Jada and David Parrish
Balloon Backdrop Photoshoot FAIL! - Jada And David Parrish

Balloon Backdrop Photoshoot FAIL!

Blog by Jada Parrish | Article | 04/26/24


David and I have built a lot of photo sets, but we have never had one go as terribly wrong as this one did…

We were collaborating with Prism Lens FX, who challenged us to create a set  using the words - royal blue, astronaut, jump, and futuristic - as inspiration and use their filters in a shoot.

Use Coupon Code JADAANDDAVID for 15% off the entire Prism Lens FX website.

If you’ve never heard of Prism Lens FX, they are crazy filters that you screw onto your lens to create all kinds of interesting in-camera effects. The filters give the best results when there is a lot of direct light or reflective materials in the shot. We wanted to maximize the effects of the filters, so we had the genius idea of building a photo set entirely out of balloons because we liked the reflective, shiny texture. 

The plan was for the set to look like a forced perspective balloon cave with our model dressed as an astronaut exploring and “jumping” through the cave. 

We bought 400 balloons for the shoot. We had never worked with balloons before in a set, but we watched some Youtube videos and figured "How hard could it be?" As it turned out, very hard.

Inflating so many balloons caused my fingers to blister and bleed from tying them. The balloon structure continuously collapsed because, against our better judgment, we followed advice from a balloon artist on YouTube who claimed no piping was necessary to build a balloon structure; the balloons would naturally form a sturdy framework. Maybe that works for the pros, but it definitely didn’t for us.

The balloons kept popping. The structure fell apart. My hands hurt. Nothing looked how we had planned. It was looking like a toddler’s birthday party. Both David and I were on the brink of giving up.

  Balloon Backdrop Photoshoot FAIL! - Jada And David Parrish  

But our model, Ceili, arrived and encouraged us to keep going and at least try something. So, we set the camera up and put the Prism Lens FX Filters to the test. Could they save this photoshoot?

Honestly, while the shoot was far from what we envisioned, the Prism Lens FX filters made a significant difference. The in-camera effects they created made everything look more futuristic and surreal and much cooler than it did in real life.

In my eyes, this photoshoot was still a fail because it looked nothing like how we intended. BUT, we pushed through and created something, and I’m proud of that. My main takeaway was Prism Lens FX filters are really cool. They added so much to this photoshoot. 

We are determined to rebound hard and design another set for this challenge - this time using our usual materials of plywood and paint.

It’s always cool to push yourself to use new materials, but my takeaway is that it is better to add to what you do well, not try to completely change everything about what you do. So, it was a really great learning experience and creative exercise. 

These filters are pretty awesome though. If you want to try out any for yourself you can use the code JADAANDDAVID for 15% off the entire Prism Lens FX website.



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Jada + David Parrish are mixed media artists whose work explores the connection between painting, sculpture, motion, and photography.