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Experimenting with Backgrounds in Creative Food Photography

Experimenting with Backgrounds in Creative Food Photography

creative food photography


Creative food photography is an art form that demands a keen eye for detail and a knack for presenting food in an aesthetic and appetizing way. Some innate talent is certainly preferable, but like all other art forms, creative food photography can be practiced and improved. All you really need is time — and the right equipment.

While taking pictures of food, one of the most crucial factors to take into consideration is the background. A photography backdrop has the potential to drastically improve the aesthetic of your shot, and choosing the one that is most appropriate can make a world of difference in the final product. 

Let’s explore a range of the ways you can experiment with backdrops in your creative food photography.

Why Do Backdrops Matter to Your Creative Food Photography?

When it comes to creative food photography, your background is of utmost significance. Not only does it help to set the tone, but it can also emphasize — or deemphasize — the myriad of colors and textures of the food being photographed. 

Choosing the right background for your food photography can be challenging, particularly for those who are just getting started in the field. Yet learning how is something we can help you with.

If you want to produce the finest possible presentation for the subject of your next brand shoot, think about using a backdrop with some visual texture. Imagery like wood grain and marble are industry favorites, and for good reason. 

However, experimentation is all about trying something new. The selection of unique backdrops on the market is greater than ever before. To elevate your standard food photography to truly creative food photography, take the time to try something bold with your backdrops. 

Here are some ideas for where you can start:

Create Contrast with Your Backdrops

Contrast is an essential element in creative food photography, but sometimes it can be challenging to push the limits, especially when you’re working with low-contrast subject matter like cheese, vegetables, or bread. Pulling in a strategic background can be an excellent way around this obstacle.

If you’re photographing a dish with primarily warm tones, for instance, using a backdrop that has cool tones can help build contrast, both in terms of value and color. This will make your food really pop as the subject of the image. 

You may want to think about utilizing a backdrop with a dramatically different color from the subject. If you are taking photographs of mixed greens, for example, a complementary color such as deep red background may be exactly the kind of contrast you need.

Use Texture to Enhance Your Imagery

Texture is another key element that should be present in your creative food photography. When you employ backdrops with texture in your work, you can improve the visual depth and interest of the imagery. 

A good backdrop can also serve to complement and highlight the various textures that are already present in the subject.

Choose a background that has a texture and is complementary to the texture of the food you are presenting to get the most out of the effect. Also, consider the context in which certain textures may place your subject. 

If you want to give the appearance of a home-cooked meal, for example, a rustic wood background may give the perfect impression. On the other hand, if you’re going for more of an industrial look with your meal presentation, a concrete backdrop might be more appropriate.

Experiment with Color in the Background

The use of color is an essential tool for any photographer, but especially those with a vested interest in creative food photography. 

Picking the right hue for the background can really help your subject matter stand out, but be careful to ensure that your selections don’t clash. More vibrancy doesn’t always mean more emphasis; at times, too much color can overwhelm an image, causing the subject to lose its emphasis as the center of interest.

If you want to play with color in your backdrops, consider using a backdrop with colors that will complement (balance) those already present. If you’re trying to stick to a more cohesive color palette, however, consider using analogous colors to enhance the tone. 

Just think of all the different kinds of green you could find in a single cucumber — which ones will be enhanced by your choice of background tone?

Try a Variety of Angles for Your Food Shots

The impact of food photography can change dramatically when shooting from different angles. 

The most common angle — 45 degrees — is taken anywhere between the top-down and straight-on angles. It’s the typical view that most cooks and eaters will see of their food. For these types of images, you’ll need either a combination of two backgrounds — one for the table surface and one for the area behind the food — or a flexible vinyl background that can fills in both areas. 

You can add some intrigue to your food shots with an overhead, or top-down, angle of your camera. It’s a view most of us don’t usually see when we’re interacting with food from day to day, and it creates an artistic image of food that has nearly endless possibilities. 

If you try a straight-on angle, you’ll find unique opportunities for close-ups and depth-of-field shots that can highlight certain aspects of the food such as texture or appealing ingredients like seeds, sprinkles, or decorative elements. 

With any angle, a seasoned food photographer will be prepared with multiple backdrops on hand for experimentation. While there are a number of well-established “rules” for food photography regarding colors, textures, composition, and focus, veteran photographers know when to break these rules for highly creative results.

Creative Food Photography Starts with a Best Ever BackDrops®

You can seriously expand the potential of your creative food photography when you consider your background a mode for experimentation. Though choosing the right backdrop can be tricky, the sky's the limit for your creativity. 

Today, there are more creative and unique photography backdrops available to you than ever before — and the best place to start your hunt for your perfect background is right here at Best Ever BackDrops®. 

Check out our selection to elevate your creative food photography to the next level.