There’s a trend going on.
I recently noticed that so many people launched shops/Etsy shops to sell food photography backdrops made out of plywood + paint (I cheer on you, by the way!).
I can proudly say that I’ve been making my own for two years already (here’s the proof).
Now, do YOU want to learn how to make photography backdrops that are both easy and cheap? Then let’s begin!
How to make photography backdrops with 4 “ingredients”
Making your own (food) photography backdrops is easy, cheap and SO MUCH FUN, and that’s the main reason why I love it! If it were up to me – and I hadn’t another business to run – I would make backdrops all day long lol
It’s a creative activity, so you will have the chance to disconnect from other more demanding tasks and that’s another reason why you should definitely try it.
Before starting, make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips, such as:
- Plywood board: I had about 4 boards at my parents’ house, and I don’t know how many years they are actually (pretty sure they’re old). If you have to buy them, don’t worry, they are cheap. Just make sure they are resistant so they don’t bend when they’re wet;
- Plaster/joint-compound (optional): to give more texture and three-dimensionality;
- Brush and/or sponge: I prefer the sponge, it gives a nice effect to our final backdrop;
- Paints (different shades of the same color, black and white – always useful): I don’t have any favorite brand here, just check on Amazon if you can find something interesting. Choose some matte colors, they’re not expensive at all! (see? Everything is cheap!)
3 steps to the perfect backdrop for food photography (and other genres of photography too!)
Do you have all the materials at hand? Then let’s begin and have fun!
- (optional – you’ll need more time) Coat the plywood board with joint-compound (or plaster, not sure about the english word!)
Use a spatula to roughly spread the plaster on the board, then let it dry completely.
- Pour the different shades of paint onto the plywood board
Choose the final color you want to achieve (blue? grey? dark blue? light blue? light brown? …) and gradually pour the different shades on the board.
Don’t put a lot, you can add more color later.
- Use the sponge and/or brush to spread the color
At the beginning, two years ago, I used to use just a brush to spread the color on my board.
My suggestion? Use a sponge! It gives such a nice velvety effect!
First spread it and then gently dab it. Don’t be too precise, and don’t over-mix the colors otherwise the shades will disappear.
Now let it dry!
Want to see a demonstration? Look at my IGTV video!
Why learning how to make photography backdrops is the best option
There are some other options on the market, like vinyl backdrops. Honestly? I love them, especially Capture by Lucy’s: high quality, made out of the best material and, when you take photos using them, they don’t pay you back horrible glares.
BUT, if you buy poor quality vinyl, it’s risky. Some of the cheap backdrops out there have an awful fake texture and, as mentioned above, if you shoot backlit, the risk is to obtain a horrible glare.
Not to mention they’re often blurry.
With these DIY photo backdrops you don’t have this kind of problems and that’s the reason why they are the best option.
Cheap, easy, funny, they don’t take up a lot of space, they give your photos texture and you can let your creativity flow and make dozens of different backgrounds!
Cheapest backdrops ever actually are…
A year ago I wrote a post that some of you really appreciated: how to create the CHEAPEST backdrop EVER (temporary solution).
Want to know what I am talking about? Click here!