best food photography backgrounds

Best food photography backgrounds to up your food photo game!

Best food photography backgrounds. When taking food images, we often focus too much on our subject. What’s in the background cake really make or break your image.  Your choice of surface or background can turn your image from average to amazing. Adding interest and context to your images, the backgrounds and props you choose are integrally important to your image.  


When choosing your background, you have a whole host of options available to you. These depend on the space you have, the money you want to spend and the effect you are trying to make.  

Purchasing a background 

If you are looking to purchase a ready-made background there are a number of options available. The most popular of which would be a plain paper roll, most paper backgrounds come in very large rolls and need to be suspended on stands. If you have space, however, they are very versatile and useful. They are large enough to fit several people in the image so will be large enough to fit any food scene you can think of.  The advantage of it being paper is that you can tear it off at the bottom. If the paper gets tatty and you can tear it off and use the paper for other things.  

PVC Rolls 

Rolls of backgrounds are also available in PVC, some of which have been pre-printed with a background scene. My favourite of these are stone and brick wall effect but you can get them in every imaginable form. The benefit to these is that because they are PVC they are wipeable, which is a godsend when you are working with food. These rolls tend to be smaller than large paper rolls so easier to store and you don’t need as much space to put it up.

Fabric roll 

Another roll option would be fabric, although fewer options are available when compared to PVC you can still get fabric backgrounds in a variety of different patterns. The benefit of fabric over PVC is that the fabric absorbs the light whereas the PVC will reflect the light and can prove problematic. They can also be unrolled and popped in the wash if you get food all over them. Again, you will need stands and poles to put the backdrop up but you can often find full kits which include stands for reasonable prices.


DIY Backgrounds  

Of course, if you need something specific from your background or you need to keep costs down there are far more DIY options available. In fact, the options are almost endless. The options for DIY backgrounds grow less and grow more expensive the larger you need them to be. The advantage of a DIY option is that you can tailor it to be exactly what you need it to be.  

I will start DIY options with the most expensive. There are a number of online companies that will print images onto vinyl posters that are designed as large signage. There are a host of size options available and you can have whatever you like printed onto them. The most well-known of these companies is Vista Print. If you want something specific you can use stock photo companies and purchase a photograph to use.

The advantages to this is that you can get exactly what you want to be printed on the vinyl banner. It is also wipeable and easily folded away for storage. You will, however, need some way to hang it, you can either tack it to the wall or hang it from stands.  

Sticky back plastic  

An excellent option for keeping costs down is sticky back plastic.  A variety of different patterns are available and you can mount the plastic on a thin wooden board with little effort. These boards, being thin can be stored relatively easily and can also be used as surfaces to shoot on.  

Vinyl film is available in a variety of different patterns including marble, wooden and stone. There is a limit to the different types of film that can be bought so if you go this route you will have to take what you can get. I have found many excellent options with this and I myself have many vinyl covered boards.  


One of my favourite photography finds of all time is wooden wallpaper. Having never particularly liked wallpaper I had no idea that stone, wooden and all kinds of interesting wallpaper existed. You can often get it very cheaply so it is very easy to cut off and stick up. With a whole range of different wallpaper available I would advise any budding food photographer to browse their local DIY shop. These wallpapers can be used both as backgrounds and surfaces. Because they are inexpensive it doesn’t matter if you get food all over it.  

the ultimate guide to food photography

And there you have it guys my guide to improving your food photography with photography backgrounds and surfaces. My best food photography backgrounds! Now you have everything you need to go out and find the best food props for your images.

If you have any background tips that you love let me know in the comments! For more food photography tips, don’t forget to sign up to Whats Eating Manchester to receive your free guide!

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