Cheap Food Photography Backdrops? DIY + Save Space!

Here’s my problem? Professional food photography backdrops are expensive. I’m CHEAP! 🙄

That’s why I needed to find some cheaper food photography backgrounds. No more than 20 $. Thanks.

Yes, you got me I’m using fake marble that costs only 10 $. Still, DIY “food photography” floor tiles, porcelain, MDF & wood are my all time favorite!

Reduce collection 50 % = get 100 % ?!

No, I don’t have 20-30 food styling backdrops at home. I discovered a little solution to save some space in my little “studio”. 😅 That’s right, I managed to reduce my background 50 %! Keep reading to find my solution. 

The Truth: Fake Marble

Since I have had many questions about my food photography boards, then I thought that I’m going to share my little secrets about my boards. The most popular board is always the marble one. To be honest, it’s fake and costs about 10 euros.

Yes, I’m too cheap to buy the real one which costs approximately 100 euros. Maybe one day I will have my kitchen workspace out of marble. 😍 That sounds like a dream.

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Professional Food Photography Backgrounds: Expensive

The truth about backdrops is that you can spend A LOT of money on these. I have seen some online shops where one backdrop costs about 100 to 200 dollars. These backgrounds are amazing and will last forever.

I live in the middle of nowhere. Almost. 

However, my problem is that the international shipping to my place costs about the same price as the board itself. Almost. So, I had to find a better solution.

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Best material? Stone, Porcelain or Wood

Since I don’t have those special professional backdrops for food photography. I decided to look for boards that have a great color and texture. For that reason, I found that the best backgrounds are stone (or porcelain) and wood. In contrast, these are not perfect when you have to go to your client.

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Salt Crusted Fish

Classic Paper is not Good: Cleaning + Practical Side

When I started, I bought a lot of papers as well. Some information on how to choose studio backdrop here. However, the usual paper isn’t the best option since you can’t clean. It’s not a place where I have to keep everything clean. Sometimes I have to make a mess for my images to make it more real.

The other problem with the usual paper is that they get crumpled quite quickly, and this doesn’t look good unless you want a crumpled paper.

Still, there are many more professional “paper” materials that are perfect for food photography.

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DIY food photography backdrops vs find it 

Here I give you three options for your photography boards. Firstly, you can always make your background. Secondly, the other solution is that you just have to find it somewhere. If you don’t like to mess around with paint or hand drill, then you can always buy a professional background for your food photography.

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Complete post how I made my DIY food photography backgrounds here.

Paint, porcelain, floor tiles, MDF, wood vs “Paper”?

DIY food photography backdrops: PAINT
Best part? Unique 

This one here is my favorite way. You can make sure that you have your unique backdrop that no one else has. You need to put some effort on your boards, and you can be sure that you have a killer photography board.

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Complete post how I made my DIY food photography backgrounds here.

Painting “Skill”:  Swab painting technique

Buy or find some old wooden boards or floor tiles (porcelain). After that, you need a painting skill like a one-year-old. I like to use the swab painting technique on my boards like one of my favorite food photographers Bea Lubas. Remember that imperfect is just perfect!

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How I find perfect color? Color Wheel inspiration

Just make sure that you use some neutral colors that are perfect for DIY food photography. Go creative and explore the colors (make your color pallet with Adobe color wheel). Therefore, painting your boards is quite fun and relaxing. You might feel like you are back in your childhood.

Complete post how I made my DIY food photography backdrop here

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Best colors? Neutral + Pastel
Such as white, black, brown and grey … 

Don’t forget that you might have a different color when you mix some colors. My personal favorite is grey. So, I bought black and white, and I got my grey.

I also used some different pastel colors such as black, white, and grey.

Why cooler colors? No, I’m not cool

Here’s the IMPORTANT part, cooler colors make food photography more real and warm saturated colors might ruin your white balance and make your food yellow(ish). That usually doesn’t look tasty. At least, that’s my personal preference. No question, that some might like it.

Yes, that was a little clickbait. Cool & cool word combination just got my attention. Sorry, I couldn’t resist to use it. 

