DIY Food Photography Background

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Food photography can be very challenging, but very fun. I enjoy playing with the food and props to create an eye-catching composition, but it can be difficult to find the right lighting and backgrounds for the pictures. We don’t have very much natural light in our kitchen, so I end up taking the dishes over by a window, which is why a portable surface is ideal. My best investment so far has been a marble slab because it creates a light, non-distracting surface and allows the food to be the main focus. However, I wanted to add a little more variety to my recipe photos, so I decided to make my own distressed wood background. I found this tutorial from Gimme Delicious and followed her steps, but used stain instead of paint for the base coat. It was pretty simple to build and adds a nice rustic feel to the images.

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Supplies:

  • 1 Pack of plank paneling
  • 1 Can wood stain (I used red mahogany)
  • 1 Can white paint
  • Wood glue
  • Old rag/brush to apply stain
  • Paint brush (the cheap, wide bristle kind works well)

Directions:

  1. Apply wood glue on the grooved side of the plank, then press the second plank into the groove and lay flat to dry. Repeat until you have 6 planks connected. I made two boards, each 6 planks wide.
  2. Use an old rag or brush to coat the planks with stain and let dry. You can either leave them like this or add paint for a distressed look (I left one plain and used white paint for the other).
  3. If you want the distressed look, use a paint brush to paint a light coat over the stain. The trick is to use a small amount of paint and quickly brush it over the stain in shorter strokes. I found that brushes with coarse bristles work better than fine. Let dry and then you’re good to go!

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{As seen in my Baked Pumpkin Spice Latte Doughnuts and Pumpkin Spice Butter Cups recipe posts}

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  • Love this post! I bought two different kinds of marble slab and I agree, it was definitely a great investment. This is such a cool background for food photography, too. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    • Glad you liked it! It’s really changed my photos and makes them look better with less effort haha

  • Tunisia

    Really cool tips! I always admire those beautiful pictures of food and tried to mimic them with an old iphone. I see I need a lot more than that to really make it look good. lol

    • haha that’s how I started out and have slowly figured out some tricks, so hopefully this helps :)