How to use Food Backgrounds to your Advantage

Silvain • updated June 23, 2022 • 5 min read

How to use Food Backgrounds to your advantage

Backdrops are the backgrounds of your photos in food photography. They’re crucial since they’re the stage where you’ll create the setting for your subject, the star and major actor of your food photograph.

As a result, there are a few factors to consider while selecting the best food photography backdrop.

In the following piece, I’ve detailed what you can use as a background, what to look for while picking, and where to find the best food photography backdrops.

What is a food photography backdrop, exactly?

The stage on which your culinary scenario takes place is called a backdrop. And, let’s be honest, virtually anything can be used as a backdrop.

From a basic table, a piece of fabric, or the spread-out pages of a book, to hand-painted wooden panels or custom-made one-of-a-kind pieces from specialty background stores. But, before we go any further, here are some food photography backdrop suggestions.

Tips for Food Photography Backdrops

When selecting a backdrop, make sure it is appropriate for your subject, the message you want to portray, and the style you desire. It should support your topic without taking the stage. Its color and texture should not detract from your scene’s main attraction.

  • Begin by assembling a collection of universally applicable backdrops. It’s ideal to choose backdrops that are neutral or mild in color, such as white or gray tones, for this. When coupled with browned baked items, blue tones may produce stunning contrasts.
  • Bright green, red, or pink colored baking droplets can look stunning. They are, however, not appropriate for every motif and style, which is why I would advise against using them at first, particularly in the beginning.
  • Aside from the appearance, you should consider the following factors while selecting your backdrops: size, material, quality, and practicality.
  • Consider the size of the backdrop you’ll need for your shots, as well as how and if you’ll be able to store it. Massive backdrops necessitate a lot of areas.
  • Vinyl ones can be rolled up or hung easily. It is usually preferable to work on a cleanable surface. Especially if you want to use crumbs and droplets to add life to your images.

From boosting vibrancy to adjusting contrast, Lightroom food presets are the toolkit every food blogger needs.

Food Photography Backdrops at a Glance

1. Objects found in the house, flea market, and attic – affordable to free

Almost anything can be used as a backdrop: An old baking pan, a piece of fabric, or your own dining table. As a result, the most cost-effective option to discover backdrops for your images is to use what you already have at home.

It’s also perfectly acceptable to begin this manner without first investing a significant amount of time and money in specialized food photography backdrops.

You may start looking for picture backgrounds to go with your photos once you know more clearly what direction you want them to go in.

It’s always a good idea to start by looking through your own attic or the basements of friends and family. Best is, usually you don’t have to spend a single penny. Even worn-out doors or planks might appear amazing in photographs.

It does not, however, have to be large or huge pieces. Even an old, rustic baking tray can be transformed into a beautiful backdrop for your images. They’re more common at flea markets and secondhand retailers.

Use trays that you don’t use for baking anymore. You may also create fantastic stories in your images with these antique items from flea markets and attics, each with their own unique indications of age. And you can nearly guarantee that no one else has them in this condition.

Even a piece of fabric, a tablecloth, a dish towel can occasionally be the right background for your photo. Fabrics are very simple to keep and store, and they may be readily laundered if they become dirty.

Potential backdrops include:

  • table
  • old wooden door, pallet and boards
  • baking tray
  • newspaper or book pages
  • baking or sandwich paper
  • tablecloth, cloth, scarfs, bed sheets
  • wall or floor
  • tiles
  • cardboard boxes

2. DIY Backdrops for food photography

You’ll undoubtedly reach a point where you’ve exhausted the potential of your attic and local thrift stores in your search for backdrops. Then it’s always a good idea to start with your own backdrop.

This will take some time and a small investment in materials, but you may tailor it to your own tastes and have a true one-of-a-kind sculpture.

An MDF board from the hardware store, some paints, and a sponge for application are all you’ll need to make your own DIY food photography backdrop. After painting, make sure to seal the handcrafted backdrops, such as with a matte varnish.

That way, even if a few crumbs or sauce get on them, you can wash them off. On the front and back of the MDF panel, you can usually design two alternative backgrounds. As a result, you’ve got two backdrops in one.

You can also use a connecting piece to screw separate wooden strips together. You may use them to create amazing DIY “tabletops” for your images, depending on the mood you desire, without having to buy a new table, by brushing them with light or dark glazes.

Individual slats can also be painted differently on both sides. As a result, you get two alternative aesthetics in one piece and can conveniently store the individual slats.

Painting huge fabrics or canvas with paint is the third approach to creating your own backdrop. After the shoot, simply roll them up and store them in a space-saving manner.

3. Backdrops for food photography made of paper or wallpaper

There are some online companies that sell inexpensive paper backdrops. After that, diverse structures, such as concrete or wood, are frequently printed on them. Due to their low price, these deals are especially appealing in the beginning.

However, because the backdrops are constructed of paper, they are not very resistant or long-lasting. Because they are normally supplied rolled up, you will have to mend them so that they do not constantly roll up again or get wavy.

You can either utilize a wallpaper sample from the hardware shop or purchase a whole roll of your preferred wallpaper. It makes no difference if a stain falls on it. Because for the next photoshoot, you can just snip off a fresh piece.

4. Vinyl backdrops for food photography

Vinyl backdrops for food photography are a great add-on. They are light, usually machine washable, and come in a variety of designs.

They can be stored easily. Vinyl backgrounds have textures print and usually 60 × 90cm in size and a few millimeters thick. They come in a variety of finishes, including marble, wood, concrete, watercolor, and more.

The downsides are primarily their small size and the fact that they are simply printed – therefore flat – with no real structure.

Keep an eye on your vinyl backdrops, especially those with wood textures printed on them, when taking photos. Despite the fact that vinyl backdrops are typically matte, they can nonetheless reflect light.

You can find a wide section of vinyl backdrops here:

5. Board Backdrops for Food Photography

Massive food photography backdrops, as well as lightweight vinyl, can be found in specialty backdrop stores. They typically have a wood core with a material covering on top.

Because they are painted, sprayed, and sealed, they may be cleaned or washed away even if crumbs or stains are present.

The advantage of solid backdrops is that they feature three-dimensional architecture. I think that’s fantastic, especially for wood or tile-look backdrops.

Because you can vary with the light and add more or less structure to the background this way, you obtain actual depth.

They are usually double-sided as well. As a result, you may pick a distinct appearance for each side and receive two backdrops for the price of one.

A wooden board in combination with a soup bowl is often used for soup photography.

Suppliers for board backdrops:


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By Furoore team member Silvain

Silvain is a French/German national and has been with the Furoore Team since the beginning. He likes to write about various photography themes, especially food photography. If you leave a comment, he will come back to you to answer any questions you may have.


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Your thoughts and questions

2 thoughts on “How to use Food Backgrounds to your Advantage

  1. breesey says:

    These tips for making ice cream look delectable are brilliant – thanks for the article! I’m an hobbyist photographer – styling ice cream into a tantalizing shot has proven tricky. But using depth of field to accentuate texture and adding faux melt drops is genius. I feel much more equipped now to capture irresistible ice cream images that truly highlight the cold, creamy decadence. So grateful for this insightful (and delicious-sounding) tutorial! Time to experiment creating my own sundae masterpieces. What a treat!

  2. Naptime says:

    I found this overview lacking in technical insights needed for high-quality ice cream brand campaign shoots. Discussion of specialized equipment like splatter guards, glycerin for melting effects, and post-production enhancing of creaminess would benefit those doing large-scale production. Beginners may find the basics helpful, but this only skims the surface of achieving refined, professional ice cream ad images from concept to completion.

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