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Choose cooler colors instead of warm ones. Complete post how I made my DIY food photography backgrounds here.

Cleaning options + SAVE SPACE
Floor Tiles & Building supply store

Go to your local building supply store and look for bigger floor tiles (or maybe you have a friend who works in some construction, and they have some leftover floor tiles). Above all, my favorites are porcelain floor tiles.

ALREADY HAVE IT? Garage, attic or basement

You might already have some boards in your garage, attic or basement. I went to three stores, and all of them told me that they are not going to sell me only one tile.

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My Instagram @healthylauracom stories screenshots (behind the scenes)

SAVE space? Reduce collection 50 % = get 100 %

When I started, then I didn’t want to buy something like 20-floor tiles at once (well, I can always share them, interested?! 🙂 ). Finally, I found one little store who was willing to sell me only ONE floor tile.

OLD = NEW

Here’s my trick? I paint the other side of my existing backdrop. That’s right, my floor tile has two sides.  Hahaha, that’s “mindblowing”, right?! I’m sure I’m not the only one who uses this hack.

Still, I actually don’t use that many backdrops. Therefore, I try to use my “signature” backdrops to get a similar style. (No, I’m not saying I have my signature look. I’m still trying to develop it … )

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Option 2: Rustic Wood & Dust

Go to your country house, attic, garage or basement. Look for some old boards out of wood or stone. These rustic boards might be perfect for photography.

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Back to childhood: Hands dirty 

All I needed to do was to clean them from dust or cut them into a suitable shape. Yes, I needed to put together my wooden planks. Above all, that felt like I’m back in childhood. Yes, I was one of those kids who made her own playhouse on the tree.

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Fake marble or special “photography” paper 
Make the best out of your “marble”: Stick it!

You can order your fake marble backdrop online or your local shop. I even have three different marbles.

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However, I still suggest you stick the “marble” on some board. Just get some wooden boards or painters canvas and stick this marble to your “board”. Otherwise, it will be rumpled after some time. I have tried to skip that part, but I ended up ordering a new “marble”.

No, there’s not only white marble. You can find pink or black marble as well. 

Buy Professional Backdrops: I don’t

Go to Amazon, eBay or just Google it. There are many businesses for professional photography backdrops. Still, I don’t have those.

For the reason, I’m not going to give a long list of photography backdrop businesses. Above all, I haven’t ordered any “professional” backdrops. Still, I’m sure these are awesome and you can find them with some help from Google.

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Final Words: Get hands dirty + “safety” requirements

I hope you will get your hands covered with color and you will create your amazing backgrounds that will make your food photography even better than it already is. Still, take some “safety” requirements when you are working with paint. Please don’t ruin your floor or other things when you work inside.

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The complete guide how I made my MDF DIY food blog boards? Here.

Classical Comment Begging 123 🙄

If this post was helpful, then please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylauracom or another platform. Let me know if you have any other great ideas for food photography backgrounds. It helps me to create better content & I know you would like to read more about this topic.

Leave YOUR website link below. I would love to see your photography! Do you any more tricks for perfect food photography backdrops?


Updated: 30.10.2018

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Comments

  1. Yes, I have been looking for that marble. I can’t believe that it’s fake and looks that good. Looks like I have to order it right now.

  2. Finally. I have been looking for that marble background! Love your photography posts. Keep it up and I look forward to these kinds of posts.

  3. I love the idea of using the other side of a tile! It gives so much depth and structure to background
    I’ve been making some backgrounds myself but I notice that I really miss something grey, the idea to mix up some paint is a good one. I saw another post via Pinterest about making a rusty underground with black, white and brown paint, looked amazing!

    • Thanks, Eva! I like the texture as well 🙂 I’m so proud of you that you have made some backgrounds yourself! I like mixing the colors as well. It gives that something on the board. Keep up your work!

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing these lovely tips. Can I just ask where your bought your tripod? And can you attach a link please.

    Thanks.

  5. I have lots of floor tiles I’ve been using as backgrounds, but I’d never thought to turn them over to paint the backs. Life changing! You have literally doubled my collection and given me so many more cool patterns and textures to work with. Thank you so much.