A good background is important almost as much as the good look of the food you are shooting. The background is the basis of the photo and you need to pay attention to it. What you see is a very easy and effective way of creating a background for your photos.

In this post, we are going to talk about the shooting of the photos. No, I won’t give you the recipe for these delicious pancakes because I bought them ready, but I will tell you how I made them look that way, considering how cold and sad-looking they were on the shelf.

I’ve shared with you before that the purpose of food photography is to fall in love with the food and make the audience crave for it. I don’t know about you but when I look at this photo, I can nearly smell the chocolate aroma.

About the background

Let me first tell you about the gray background on which the pancakes are placed. 

These are the back sides of two floor tiles which turned out extra after a recent renovation.

Even if you do not have tiles available, you can buy a tile from a building materials store, they are usually being sold individually. A tip from me – look for tiles that don’t have a glossy surface so you can use the opposite side for your photos. The tiles have a size of 45 x 45 cm, which is enough to shoot with a 50 mm lens, which is the one I am using.

As I didn’t want the tiles to look like this, I just painted the back sides with a gray spray. Unfortunately, there was no matt spray in the shop, so I used a glossy one and all the time I was hoping it would not turn out too shiny and would not reflect things around as I’m shooting at home and not using a tent.

The stray was perfectly suitable. I chose the gray color because it is neutral. You can choose white, beige, not too saturated brown and even blue colour. When choosing a color, you should be sure the food will be the one that stands out and not the colour of the tiles. Avoid warm tones such as yellow and orange as the food looks more appealing and fresh when the temperature of the picture is rather cold.

Of course, every rule has its exceptions, it does depend on what you are shooting, that is more of a general tip.

Photo Details

Once you have sorted out the background, here comes the more challenging part: the composition of the photo, the angle you choose to shoot from and other big or small details that you need to consider before taking your picture.

Everything in food photography is the result of the photographer’s own decisions where every little piece is put on its place. That is why it is important to reflect carefully on your ideas.

Every photo has a story that the photographer should be able to share without words. The story is told by choosing an angle from which to shoot, the choice of light and the composition. I’ve chosen to shoot my pancakes in a frontal position so you can see how the chocolate is gently falling over them. This is my story and I think I have delivered it successfully.

In the front plan of the picture there are plates and a kitchen cloth, and in the back: two fruits which are above the pancakes. As you can see, these objects are not in focus and I have chosen a gray towel and a white plate on purpose, as I didn’t want anything to take away the attention of the pancakes.

And yet, without these items, the frame of the photo would be empty. You must be careful and always look for the balance between reality and art.

Then, we need to consider the dynamics of the picture. I had to be careful with the chocolate sauce. I had to make sure it’s neither too liquid nor too thick. In my freezer, I always have frozen fruits in case I need them for such occasions.

Of course, the camera was placed on a tripod. I used the self-timer mode of the camera because both my hands were busy with a chocolate sauce bowl and a chocolate-covered spoon, and there was no way I could take pictures remotely. The speed with which I took the shot is 1/160, f 2.2 and of course the lowest possible ISO 100.

I hope this article has been useful and interesting to you.

Smiles from me to you!

Don’t forget to tag me on your Instagram pictures of your handmade background