Food Styling & Photography Backdrops, Workshops, Online Courses and Resources

how to create authentic valuable SEO rich keyword increase engagement build following social media instagram content online marketing product
November 10, 2020

How to create authentic content that builds sales without feeling 'salesy' - you CAN connect with your social media audience AND increase sales at the same time!

I have worked in marketing and content creation my whole career (nearly twenty years now, gulp!) both in-house and freelance, and have been teaching content creation from start to finish for the last three years via workshops and online courses.

There are three things that come up over and over again with my students that you may be struggling with too –

  • Finding a comfortable mix of being authentic while pushing for sales (which we all need to do) 
  • Knowing what to post to offer value & connect with your audience
  • Thinking bigger than social media

 

So today I'm going to share some simple strategies that should help you create your content -

  • authentically,
  • offering value to your audience,
  • while gently reminding them that you offer products/services they can buy

with the added bonus that you will naturally build organic SEO and become a trusted authority in your area as a by-product!

 

First off let's look at the content mix and my 4/5 rule to share authentically while still pushing for sales

We all know that content creation is about sharing your passion, showing behind-the-scenes and telling your story.  People invest in people, especially at the small business end of the market.

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International shipping update 30/12/2020 & last order dates for Christmas 2020
November 06, 2020

International shipping update 30/12/2020 & last order dates for Christmas 2020

For UK delivery on or before Christmas eve -

You can order backdrop sheets and choose Royal Mail 1st class postage up to 12pm on Friday the 18th December. (RM say Monday the 21st but I wouldn't trust that and they may have high demand/low staff this year so we will keep an eye on it!)

Any sheets, carry cases, gift sets etc going with DHL should be ordered up to 12pm on Tuesday the 22nd December. (You can order with DHL by 12pm on the 23rd but this is cutting it fine and I wouldn't recommend it!)

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Mounted Board Production Break - while we move workshops in November!
October 27, 2020

Mounted Board Production Break - while we move workshops in November!

Hi everyone, a quick update about our imminent studio and workshop move (woohoo!).

To enable us to move and reorganise (and for Graham to build our new workspace) we will be putting mounted backdrop board production on hold from Friday the 13th to Friday the 20th November, resuming production again on Monday the 23rd November.

If you need a mounted backdrop order for a November shoot we recommend ordering before Friday the 6th November.  

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How to use an infinity curve for food and product photography
August 19, 2020

How to use an infinity curve for food and product photography

Because you might be thinking ‘what the heck is an infinity curve?’ lets’ start with that…

In short, an infinity curve (or cove, or scoop) is created by using a single surface to create the floor and wall of your set, in a fluid curve.  Infinity curves are often permanent fixtures, built and painted in large studios for fashion, interiors and car photography, but they can be used to equally good effect for still life and product photography on a smaller scale, using curved paper, card or canvas as a temporary set up.

Infinity curves create a minimal, stylised, sometimes ethereal look.  They are best suited to straight-up product photography rather than lifestyle briefs that normally require a more natural look; sets that convey home life. 

 

 

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5 fail-safe photography backdrops that are perfect for beginners
May 04, 2020

5 fail-safe photography backdrops that are perfect for beginners

It would be easy to tell you what our best sellers are but they're not necessarily what's best for a beginner.  We sell to a massive mix of clients ranging from top experts of the food photography industry to global creative agencies. magazine and cookbook publishers, as well as home makers, recipe bloggers and crafters - everyones' needs are unique and everybody's skill level and experience will be different.  

At the start of your content creation journey - whether thats as a newly trained photographer, social marketer, maker or crafter - your priorities and budget will be very different to that of a seasoned content creator or somebody with an established prop collection. 

That's exactly what I want to share with you today, five photography backdrops that -

    • are absolutely timeless,

    • will give you the perfect foundation for a strong prop collection,

    • work best for those with limited lighting experience OR content creators who shoot and edit on their phone.

 

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Don't miss our 10 mounted backdrop giveaway worth £420 over on Instagram!
April 29, 2020

Don't miss our 10 mounted backdrop giveaway worth £420 over on Instagram!

Woweeeee, we've made it to 10,000 followers, this is amazing, we're so pleased you enjoy our posts!  It's also HUGE for us as a business as it means we can now link directly to our site from Insta and share our recipes, tips and offers with you so much more easily.

I can't tell you how awesome this is and how excited I am by what creative fun this opens up for us!

We always like to say thank you for your support in spreading the word about our business and this time we're doing it with a MASSIVE 10 BACKDROP GIVEAWAY plus a runner up prize, open for world wide entries.

All entries must be via Instagram but we're elaborating on the terms here and trying to make sure as many of you know about it as possible. So, here's how to enter our -

#bvs10k 10 BACKDROP GIVEAWAY ON INSTAGRAM

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Three ways to enjoy British asparagus while its in season - recipes, food styling notes & wine pairing
April 19, 2020

Three ways to enjoy British asparagus while its in season - recipes, food styling notes & wine pairing

British asparagus season is only a short one lasting just a few weeks in late April and May, sometimes edging into June, so you've gotta be ready with some tasty recipes up your sleeve.  Especially as it deteriorates pretty quickly after picking - another reason British asparagus will arrive on your table fresher and tastier than what you can import from else where. 

