Food Photography Backgrounds

filed under: Miscellaneous on November 27, 2011

I was browsing through some pictures for the book and realized that they all looked the same.

White background with a cake in front of it.  Maybe some plates.  Some forks.


White background.

White, white, white.  Then more white.

This will not do!

So I pulled up pinterest and entered photography backgrounds.

I just adore pinterest.  Everything you could want or dream to one day be/have/do.

And, as it always does, I was inspired by all the ideas that pinterest offered!

I got a few pieces of MDF, each measuring 2 feet by 4 feet.  (You can use cardboard, particle board, plywood, anything that is sturdy enough to hold its shape.)

Then grabbed my trusty staple gun.

And some fabric remnants I got at the fabric store.

Then simply wrapped the fabric around the board and started stapling.  I always pull the centers tight and staple, then work my way out to the corners.

I was careful cut the excess fabric when trimming the back… if there is enough left it can be used as coordinating napkins!

This is the green background.

I really, really liked how it turned out.  Seriously, this project took about 30 minutes (total!) and I now have some great options for the backgrounds of those silly cakes of mine!


And this is the khaki linen.  I choose pretty neutral colors as I am hoping they help make the food really stand out.

And this is both the green and the khaki!  There are really versatile and very inexpensive.

Next I will be tackling the faux-wood backgrounds!  If you have any great links or tips please feel free to share. 🙂

 There is still time to enter the KitchenAid 7QT Commercial Mixer giveaway!  It runs through Dec. 5th.

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  • Stephanie (bake with ginger) says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I have been struggling with backgrounds!

    • Amanda says:

      I am learning so much… hope to share more as I learn more! Another trick… use wrapping paper. 🙂

      • Stephanie (bake with ginger) says:

        I love it!! I am seriously trying to convince myself not to jump out of bed right now and go shopping!! 🙂

        • Amanda says:

          Oh girl… I cant even tell you how fun it was to go fabric shopping. I cant even sew and I was having a ball at JoAnne Fabrics. If you check out the remnants you can often get really cheap pieces that work great!

  • doughiedeb says:

    LOVE IT! As a former professional framer @ Hobby Lobby I can say excellent job with the fabric mount. It’s exactly how we would do it for any formal mount.

    • Amanda says:

      Well thank you! 🙂

  • Kathie Jacoby says:

    If you finish off the back of the board neatly with a different fabric, you get two looks from one board!

    • Amanda says:

      So smart!!! I might need to do that! 🙂

  • susan says:

    I love playing with fabrics. Never thought of stapling them to a board-hmmmm, you’ve got me thinking!

    • Amanda says:

      Cant wait to see what you create… your pictures are always so beautiful!

  • bridget {bake at 350} says:

    How fun, Amanda! I can’t sew, but I CAN staple! Maybe I could DO that! 😉

  • carrie @ says:

    I love this…. I need to run to the fabric store asap.

    • Amanda says:

      Have fun! I had to completely avoid the Holiday section… all the green/red and white/blue holiday fabrics were SO beautiful! 🙂

  • Carrie says:

    You are so many levels of awesome.

    • Amanda says:

      Right back at you. I am drooling a little looking at your cupcake pic! 🙂

  • JulieD says:

    what a great idea, Amanda! I love these tips from Lindsay: I have made a double-sided board and I want to make more!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh what a fantastic link! Thank you!!

  • Rita D. says:

    I have several foam core boards….I get them locally for a dollar each at a dollar tree store, but any office supply should have them. I just use spray paint and paint each side a different color. It really works well the only issue I’ve had is with my black one. If the light hits it just right I can end up with a glare, but that’s only happened if I end up photographing at night with artificial light. I love the fact that they can be double sided and they aren’t big and bulky so storage is easy.

    I love these fabric ideas. I can’t wait to try one with burlap!

    • Amanda says:

      Great idea! Will have to try that!

  • Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    I can handle stapling. I think. Maybe I better have some supervision just in case. 😉

  • Deliciously Organic says:

    Thank you for these tips and the photo tutorial. I never thought to staple fabric to a board. I’ll give it a try!

