Read about my top 6 food photography backgrounds - and WIN yours for Christmas!
Hey! 2019 has been an incredible year for us both as a family and in this business; we recently had our 1000th order, something I thought would take years!
To say thanks and to celebrate our success we are running a HUGE giveaway competition, the biggest yet!
How would you like to win 6 of your favourite photography backdrops, professionally mounted onto solid boards and matt-sealed for a fully waterproof, long lasting photography surface, with free postage included?!
Details on how to enter at the bottom of this page.
I’ll share my absolute top 6 if I had to choose a ‘capsule collection’ of backdrops further down, but before I get carried away with that, let’s talk about a few of my favourites for different uses - it might help you decide on your prize if you win!
My food styling and photography splits into these key areas-
- shooting products and creating content for clients
- photographing my own social media and web content
- styling in studios with commercial photographers
For the first area of my photography, shooting food brands, recipes and content for clients, it of course depends on their creative brief and brand assets (content already shot and in use or soon to be used) that we need to tie in with.
My range of backgrounds is big enough now that I can usually find something that ties in with an ongoing style or can work for a new brief. Even though I get lots of varied briefs from different clients, there are still backdrops that come up time and time again, the classics if you like that work for lots of different looks and really earn their place in a prop collection.
Bleach has been used a lot for several different client projects, proving particularly useful in the summer when it’s cooler tones set off brightly coloured fruit, cakes and salads.
Oslo is also becoming a favourite with my content photography clients, giving a dark blue/green base for modern or edgy food styling where you want a bit of mood. (I can't share that client work yet sorry!)
The Beaten photography background is fairly new but already proving really popular for lots of different styles. It’s one of those classic neutrals that can be teased in many different directions, bringing texture and interest without overtaking the product or hero. (I can't share this project work yet either sorry!)
I think all wood backdrops are useful for this – they give warmth, age and character in a very subtle, unintrusive way. I guess that’s why wood is such a popular material in our homes too – it doesn’t commit to any specific style, but sits comfortably in its surroundings and stands the test of time and trends.
When I’m shooting my own content for web and social media, I really enjoy styling with the stronger designs – they give a striking and edgy starting point to my food photography and allow me to play around a bit more than I might for my clients.
The strength of the Drip backdrop took the direction of this shot in a completely unexpected direction to how many would style a pretty pink cake! I love the contrast and rawness of this composition - I like to create food photography that goes somewhere different!
I am often inspired by the strong colour of an ingredient – I love styling with pink and purple food – and prefer to keep the overall composition bold and graphic which lets the backdrop be seen clearly too.
The Bridge food photography backdrop is a favourite of mine and many others as it packs so much detail and variation in very useful greys and warm tones. Here I've lifted the subject on a book to give a bit of separation and allow the hero to shine. If in doubt and the product or food is strong, I go with Bridge!
For client photography I love to drop the angle down and include more lifestyle elements and interiors in the shot, but when creating my own content to promote the backdrop range, overhead is my go-to angle – and flatlays are so quick and easy to style and light it makes perfect sense for creating quick snaps to keep my social media feeds fed.
Sterk is very useful as it is almost black with very subtle textural details. I love shooting dark and moody styles which is good as I work mostly with natural light in the UK - it's often grey or fading fast!
As a food and still life stylist working for commercial clients, most of my work revolves around styling beautiful dishes of food or working on product photography for homeware or kitchen brands.
The True grey photography backdrop is often called upon by clients. It’s a clean grey with a swirled, hand painted, plaster effect that looks timeless and sits comfortably beneath any colour and food styling. Because it’s so effective I have created it in the larger A0 size which is perfect to shoot wide web banners or lots of product at once.
Shot by Neil White on the large True backdrop
The Plank backdrop has been used on lots of shoots, most recently for a Royal Doulton Christmas gift shoot.
The marble backdrops, Shirley and Booj are also very popular too as we can get a clean marble look without having to move heavy slabs of stone around the studio or in and out of vans!
(I’ll share pics soon!)
So, hard question! If I had to pick my top 6 backdrops for food photography, it would have to be these six. I think its good to have a very light and very dark backdrop in your collection, a few neutrals with varying degrees of interest and a couple of stronger looks.
1. Bridge - as mentioned above Bridge is a strong but neutral background working hard for lots of styles and giving so much detail.
2. Patsy - for when you want white but with detail and texture.
3. Drip - my go-to edgy backdrop.
4. Kai - a beautiful bright colour that works for most food photography through the seasons.
5. Beaten - a killer neutral in a textural wood effect.
6. Sterk - good to have black ticked off and of course it goes with everything!
Ahh but then I'd really like the new Mawgan backdrop to be on this list too - you can't beat a mottled light blue for summer food shoots, its so hard to choose!
Which of my designs would you choose if you had to narrow it down to 6 food photography backgrounds?
To be entered for a chance to win your dream set of mounted and sealed, solid photography backdrops simply comment below with which 6 you'd choose if you won!
Closes 0100 (1am UK time) on December 1st 2019 for prize delivery by 24th December 2019. Winner will be chosen at random from both entry points (you can enter on instagram too) and announced within a few days.
The boards will be mounted double sided so you get 6 designs on 3 boards. Designs need to be picked from the A1 collection and in stock at time of winning.
Competition open worldwide. Free UK shipping / £30 paid towards international shipping if the winner is overseas. (Please only enter from outside the UK if you are prepared to pay towards the shipping.)
Prize is non transferrable but you may add to your prize with extra purchases if you like. (Extra shipping costs may be chargeable.)
One blog entry per person.
You can also enter on the give-away post on our Instagram @blackvelvetstyling - details on there. One Instagram entry per person (not per Instagram account - please do not enter with multiple accounts).
Please follow the rules to avoid disappointment later!