What makes a good food and product photography backdrop?
It’s wise to invest in backdrops with character. Look for interesting textures, grains, spots, and other elements that aren’t distracting. Another thing to keep in mind is to opt for backdrops that don’t take away from the image and are versatile enough to use it innumerable times.
Food truly looks fresh and comes alive when it’s arranged on backdrops that are neutral, and desaturated. That being said, the backdrops should match your colour palette and convey your story.
Rustic vs. Clean
Rustic backdrops are quite popular for food photography as it adds charm to the images. Although, clean, plain backdrops are incredibly beautiful too. Each setup calls for a different vibe and you must take a call on what sort of an aesthetic you would like to achieve.
For product and food photography, a backdrop around 2 x 3 feet is ideal as you might not need a large surface to work with and this size would fit different camera angles be it a flatlay or it is a landscape shot. Backdrops bigger than 4 feet are fantastic for bigger scenes, but for most images, a smaller size would do.
Types of backdrops
Printed vs. Painted backdrops
Some of the most widely available and used backdrops are printed and painted backdrops. Both types have their own merits and demerits. Painted backdrops are most realistic and will have a wide range of textures and depth. Furthermore, they can also be customised as per your requirements.
Printed backdrops on the other hand will lack texture but a high quality print might be able to trick the eye when it is used for photography. Hence, it is crucial for the photographer to take a call on which backdrop would work for the kind of image you are shooting. The advantage with printed backdrops is that they are generally lighter in comparison to other backdrops as they are printed on sun and foam boards. This makes it easy to store and portable too.
The backdrops used in the below image are (a) painted (the one at the back) and (b) cloth (the one at the base)