A lot of resources are available today when it comes to DIY Food Photography background. I learned a lot from my mistakes, and have upped my game continuously with every new setup. I started with a white backdrop made out of foamboard bought by my husband from a stationery shop. And to be honest, I still keep one.
While checking online videos on DIY boards, I came across one that seemed pretty doable. However, the outcome was not up to my expectations. Then I came across a discarded tabletop. I used plaster of Paris to create my first textured board. I still use it. Next, I retained the wooden planks under our old bed to create a plain wood board. After a little more research, I finally own my essential collection of backdrops.
If you have the resources and space, you can go ahead and keep experimenting with new backdrops. However, if you are a beginner and need some quick solutions without losing out big bucks, my tips could help you.
I would suggest a basic textured white and/or blackboard, one metallic and one wooden is good enough to get you started. I got the metallic backdrop printed on an A3 sheet on a good quality paper. It cost me a lot, but I did it after a lot of thought.
Now how do I decide which backdrop to choose?
I tend to go mostly with my instinct. Sometimes the colors and appeal of the dish help me decide. There are no rules to it. There was one incident when I had changed the board in the middle of the shoot. And it worked.
A couple of extra white foamboards can help you take vertical shots of cakes, sandwiches, etc. And they can double up as reflectors to direct light towards your dish. I also keep a neutral-colored chart paper to hang behind your plate to cover the wall behind if you have a neutral-colored wall that works perfectly too.
I hope these tips help you take the baby steps with confidence and trust your instinct.