Fine Art Backdrops brings beauty to the heart of Wadena

Photos inhabit almost every avenue of life

A backdrop can take up to a week to produce. Photo courtesy of Fine Art Backdrops

A backdrop can take up to a week to produce. Photo courtesy of Fine Art Backdrops

Ashley Simmons is the owner of Fine Art Backdrops. She takes a painterly approach to making photography backgrounds. Photo courtesy of Fine Art Backdrops

Ashley Simmons is the owner of Fine Art Backdrops. She takes a painterly approach to making photography backgrounds. Photo courtesy of Fine Art Backdrops

Fine Art Backdrops has moved into the former Sweet Pickins building and the owner Ashley Simmons has converted it into a studio. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Fine Art Backdrops has moved into the former Sweet Pickins building and the owner Ashley Simmons has converted it into a studio. Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Painted backdrops are staples in fine art photography. This photograph was taken by Joshua Simmons and won a silver award in the teen category at WPPI-Las Vegas. The backdrop was made by Fine Art Backdrops. Joshua Simmons/Joshua Simmons Portraits

Painted backdrops are staples in fine art photography. This photograph was taken by Joshua Simmons and won a silver award in the teen category at WPPI-Las Vegas. The backdrop was made by Fine Art Backdrops. Joshua Simmons/Joshua Simmons Portraits

Television, the internet, magazines, and social media are dominated by illuminated pixels. The still image has become commonplace, visually ingested and forgotten by the casual observer as quickly as the press of a shutter button. Photography may simply be a vehicle for Instagram likes to some, for others it's a fine art where every aesthetic of the medium is pushed to the limit. One area of photography many forget is the backdrop. Ashley Simmons is the owner of Fine Art Backdrops and her business has moved into the old Sweet Pickins location in downtown Wadena. Her goal is to inject a painterly flair into the still images of photographers around the world.

Simmons is a career DIY enthusiast, years ago, her portrait photographer husband approached her about producing custom backdrops for his work. Simmons took to the challenge, quickly producing beautiful backgrounds of every color and texture. She kept producing the backdrops until other photographers took notice. The orders came in mass, prompting Simmons to start her own custom backdrop studio.

Fine art photography is a profound sector of the imaging industry with artists always wanting the best equipment and tools for enhancing their picturization. Simmons provided some background information about her work, stating that canvas backdrops really took off with the work of Sarah Oliphant. Oliphant is a New York based canvas painter that took the industry by storm with her masterfully produced backdrops often used in very iconic photos. Her backdrops have been used in numerous publications. Photographers clamour for her work but a backdrop from Oliphant can be expensive, which is what initially sent Simmons husband, Joshua, searching for alternatives. 

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Source, image(s), credits & more: Wadena PJ | Michael Denny