High-quality photographs go a long way toward selling products, and this is especially true with food products! Using vibrant, mouth-watering images that make the viewer feel like they could lean over and lick their screen will bring in many more customers. However, you will need the right backdrops to achieve those drool-worthy images.
Vinyl backdrops are the best and most common choice for food and product photography. Vinyl is waterproof, easy to wipe off, highly portable, can be printed in any pattern, and can come in a matte finish to prevent glares and reflections.
Food photography can be messy. While paper or fabric backdrops will stain, making it necessary to replace or launder them between shoots, vinyl backdrops can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
Vinyl backdrops are made of a form of plastic. They are waterproof and non-porous, making them perfect for food photography that may lead to spills. The non-porous nature also prevents liquid and odor absorption when used for outdoor photography shoots in all sorts of weather conditions, including fog, humidity, and light rain.
Vinyl backdrops do not require steaming or ironing like many fabric backdrops and do not easily tear as a paper backdrop could. Cotton or canvas is washable, dryable, and steamable, but if they get wet during a shoot, it will affect the look of your backdrop. Vinyl backdrops will stay warp, wetness, and wrinkle-free.
Vinyl is a very lightweight material, making it highly portable. While vinyl backdrops can range in thickness and size, most will roll up quickly and take up little storage space. If you have multiple backdrops to store, simply stack and roll them up together.
Being light and portable makes a vinyl backdrop easy to handle without assistance. You can try out different directions and orientations, such as seamless draping, hanging backgrounds, and flat lays. For many food or product photography shoots, you can lie your vinyl backdrop onto the ground to create the perfect floor flat lay surface. If you need a clean background to your images, simply fasten your vinyl sheets up onto a wall with tape or tacks.
4. Matte Finish
While vinyl backdrops are made in either matte or glossy finishes, you will want a matte finish in almost all cases for food and product photography. A matte vinyl will prevent harsh glares and reflections, giving your images a soft and even backlight.
Glossy backgrounds may look slick to the naked eye, but any use of flash or additional studio lighting will give you color casts and distracting light reflections. With just a switch to matte finishes, you’ll give your images a more professional look.
5. Variety of Looks
Vinyl backdrops come in any color and can be printed in an infinite variety of images and patterns. In the case of food photography, many photographers will choose vinyl backdrops printed to look like marble countertops, wooden tables, baking sheets, cutting boards, and more. If you want to give the authentic appearance of a kitchen surface, vinyl can mimic the look of natural wood. Your vinyl wood surface, unlike your kitchen counters, will always be easily cleaned, flat, and ready for use.
Another available option is to print vinyl backdrops with large scale printing to give the appearance of an outdoor nature setting. Whether you want to shoot product images set in the forest, on a tropical island, or in front of a rolling field, a vinyl backdrop can create this effect. All you need is a high-resolution image of whatever your creative vision demands, and it can be printed.
Things to Keep in Mind
When choosing backdrops for food and product photography, there are a few things to consider. First, estimate the size of the space you’ll be working in to know how large a backdrop you need. For example, when photographing food products on tables or countertops in a small studio space, you will need small sheets of background vinyl. If you’re planning a larger outdoor shoot, you may consider large format printing on vinyl backdrops.
Secondly, use what you have. If you already have backdrop stands, wooden boards, or other flat lay materials, order backdrops to fit the size of your stands or to work with the props and materials you have on hand.
There are many market background materials options, all with different pros and cons. However, when it comes to food and product photography, it’s hard to go wrong with vinyl given the infinite design options, waterproof surfaces, soft matte finishes, and portability.