DIY: Photo Fabric Backdrops


By nature, I’m a “researcher.” I really can’t make any type of purchase without first researching it, especially anything expensive. I typically create a word document and make a table, it has a photo, the price, the URL and I do a little comparison chart.

The comparison sheet above is a little different, to make it look more stylish. Today’s comparison shopping was on fabric for photo backdrops. I started at the natural starting place: Etsy and other “photo prop” stores. Boy am I glad I did my research! WHOA! What a MASSIVE price difference. CRAZYYYY. These “alternative” fabrics are on sale, regularly around $5-$5.50/yd, but even at full price it’s still a WAY better deal. I know this type of thing would only be interesting to someone in photography looking for backdrops, but I just had to share!



Being Creative: Newborn Rhinestone Headbands


For photography, if I don’t make my own props I try and buy locally. But in the case of the “rhinestone headband” (as shown in the newborn photo above) it’s just ridiculously expensive for ONE headband, $25-40+ for a BABY headband? Which caused me to look into the whole market (I’m a DIYer at heart). So I started looking around for this precious item I came to figure out is called “rhinestone trim.” Turns out I can make 3-4 headbands out of 1 yard of this trim for the cost of one headband from some of these retailers. I understand that making this style of headband isn’t cheap by any means, but that’s quite a mark-up in my frugal eyes.

It took me quite a while to find the style of rhinestones I was looking for. And I mean A WHILE. Almost embarrassing! I was having a brain fart and couldn’t think of what to Google to find them, “gemstones?” No. what the heck do they call those fake-diamond-like things anyway! I kept Googling “strands,” “cubic zirconia” and sooooo many other things. I just wasn’t finding what I wanted. I went onto Joann’s website and was looking around in the jewelry section to see if I could figure out what they would possibly be called, I’d ALMOST given up since I was only coming across bead stuff there! When I finally found the magic words … “rhinestone trim”!! hallelujah!!!!

SO for any other DIYers out there, I hopefully just saved you a buttload of time. I’ll also be super nice and provide all the links to the photos above if you’d like to purchase them yourselves! 🙂

  1. Rhinestone Floral Trim $39.98/1 yard*
  2. 1/2″ Rhinestone Trim $44.98/1 yard
  3. Braid Rhinestone Beaded Trim $35/1 yard
  4. Samara Rhinestone Chain $29.50/1 yard

*1 yard = 36 inches. Newborn headbands are about 12 inches total and I see no reason to have the rhinestones all the way around the full 12 inches. I’ll have a tie with ribbon for the back. I estimated 8 inches of rhinestones for the front/sides of the headband to be on the safe side (this could change). If I made only newborn headbands (I’m going to make some larger ones for 3-6 month as well) I could get 4.5 headbands out of this single yard.

Head over to my photography page on Facebook and comment which style of headband (1-4 above) is your favorite!


It’s Friday! This Week’s Reflection

Here’s the update on my list from Tuesday.

Things on my mind/To-Do this week:

  • Monday – hang out with Sabrina & Jessica after work (CHECK!)
  • Make a new work out schedule (CHECK, see below)
  • Thursday – hang out with Michelle & Amanda after work (CHECK, but Amanda had to work so it was just Michelle & I)
  • Finish editing Brayden’s photos before Friday (CHECK! Finished on Thursday! WOOT!)
  • Make the final decision about signing up for the Warrior Dash on July 20th, before April 24th (….hoping to decide on this by Sunday)

Feelin’ fairly accomplished for the week! 🙂 I didn’t get to exercise as much as I wanted – see the update on that, here. But this week I was social. I went out on Monday with Sabrina & Jessica and didn’t get home til after 10pm?! I had so much fun in Kirkland with those two! 🙂 I got work done. I worked out a bit. I was social again on Thursday with Michelle! It’s progress in the right direction and I can be happy with that!


  • Make cupcakes for Zach’s bday (Thursday night, CHECK!)
  • Wrap Zach’s presents (Friday after work, before he comes home)
  • Gym after work Friday before Zach gets home
  • Zach’s 23rd birthday Saturday!! TIME TO PARTTYYYY!!
  • Make the final decision about signing up for the Warrior Dash on July 20th, before April 24th (….decide by Sunday)
  • Hopefully Zach and I will have time to go talk to LA fitness sometime this weekend
  • Use Zach’s truck to get free Pallets for a backdrop (really the only “work” related thing I have to do this weekend! YAY!)

