Food & Drink Magazine

Backgrounds for Food Photography

By Pavani @napavani
Blogging Marathon# 42: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Misc Food Related -- Behind the Food Photos
Topic: Food photography Backgrounds
We are starting our 3rd week of blogging marathon today and I took up an interesting theme that doesn't involve cooking. I am going to try and show you what goes behind the scenes in my house after the food is cooked and before the clicks are taken. First day is all about backgrounds that I use in my food photography and how you can make them at home.
When I started blogging in the pre-historic times (if you really want to know, that was 8 years back), I didn't give much thought to taking food photos, they were taken at night with flash on the dining table with absolutely no props and no sense of presentation. But through the years and watching some amazing food photos by fellow bloggers and food magazines, I've learnt that presentation is as important as the taste of food itself and since the virtual readers cannot taste your food, they need to feel it through their eyes. So every aspect of food photo is important including the backgrounds used for the photo.
Backgrounds for Food Photography
Few years ago with the help of my husband and son, I painted 2 wooden boards that I have been using in my photos. I wanted some new ones and bought few more wooden boards couple of months ago. I was afraid that my daughter might ruin my painting project (and due to my sheer laziness), I kept postponing it. Finally a few weeks back, while my daughter was at the play school, I got around to paint the boards. All I needed was 2 days, about 2~3 hours each and I made 8 different backgrounds.
Boards ready to be painted
Colors for painting boards Thanks to the detailed instructions by Simi, I was able to get some interesting colors on my backgrounds. I bought 4 wooden boards about 12~18" in length and width, few cans of interior paint in different colors from the hardware store (like Home Depot or Lowes). To get the varied color look on the board, I poured a blob of 2~3 colors in a plastic plate and then using the brush I painted the board either my mixing all the colors right on the plate or mixing the strokes directly on the board.
Colors for painting boards
Colors for painting boards It was a fun seeing the different colors mix and changing the look just by changing the color of the stroke on the board. Let the boards dry and voila you have brand new backgrounds for your food photos. Once you start the project, you will definitely want to paint just about everything you see and use them for your pics.
Backgrounds for Food Photography If you are not into DIY projects, then look out for backgrounds around the house, that worn out wooden patio table or that broken window or kitchen cabinet, anything and everything can create nice backgrounds for your photos.
Backgrounds for Food Photography I'm always on the look out for stuff while driving in our neighborhood. Ever since I found some kitchen cabinets, I'm even more vigilant. My obsession got me into trouble couple of weeks back when I saw a huge wooden board left on the sidewalk as I was driving home from my son's school. I immediately stopped the car, opened the trunk and starting dragging that mammoth of a board to the car. It was extremely heavy, but that didn't stop me. What stopped me was that it was too big to fit in the car and after huffing and puffing for 5 minutes I realized I might break the car door or my back if I don't put the board right back on the sidewalk. My hands and my back ached for days and my heart ached that I couldn't get it home.
Well anyway, you don't have to go that far for a background, simply look through your house, basement and garage and find boards, wallpapers, printed paper etc., that can be used to add some interest to your food photos. I found a wooden box and a long wooden plank in my mom's home that I used as backgrounds in the photo below.
Backgrounds for Food Photography I hope my post gave you some inspiration to create your own backgrounds. If you do, please leave a comment and share your pictures for all of us to see.  Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up today for BM# 42.

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