    • Amanda says:

      I hope you do! Although, I have never seen a picture on your blog that I didnt adore… so I dont know how you can improve upon perfection. 🙂

  • Nicolette says:

    Hi !
    Love what you did! Great idea! I might even get to use the stapler I have !
    I guess wallpaper would do fine as well! You can often buy leftovers, just like fabric.

    • Amanda says:

      I didnt know you could buy leftovers of wallpaper… I will have to be on the lookout!

  • Rose Atwater says:

    I love this post I read over at Recipe Girl a few months ago!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for the link! I have to agree… Lori is pretty amazing!

  • Katy says:

    ‘fraid I don’t have any tips of my own, but I’ll probably keep your post in mind for myself. I don’t do much serious baking/cooking, but for when I do I sure wish I had a better backdrop than… whatever is on my table at the moment. These backgrounds look really nice, and definitely add to the quality of the pictures. And I do agree that the neutral colors really help the food stand out. Especially when you have a little contrast, like the muted and neutral green with the bright red berries in your example pictures.

    Though if you had a white cake or something, I bet a really bright blue would make a beautiful background.

    • Amanda says:

      What a great idea!! Thanks!

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says:

    You’ve inspired me yet again Amanda. I usually use a white foam core board as a background but now am thinking that some fabric pieces can easily be applied (spray glue) and easily changeable if needed. No weight either. Thanks for the inspiration. Can’t wait to get busy on this project!

    • Amanda says:

      Cant wait to see what you do… I just know it will be amazing! (I am such a huge fan of your work Renee!)

  • Evan Thomas says:

    Love this idea; such a simple project. I think I’ll try my hand at it over the Winter holiday.

    • Amanda says:

      Gives you plenty of time to find the perfect fabric! 🙂

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    What a fantastic idea! I was just painting some boards this weekend but I need to make some with fabric now!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh, I cant wait to see the boards you did! 🙂

  • marla says:

    Amanda…I always wondered how folks get the fabric to look so crisp. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post. It is so helpful. This is a craft I could even handle & I love how you key worded it on Pinterest. When you find out about the distressed wood boards please share. I need BIG help with those. My boards and props are soon to take over our whole house!! xxoo

    • Amanda says:

      Me too Marla!! I am running out of places to tuck boards and store fabrics… we might need to move just so I can have a prop room. *blissful sigh* can you imagine having a prop/picture room? With lots of natural light? That you could take pictures in? Your pictures and props are gorgeous… I am always inspired by your eye!

      • marla says:

        No, I could not imagine having a photo studio…outside the home. Must be nice! Thanks for your sweet compliments. Always means so much coming from you 🙂

  • HeatherChristo says:

    These are great tips Amanda! I always need help with my photography, and this stuff is great!

  • Jen @ Savory Simple says:

    These are wonderful suggestions! I just recently discovered the wonders of the fabric store. So many possibilities!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable says:

    Wonderful tutorial Amanda!! Ok, here’s my “hot” tip for the week. Lowe’s sells packages of wainscotting – beadboard (which is already primed!) and a wider ( about 3 inches) version. From each package you can make two boards – just get a little bottle of wood glue and glue the boards together – they are already cut with a tongue and groove so it’s pretty easy! This will give you 4 different wood surfaces – pretty good for about $10 – $11!! Next hot tip – find a wood stain you like and stain one side – then to add some depth use Bri wax (you can find it at a good hardware store – found mine at our local Ace). or just plain old Johnson’s furniture wax (the stuff in the yellow can). Gives a subtle sheen to the stained wood!!
    Hoping to do a little tutorial on the blog about this soon!!

  • Jen Laceda says:

    These are actually great ideas!!!

  • Lyn says:

    This is great, Amanda! And its so much easier (for me) than painting 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing. I needed this inspiration. Cheers!

  • The Cupcake Architect says:

    Ooh very clever and super effective! I think your photos are amazing, helped slightly by the fact everything you cook looks delicious!

    I remembered seeing this tutorial about making the wooden tops, might be useful 🙂


  • aida mollenkamp says:

    Great colors that you chose, Amanda!