It may look as though magazine photographers and Instagram stars are going to a lot of fancy kitchens to do their food photography, but they are not! Want to know their secret? They use backdrops to create the illusion of being in a kitchen, and they place photographic boards under food to give the appearance of countertops or tables. The flat lay backdrops used in these shoots are professional photographic surfaces that look like tiles or tabletops, and they take your food and product photos to new levels of visual appeal.
If you are wondering how to use ProBoards for fake scenes, this blog post will explain all you need to know. ProBoards Flat Lay backdrops are supplied with legs to make them free-standing, so you don’t need to rest them against anything to create the wall of your choice. The ProBoards legs make it easy to set up a sturdy 3D scene featuring replica tiled walls, concrete or marble benchtops, and wooden tables. You can quickly create a countertop scene or a floor-to-wall set. Instead of changing location for a different background, flip the double-sided board, and you have a fresh option for your next shot. Each coated foam core board has different designs back-to-back, so you get two backdrops for the price of one. These double-sided backdrops are hyper-realistic with convincing textures, and they are easy to shoot with because they reflect minimal glare. The low-sheen surface means you can use natural light or artificial sources without noticeable reflections or hot spots. What more could a content creator want?!
Product photographers, food bloggers, and videographers love ProBoards. They are durable and stain resistant, so you can make a mess and wipe them clean to start again. And being lightweight and portable means you can create a studio setup wherever you are.
Natural Lighting vs Artificial Lighting
If you have a photographic studio, you can set up your ProBoards anywhere and move your lights around to get the best results. ProBoards backdrops can be set up on any surface, which is handy if you're using natural light from a window because you can position these durable backdrops to take advantage of the light’s direction.
When using natural or artificial light, place your display as close as possible to the light source to create soft light with gentle shadows. If you want more dramatic lighting with strong shadows, position the subject away from the light. When using natural light from a window, you will have to set up your display parallel to this source of light or at a 45-degree angle at most. You can’t position the backdrop directly opposite the window, or you will be standing in front of the light, which will block the illumination of your subject. When the window is along the side of the display, the subject is properly lit, and soft shadows will only appear on the other side of the light source. If the light is too harsh, cover the window with a sheer white curtain to diffuse the light. If the light is still causing deep shadows, reduce them with a reflector that bounces light to the rear of the items you are photographing.
Keeping it Light
Some photographic subjects require a dark and brooding atmosphere but others, such as fluffy cupcakes and tasty cocktails, are more appealing when shot in a light and airy environment. The first step to achieving this is to have plenty of available light for your shot. It doesn’t matter whether it’s studio lighting or natural light as long as it’s consistent and bright.
The background sets the ambience of an image. Choose light colours for your backgrounds if you want your food photography or commercial products to appear fun and inviting. When possible, use tones in the background that complement the object you are photographing. For example, a cup of coffee, a plate of brownies, or a slice of chocolate cake looks even more inviting when set against latte-toned backdrops.
Get into the Mood
Dark and moody is another atmosphere you can generate with ProBoards to highlight a relevant subject. Some products and styles of food look more alluring when surrounded by darkness and mystery. For example, a dark wooden background with a black marble flat lay is the perfect combination for evocative shots of bottles of red wine and aged spirits. When you want your subject to stand out from the background in a stylish way, use concrete ProBoards below and behind the item you photograph. Along with effective lighting, this background produces drama in the shot.
Food, Glorious Food
Ready to cause a social media meltdown? With a rustic wooden backdrop, a selection of treats from your kitchen or a patisserie, and a few minutes of styling, you can create shots that will have viewers drooling. Wooden backdrops have a realistic texture for flat lay photography, or they can be used as a subtle background to mimic the walls of a farmhouse kitchen.
Knowing how to display objects on the board is as essential as having good lighting. And having enticing compositions is the key to successful food photography. For example, you can show how generous the portion size of your subject is by using a low angle. This also highlights the layers in a cake or dessert. When shooting from above, add depth to the image with accessories such as kitchen towels, utensils, cooling racks, and a serving plate. Add a decorative touch of in-season fruit, a sprig of fresh rosemary, or a tiny bunch of lavender. Using ProBoards makes photography for social media easy and fun.
Product Photography Princess
Selling products is easy when they look appealing. Etsy store owners and boutique store managers can maximise their online sales by improving their photography. Spectrum flat lay backdrops are a convenient size for storage (only 60 x 60 centimetres), but they are big enough for the requirements of most product photography shoots. Backdrops featuring white tiles are a safe and popular choice for product photography, whereas vibrant colours add a fun, eye-catching aspect to an image.
Our top tip for product photography is to keep it simple. Make it easy for the customer to know what to focus on by having it brighter and more colourful than supporting elements. You can also show that it is the primary product by making surrounding items smaller or by blurring the other objects in the scene through a selective depth of field.
Fantastic Flat Lays
Flat lay is shooting a display of food or products from directly above. Those items are usually artistically arranged or styled on a flat surface that looks like a tabletop or kitchen counter. Most photographers use ProBoards to give the appearance of shooting in a variety of engaging environments. Although it seems counter-intuitive, using fake backgrounds adds an extra dimension of reality to the shot. These creative options give the impression that marble, concrete, or wooden tables are used in the photo. The realistic texture of ProBoards provides a classic background that is more interesting than a blank canvas. Similar shots with the same product can be taken against multiple backdrops to produce various photos. Use contrasting colours for a more dynamic image, or stick to an overall colour theme to make a statement.
Let’s Drink to That!
To draw in a crowd, bars and restaurants need stunning photos of their drinks. Make your drink photography stand out by taking control of the lighting and the background. Don’t attempt to shoot on location; there are too many lights causing unwanted reflections and too much spillage from ambient lights. Instead, use artificial light in a studio and make a temporary scene with ProBoards.
Backlighting glasses of wine, beer or spirits allows the colour to shine through. This added level of brightness works well with clear drinks too. It adds sheen to the top of the drink and highlights the sparkling edges of ice cubes. When photographing cocktails, mocktails, and champagne, a bright and cheerful background adds a festive atmosphere. Add a bit of colour to your next drink shoot with ProBoards 'Bundeena' Blue Backdrop or 'Rise and Shine' Backdrop. These beautiful, rigid boards can be used under and around drinks to suggest a never-ending Summer party. It’s a guaranteed mood-lifter that will look enticing and exciting on a website and on social media.
Which ProBoard is Right for you?
With such a colourful and exciting range of ProBoards, it will be tricky to decide on just a few! Fortunately, the price of these hyper-realistic backdrops from Spectrum is so reasonable that you can afford an assortment for creative content creation. A broad selection of replica surfaces gives you more opportunities to mix and match according to the mood you want to create in any shot. These rigid but lightweight backdrops are easily set up as fake floors, walls, or both. They are durable and will last for ages, so they are a good investment. Whether you are a professional commercial photographer, a small-scale business owner, or an influencer working from home, position your product on ProBoards, sprinkle it with stylish elements, and your photos will sizzle and sell!