How much can you shoot with an A2 backdrop? & introducing the FOODIE BAG collab!

How much can you shoot with an A2 backdrop? & introducing the FOODIE BAG collab!

October 07, 2020

Feature image: The Foodie Bag, get yours here for only £39.95 delivered!

 

Hi! We get asked about the sizes of our backdrops a lot, especially the A2s.

So I thought a post about how useful they are for food and small product photography and how to get the most out of the smaller styling space would be helpful.

As always there are a few things to consider when choosing your photography backdrop, and the most important factors in this scenario, when using a smaller backdrop are -

  • what size is the product, and what scale will it be in the image

  • what angle do i need to shoot at to make the product/food look its best

 

So lets look at the first thing - hero size and scale. 

A2 backdrops are approx 60cm x 42cm.

Obviously using a smaller backdrop means your hero is going to be larger in the frame - there won't be lots of space around it. 

This means you'll need to know what crop/aspect (landscape, portrait, 4/5 insta portrait, 1:1 square, letterbox web banner etc) you want the image to be (which you always should before styling anyway!) because a tight frame means there won't be loads of extra cropping options.

If you're shooting for social media and assuming 99% of viewers will see the image on a phone screen, I always recommend making the hero fill at least 1/4 of the image or it is simply too small to get a real feeling from and see the detail.  So in this instance an A2 backdrop to give a tight-ish frame around the hero is perfect.

On the other hand, if you're shooting a web banner which needs empty backdrop space for copy you may struggle to get this from an A2 backdrop unless you shoot overhead.

 

Here's an example shooting overhead on an A2 'Drip' black/rust backdrop, showing how you might crop for different uses.

Full frame -

 

Cropped for social, with hero filling over 1/4 of the image

 

Cropped for landscape web banner, with space for copy to suit website text layout

 

See how much space we have even on an A2 backdrop when shooting overhead/flatlay style?!

An overhead or flatlay angle always gives the most styling space but is it the best way to showcase your product?

 

Apple galette shot overhead on an A2 'Powder' dark blue backdrop

 

 

So smoothly moving on to angles!

A2 backdrops can be ample to shoot small products and food at any angle.

If your subject - food or product - is shorter than half the backdrop length (so 30cm or below on a 60cm long A2 backdrop) you should be able to shoot it at a 3/4 angle on a portrait backdrop and not loose the backdrop behind it.  

 
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Look at this example on the Drip backdrop again - full frame shot at around a 45 degree angle, and then cropped for a 4/5 Insta portrait aspect.

 

 

 

At angles lower than 45 degrees you will start to need a 'wall' backdrop behind where the base backdrop runs out.

So for a really low burger or cake shot where you want to see the side details you probably will need a second backdrop, a larger backdrop or to use an infinity curve.  (Lots of tips on infinity curves here which are an awesome way to get loads of use out of a smaller A2 backdrop and bigger backdrops!)

Here you can see the backdrop running out when we drop the angle down below 45 degrees. With an infinity curve - where we have propped the back end of the backdrop up vertically - we can gain more height again. 

 

 

And the 4/5 Insta portrait crop -

 

More examples of A2 infinity curves for shooting at low or eye-level angles - this technique really is a great money and space saver!

  

 

Shot on an A2 'Salt' backdrop used as an infinity curve.

 

  

And just briefly because i can't tell you what is right for you, loosely speaking an A2 backdrop can accommodate 1-2 plates or hero products plus props - they aren't really big enough for table scapes, big recipe set ups, bouquets of flowers held in front or stood in a vase, or large collections of props or products - for those I would recommend the larger backdrops.

 

I hope these pointers help you decide if an A2 backdrop will work for you! If the answer is 'yes' you should also know about.....

 

THE FOODIE BAG


I’ve collab’ed with the lovely @matt_inwood (master of egg pork in case you didn’t know) and the brilliant @cottonbagco to bring you this awesome kit bag, full of photography tips and tricks from Matt, 4 A2 backdrops from us and a 5in1 reflector/diffuser set all in a handy tote bag by The Paper Bag co.

It’s PERFECT if you like to snap your food everywhere you go or just want a reet-petite photography kit option!

All for only £39.95 delivered in the UK! (The backdrops alone are worth £36!!!)

But you can't get it here sorry - you'll need to visit Jon at www.paperbagco.co.uk

Backdrops included are A2 Forest, Madrid, Shirley and Drip.

Don’t delay, limited sets!

 

 

 

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