My first post in my food photography tips and tricks section will probably be one of your most valuable ones: how to make cheap wooden food photography backdrops. Whether you are a food photographer, lifestyle photographer or simply want to use a background for your insta photographs then these tips and techniques will be invaluable to you.
A photographer can never have too many backdrops. Just like a woman can never have too many pairs of shoes, although my husband would beg to differ! Matching your food with a backdrop is as important as matching your special outfit with the perfect accessories. When I found these two lovely turquoise bowls in TK Maxx and Dunnes Stores I knew I would like to produce a Mediterranean food story scene. So after a trip to my local farmer’s market I knew the combination of apricots and turquoise would be the perfect combination. The only problem was I didn’t have the right tone in any of my backdrops.
Food photography boards come at a hefty price, including vinyl backgrounds, so I decided I couldn’t continue buying them every time I wanted a colour change. So it was off to my local DIY store in Cork in search of raw materials! To find the perfect wooden board is impossible unless you can find old table tops or doors at a second hand store or car boot sale. I didn’t have this luxury as I wanted the backdrop TODAY not next week! So the next best thing was to buy individual slats of wood and glue them together.
The fastest way to do this is to use No More Nails. This is a strong adhesive which eliminates the use of nails, so there are no worrying moments of your board falling apart. It also dried very quickly so you are ready to paint your board within an hour!
Simply place a few dots along the edge of the slat and using a paintbrush quickly spread it evenly before arranging the slats together.
Leave to dry for an hour minimum or longer if you prefer. I was in a rush to I stuck to the minimum!
You can also use chip board if you want the board ready in record time! I used both as the chipboard gives a nice effect as a backdrop.
Today was a great day to start as I was lucky enough to have my helpers today! I used a matt turquoise paint. It is important to use a matt paint rather than gloss or sheen. Any shine in the paint will be reflected in your photos. Matt paint avoids glare and shadows in the photograph and doesn’t reflect light. I recommend adding a clear matt varnish or wax to the surface as it will avoiding staining from food spills. I normally use wax and apply it with a dry brush. Leave to dry for 10 minutes and wipe off the excess with kitchen towels. Leave to dry for a few hours.
And voilá. Here is the finished product.
To complete the perfect food photo just add your plate of food to your new boards and style it the way you like. I feel this certainly conjures up the atmosphere and colours of the Mediterranean!
Who knew how easy it would be to make cheap food photography backdrops!