We all know the classics - asparagus and hollandaise is a firm favourite or simply steamed and dipped in butter and sea salt can be scoffed very frantically. But what about when you want to make more of a meal of it?

These are three of my favourite ways to enjoy asparagus as a spring starter or main meal.  I can't help but include an egg dish - i just love eggs of any kind, a creamy puff pastry tart is always a good way to get my kids to enjoy different flavours and the scallop dish, well it's just divine and works as a starter or main if you add some buttery boiled potatoes or a green salad.

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Basic Food Styling Kit Essentials - 25 things you need to style food for photography
March 03, 2020

Basic Food Styling Kit Essentials - 25 things you need to style food for photography

Its the question everyone always asks - what do food stylists use to make the dishes look so amazing in food photography? 

The real answer is years of experience and practise of course!


But you can get a bit closer to achieving that perfect burger or beautifully frosted berries by having these bits of kit on hand ready to brush, stick, tweeze, spray, blast and blaze. 

Obviously the kit you need will change from shoot to shoot, dish to dish with extra machines and kit required depending on what food you're styling - if you work in a niche food group or only bake cookies for example you'll soon figure out what they are and how best to style your food for photographs.

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Dark chocolate and orange blossom croissant (bread and butter) pudding recipe and food photography set up
January 21, 2020

Dark chocolate and orange blossom croissant (bread and butter) pudding recipe and food photography set up

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog, today I'm sharing a recipe and a bit about how i shot it and the food photography set up as, like many of you, I shoot food content at home in natural light - which can be challenging in the UK!

The recipe is for a pudding i made for a family meal last weekend and shot on a new backdrop (Delia) for some quick content to promote the food photography backgrounds you'll find on this site. The pudding went down so well I am now writing up the recipe as part of my #lazytastypretty recipe collection - if its easy, looks pretty and tastes good it's a winner for me!

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Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli / Soup / One Pot Recipe and Food Photography Ideas
November 07, 2019

Autumn Spiced Chicken & Squash Chilli / Soup / One Pot Recipe and Food Photography Ideas

I'm not sure if its a chilli, a soup, a casserole, a stew, a one pot or something else - but I am CERTAIN that it is delish and has everything in it for a complete meal (it's paleo if you're into that).  You can of course add nachos, chunky bread or even chips to dip in.  I'm a big fan of soup and chips, is that a thing where you are?! 

As usual for me, this recipe is a mash up of things I've eaten out, recipes I've used and flavours I want to try.  I've made it three times now and for friends yesterday and the verdict was YUM so now I'm ready to share it with you! 

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food styling photo board photography backdrop grey guide to how make flatlay paper
October 09, 2019

A guide to the different tones of our many shades of grey photography backdrops!

Grey can fit the brief for many looks - neutral, organic, soft, urban, clean - so it’s no surprise that most stylists and photographers have a few trusty grey backdrops up their sleeve.

Clients love them too because they’re a low-risk, timeless classic meaning their content won’t look dated too soon or fade with the latest colour trend.  

I hope you find this useful and thanks again for your feedback which helps me get the right information to potential customers and offer a better service to everyone!

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Blackcurrant cheesecake, 6 ways to style cake - a personal food styling and cake photography challenge!
July 17, 2019

Blackcurrant cheesecake, 6 ways to style cake - a personal food styling and cake photography challenge!

I don't know about you but I struggle with cake styling.  I think its because I don't like triangles, and I also hate that look when you cut out a piece of cake and when you take it away from the rest of the cake you're left with a pacman face.  I just can't stop looking at it in a cake shot, it's all I can see!

SO.  I decided to set myself a challenge of shooting a cake overhead.  I'm avoiding the pacman issue by only shooting it whole and then divided in pieces and repeated, without the rest of the cake in the shot.  I'm looking to some of my instagram faves for inspo and pushing myself to do a light, colourful and dark version for each set up.

Here's what I created, why I did what I did and how I feel about each image!  Please do comment your feedback below and let me know what cake styling challenges you face or how you've overcome them in your own food photography :)

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How to mount my printed photography backgrounds for food styling and more
January 03, 2019

How to mount my printed photography backgrounds for food styling and more

Paper backdrops are great - they are an affordable way to expand your prop options, can be rolled up and transported in the parcel tubes and can be used as scoops. They are also a great way to bring new props in for individual clients and charge transparently, and even better, they can be disposed of straight after the shoot if space is at a premium.

However, you may want to mount your printed backgrounds to make them last longer or seal them so you can style food straight onto the surface.  

Mounting your backgrounds onto boards will of course make them more durable and they can be easier to set up to work on.  Sealing them will also make them water resistant and stronger on the surface so even better for food stylists and other messy creatives. 

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