Photo of Avo Toast with Poached Egg

Simple and affordable backdrop ideas for beginners

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At the onset of my journey as a food stylist, I had no idea where to place my food and take the shot. Spending on expensive backdrops was not an option as it was just a hobby then. Yet the urge to make each picture stand out made me forage at home, looking for my options. I would go to different stationery shops hoping to find something. 

Dirham shops(Dollar stores) would surprise me occasionally with interesting food styling gear. For example, I remember buying wooden or marble wallpapers, and I would stick them on a foam board. 

For starters, here is a list of backdrop ideas for beginners, which are cheap and can make your food stand out. 

  1. Floor tile: Some textured floor tiles can be great for flat lays. 

2. Cotton tablecloth: Cotton tablecloth textured or plain can be a great backdrop

3. Wallpapers: Wallpapers stuck on boards can be great backdrops and look great in head-on shots. Marble textured or wooden textured are readily available.

4. Paper: Chart paper, textured papers, and even baking sheets for creative food photography. 

5. Wooden table: your dining table or coffee table can double up as a backdrop.

photo of Hummus Bowl Purple Cauliflower

6. Discarded wood: A broken bed frame or old table can leave enough wood for repurposing. You can get it tinted yourself or from a carpenter’s shop.

photo of Deviled Eggs Toast

7. Foam boards: I started taking flat lays on foam boards. They were some of my first backdrops. Basic black and white.

photo of chocolate bundt cake
Recipe of Chocolate Bundt Cake

8. Old baking trays: Old trays with discoloration are great for layering and being a backdrop. I turn them over for an even surface.

Do share your easy cheap backdrop ideas which do not involve painting. I hope this helps the upcoming food stylists looking for a start.


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