What Backdrop Is Best for Food Photography?
Let’s talk about that age-old question for product photographers: “What backdrop is best for food photography?"
It’s a valid question. After all — we’ve all googled it at some point or another. The answer is a bit more complex than the question might imply. But we have answers!
There Are Actually a Few Answers …
When it comes to the question of what is the best backdrop for food photography, there are a few potential answers. It depends mostly on what we mean by “the best.”
For example, if we’re focusing on achieving the best possible shot for your project, it’s best to choose your backdrop based on a few key factors. However, if we aim for elegance and practicality in our equipment, there are still more factors to consider.
Is there a way to settle on one specific style of backdrop that achieves both at once? Let’s find out.
Choosing for Aesthetic
Our first question: What backdrop is best for food photography, aesthetically speaking? This is a tricky one because the answer can vary so widely depending on the type of food being photographed.
The main thing to consider when choosing your background, however, is the balance of color and texture in the image.
Color is everything to food photography. So much of how we perceive food is based on our interpretation of the colors we see. The wrong color combinations can make food look old, wilty, or otherwise unappetizing. The right colors, on the other hand, can make even the blandest veggie platters look crisp, lively, and delicious. The key is to find the right balance.
When choosing the best backdrop for food photography, it’s important to consider the colors already present in your subject. If the food is bright red, like a cherry, it may be best to select a complementary color, or perhaps a more muted analogous color, for your background. This will help to define your subject — in this case, the cherry — from its environment. In some cases, even a pure white backdrop is the perfect way to emphasize a splash of color. The right combination will preserve and emphasize the lovely red tones, keeping your cherry looking ripe and appetizing.
The question of the best background for food photography doesn’t stop there. The other essential factor in the aesthetics of your image’s background is the texture.
Like color, texture is a major signifier for the viewer as to the quality of the food. We expect cherries to look smooth with a bit of healthy shine. We expect fresh meat to look saturated and slightly damp. If the texture of the food is undermined by the background, the image may lose its power.
If we select our background strategically for texture combinations, however, we can achieve some truly incredible imagery. For the example of the cherry, we may want to compliment (and emphasize) its smooth texture with something more multi-toned and complex. Something like a green, leafy background may provide a nice contrast in terms of both color and texture. A wood grain background, on the other hand, may help to balance the textures and emphasize the warmer tones of the image.
Just ask yourself: “What looks appetizing to me?”
Choosing for Functionality
Now that we’ve established how to select your ideal background for the aesthetics of your food photography, let’s look at how we can achieve that with a touch of functionality and convenience. In short, what backdrop is best for food photography, practically speaking?
These days, there are a few major contenders: two of the best are rigid hard surface backdrops and printed vinyl, both of which are known for their versatility and ease of use as food photography backdrops. Let’s look at some of the features.
One of the best features to look for in your food photography backdrops is cleanliness — not just for the sake of your food, but for the sake of your equipment as well.
Certain food products, like jams, wines, and fruits, are repeat offenders for permanent stains. As a food photography backdrop, hard-surface backdrops and printed vinyl offer a surprising degree of ease for your cleanup operations. Stains wipe away easily, and water causes no damage whatsoever. The smooth and sturdy surface allows for easy sanitization, so you lose no time or money trying to buy a replacement.
Another all-too-common component of photography is the need to lug around large amounts of equipment. When it comes to the best backdrop for food photography, a lightweight and collapsible option can make a world of difference. This is one of the things synthetic backdrops do best, but especially vinyl. The surface is sturdy, but light and easily rolled up to fit into small spaces, making it far easier to store than most alternatives.
Reducing the space (and energy!) your backdrop takes to use can do wonders for your next photoshoot.
The final factor to consider before we answer our question of “what backdrop is best for food photography” is convenience.
While a stunning shot is worth all the effort in the world, your background should not be the area where you lose valuable time and energy. Instead, it’s worthwhile to invest in an option that is easy to use.
Vinyl surface and rigid hard surface backdrops both offer convenience in abundance as food photography backgrounds. Their thin and lightweight composition makes it exceptionally easy to prop, pin up, and manipulate to help you frame the perfect shot.
Choosing for Preparedness
Busy photographers know that the opportunity for a good shot can come and go quickly. Whether it’s shooting a bowl of melting ice cream or the brief window of time when the sunset light is just right, you have to be ready on the spot.
Having a variety of backdrops on hand can be one of a photographer’s best resources in your tool box. Whether you choose rigid, vinyl, double-sided, or oversized, you want to have a veritable arsenal of backgrounds available at a moment’s notice.
Investing in your own “library” of backdrops allows your creativity to blossom so you can create truly artistic and innovative photographs. Providers like Best Ever BackDrops provide variety and affordability, giving you the chance to be as prepared as possible for any food photography opportunity that comes your way.
So, What Backdrop Is Best for Food Photography … Really?
Ultimately, there is any number of solutions that may be right for your current project. But if we had to pick our favorite backdrop for food photography, it’s going to be printed vinyl all the way.
The cleanliness, portability, and convenience of vinyl are hard to beat, especially when combined with the versatility it offers. The vastness of the selection of colors and textures available in vinyl backdrops makes choosing for aesthetics a breeze every time. Best of all, Best Ever BackDrops® prints our vinyl backdrops on demand, meaning you’ll get the perfect background for your shot every time.
Printed vinyl is convenient, versatile, and affordable for photographers of all kinds. So why wait? Discover your perfect food photography background today at Best Ever BackDrops®.