There is no doubt that having a selection of backgrounds to shoot on adds to the diversity of your food photographs. Backgrounds play a major role in the overall look and feel of a shot.
Now I love the texture that old timber boards can add and many of my early photographs are shot on boards that Corey made for me from recycled timber and palettes which we store down in the garage, but these days with Miss Marley , around I like to have some light, easy to manage boards on hand that I can quickly snap my breakfast or lunch on for Instagram instead of having to lug my heavy boards and tiles up from downstairs.
Obviously when I’m doing a full on shoot I get it all out, but for every day snaps these boards that we’re going to show you here are easy to make and great to shoot on. We actually made everybody who attended my Food Styling Workshop one and I love seeing all the Instagram snaps on them. Since then I have used it in so many shots and depending on the light it can look quite different.
You will need:
- A large car washing sponge cut in half and damp with water.
- 2 contrasting colors of water-based paint, diluted with water 1:1. We used a grey and a white that we had in the garage.
- 2 plastic containers to put the paint in – We just cut the side out of a 2l milk container.
- A sheet of thin ply wood ( We bought them from Bunnings at $14 a sheet and cut them in half )
What to do:
- Using the sharp edge of one of the sponges, apply the darker paint to the whole board in streaks going with the grain.
- Wipe off the excess paint with the clean sponge.
- The board should now have a thin layer of paint applied across. Allow it to dry. ( It should dry quite quickly if you have used a nice thin layer)
- Rinse the dark paint from the sponges
- Dilute the lighter paint with 1:1 water in a container
- Again use the sharp edge of a moist sponge.
- Apply the lighter paint in a thin layer with the grain to the entire board
- Remove the excess paint with a clean sponge.
- Allow to dry and repeat the entire process until you are happy with the color and texture.
- We also made some backgrounds using $7 white foam boards and grey spray paint. As you can see from the image below you just apply the spray paint from about 15cm away in rough lines so that the white of the board still shows through. It should come up with a great looking texture to it.