Hi everyone! I hope you enjoyed PART 1 of the food photography backdrops series as this week I bring you PART 2! To keep the blog post as short and informative as possible, I haven't included a recipe today. Sorry. But I'll be back with a stunning recipe next time. Is that ok? Cool ;)! Ok, so let's quickly move on to two of my most favourite food photography backdrop options EVER, shall we? Fabrics and metals...
Storage: easy/medium/a tad more complicated
For those of you who have been following me for a while on instagram, you'll know I'm OBSESSED with fabrics. In fact you'll be hard pressed to find an image in which I don't use fabrics. That's because I love the look, feel and texture of fabrics so, so much and believe they often add the missing ingredient to a shot.
I also love the fact that fabrics are pretty easy to get ahold of, simple to store and - generally speaking - quite cheap, so a perfect option for those new to food blogging who are worried about the investment needed to get started.
Personally, I've been very lucky and have been gifted a number of fabrics over the years including the rich blue fabric you see in the image above as well as the blue fabric I used as a backdrop in the soup picture below. Furthermore, I regularly use linen napkins from Heal's, teatowels from Ikea and a gorgeous linen tablecloth from The Linen Works which I put into action here. Apart from fabrics like those I don't think any food blogger should work without a cheese cloth in their fabric cupboard. I used one of my cheese cloths in the tortilla image you see below. Yup, you heard it here first, cheesecloths are the way to go :).
In addition to linen and cheese cloths, real cotton, faux satin, wool (example here) and lace, which I used as a backdrop in the waffe image below (from Ikea's bargain corner, £1 ;)) are gorgeous fabrics to work with. That's because they all have texture which in turn adds interest to your image. Many of these fabrics can also 'move' and be 'moulded' into whatever 'shape' you like. It really does make a difference, trust me. Also, like in the top image of this blog post, I often use fabrics (normally a large piece of black fabric) as my 'wall' backdrops for images other than flatlays. Not sure what I mean? Then look at this image. The backdrop is just a black tablecloth, nothing else.
Though most of the fabrics I use are white/blue/grey/neutral and these are indeed great starting points for new food bloggers, I am now keen to try something new and bold, like patterned fabric such as those used by Linda Limolino here. So if you know of someone who makes gorgeous patterned fabrics, please do let me know about them in the comment section ;). I'm always looking to discover artists and makers.
One more tip! Fabrics look best if they are a bit wrinkled. Hence when you buy fabrics, wash them, let them dry and scrunch them up for about 24 hours thereafter. They should be perfect to use thereafter.
Storage: easy/medium/a tad more complicated
Every single time I use my metal tray as my backdrop the internet goes bananas. Ok, I'm slightly exaggerating, but it's true that my metal backdrops are easily YOUR most favourite backdrops. Truth be told, I try not to overuse my metal tray but sometimes, when nothing else works and I'm about to give up, I pop my smoothie bowl on metal and suddenly the image just works. I mean I owe my doughnut recipe's popularity to the metal backdrop for sure and I can tell you, I was super happy I didn't use fabric as it was a very messy recipe to put together. And that's metal's other plus point - it's easy to clean ;).
Now the question is, how can you source a good metal backdrop? I found my infamous metal tray in my parents' garden and the baking sheet you see below is mine (it's gross, sorry, I know). BUT I have seen that you can find some gorgeous metal backdrops on e-bay and etsy. Just type in the following keywords and you should be on your way:
- vintage bake sheets
- kitchenalia bake sheets
- vintage baking trays
- metal baking trays
Vintage stores and flea markets are also great placed to find baking trays/metal backdrops. Just remember to buy them in a decent size and with lots of wear and tear.
Apart from baking sheets, I'm currently dreaming of a copper or zinc backdrop. The latter is around £50 (SHOCK! HORROR!) in a decent size so I will have to put this wish on hold. In the interim I am drooling over this image by Twigg Studios, this one by The Sunshine Eatery, this stunning shot by Anna Jones and this one by Kym Grimshaw. Metal at it's best if you ask me ;).
Enjoy this blog post? Then please share it on pinterest. It would make my day :).
Looking for more food photography related blog posts? Keen to find out how to source food photography props? Then check out this post?