group here.
If you haven't done so already, go join our Photography & IPS group on Facebook. New tips and tricks are constantly being posted about photography, IPS, and marketing!
About the author
Christy Whitehead is a newborn, family, and headshot photographer in Northeast Florida. She is married and has two kids. Her home life often includes chickens, rats, cats, lizards, and even a peacock.
Christy mentors other photographers and you can email her for info. She also teaches In-Person Sales in person and via her E-book.
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