I know that people reading this might not care about my to-do lists and such, but writing all this down and publishing it actually IS keeping me accountable for how much time I spend working. It did help this week since I didn’t cancel any of my social stuff with my friends to replace it with work! 😀 YAY! It’s also helping with actively thinking about my work-out schedule and changing my frame-of-mind, slowly but surely. Finding life balance…baby steps!!


Taking a Moment…

I decided to move this post from my business blog to this blog. It makes more sense to have it on my personal blog.

Taking a Moment…

Today I’m going to take a moment to be human, be completely open, honest and raw. I have my good days and bad days like anyone. Today just happens to be an off day. For whatever reason this morning my head has been fulled with an incredible, overwhelming amount of self-doubt (ie. why did I decide to start my own photography business, my photography is no where good enough to be in this business, etc). Which is why I really feel the need to get it all out, write it down, get it out of my head I can leave it behind me. I don’t have days like this very often. I love photography! Photographing people, their lives, seeing the love in my clients eyes, gives me SO much joy. The business side of doing what I love however has caused a few periods of stress and doubt. Starting this business has been a new adventure for me and I continue to learn something new everyday on both the photography side and the business side. When these waves of stress come on, I just have to remind myself that I AM successful, I LOVE what I do, I AM good at what I do, I DON’T have to grow this business overnight. Today, I’ve chosen to control my inner battle with Pinterest quotes (it’s cheesy, I know) and taking a deep breath.




Do what you can with what you have and where you are….Do what you can with what you have and where you are….Do what you can with what you have and where you are….repeat, repeat, repeat!

Snow in the Burg

Welcome to winter wonderland! Ellensburg (or the Burg) had a major winter storm pass through and we got our first big dump of snow so I headed out to do what I love, capture it with photography! I decided not to take my nice, expensive Canon Rebel XT out since I didn’t want to get it wet. Instead I took my small Olympus point-and-shoot (I also did some minor editing when I got home on PhotoScape). It just goes to show you don’t have to have an expensive camera to get good photography! 🙂



Saturday Afternoon Photos: Black Smoke

It’s that feeling you get when you see black smoke hurling up in the air, a fire. Your mind starts racing out of curiosity trying to answer the who, what, when,where and how questions about the fire from a distance. So naturally, you move closure to the area of smoke hoping to find more answers.

This describes the reaction my boyfriend and I had while playing at the park with his dog, Tobi this afternoon. We were heading that way for a late lunch anyways, so why not stop and see where the fire was. In this case, the fire was no accident.

As we drove past the fire on University and D street,  firefighters and trucks were everywhere but they weren’t fighting frantically to put OUT the fire, instead they were the ones who STARTED this fire. As quoted from the weekly campus newspaper, Observer, “The fire department had to get a permit from the state Department of Ecology in order to start a controlled burn.”

Access Restrictions Provide Safety for the Controlled Fire

Onlookers Take Pictures of Fire

Not a Typical Sight as Firefighters Watch the House Burn

 All Photos by Britta Dillon

Photos as Promised!

Here it is! My new professional head shot. I can officially start the home page of my personal website.

Domain ( CHECK, BD logo CHECK, updated photo CHECK!

Here are some others from today, just fall fun.

Pulse Online Magazine: October Issue

Cover photo by Britta Dillon

It’s been a long couple weeks getting this first issue of fall quarter (and my fifth issue as editor) off the ground. Pulse has been going through some changes this quarter and as always it’s been a good learning experience for me as the leader of the class. We took on a graphic design intern and a public relations intern this quarter who’ve been helping to take some load off my plate. In the two previous quarters as editor I helped with brainstorming ideas, assigned ideas, edited stories, taught the class InDesign, put together the whole magazine myself (with some help from a few students who just learned InDesign and had no previous design experience). Now I can focus more on story content since we have a designer for the academic school year to get some consistency with the design of the issues. Every quarter we get a whole new set of students (whom 95% have never taken Pulse before and some have never even taken a writing class before) so it’s always challenging to get everyone on the same page skill wise. This issue was unusually tough. Between my assistant editor, graphic designer and myself I think we each worked at least three 20+ hour days last week on just Pulse related work, emailing back and forth usually until 1 to 3 a.m. Late nights and stress are all worth it as soon as the issue goes live. It’s like no feeling I’ve ever experienced! I hope you enjoy the content as much as I do! We’ve got an exclusive feature on the Yoga Hot Spot opening up in November in Ellensburg. We also did a feature on Many Faces of War, including interviews with wives who’ve stood by their men while their deployed. There’s also an entertaining piece called TWI: Texting While Intoxicated, for college students this is a must read. How many of you have committed one of these infractions? I’d be willing to bet most who are over 21. Check all this out & more!