Kimberly H. Morris
Keep it simple, photography backdrop option 5 ways.
If you are struggling to capture images either for your blog or client and have limited backdrops and budget, have you considered looking around your home?
You don't always have to buy expensive wood-backdrops, your home will make a great background, especially when you are first starting out.
When I started I bought several vinyl backdrops and they were helpful and affordable. However, now I barely use them and they are a pain to organize if you have limited space. I have a few wood boards which I like a-lot, but great ones are about $200 a pop. Don't pay this much unless it has another color on the back (2 backdrops in one). Want 6+ colors? That's $600 bucks. Another option is DIY, however that takes time, materials, and space to create.
Most homes, will have a kitchen, dining area, bedroom and living room, and outside space such as patio or balcony. This should give you at least four if not more areas to shoot some photos. Ideally this works well for drinks, snacks and desserts. It could work for a few plate/skillet meals at 3/4 angle. It wouldn't work well for soup (use your backdrop here for a nice flat-lay shot).
YOUR ACTION (spend an hour researching your home)
With your phone and a glass/mug, walk around your home, and look for good spots. Set down the glass and take a shot with your phone. How does it look? What's in the background? Are you looking at a wall, or window, or perhaps some nice curtains or a plant? Try different angles, look down, look straight on, get low and look up.
Rearrange the space, move a chair, or books or plant, close curtains, or open them.
Look for good edges, you could snap a photo of a drink on the edge of a coffee table for a nice minimal shot.
Think of ways to use the same spot but make it look a-little different, perhaps a different color pillow in the back ground, move around a chair, plants, books, or home decor.
5 WAYS TO USE YOUR HOME
Picture A. Dining room bar hutch. The plant is usually in another spot, but I moved it over for the photo so it would add some green and block some light from my front door. I also took some books off my bookshelf and added to the background of the bar I have in my dining room. Note: I shot towards the front door, I can also turn all around and shoot towards the kitchen, which has double doors I would be facing.
Picture B. Bedroom. The counter is my dresser and because you are looking towards the window/curtains and top of chair, you don't know it's the bedroom, looks like a reading nook.
Picture C. Kitchen. If you have an island use that. Or face out the doors for lots of light, I could also face the dining area.
Picture D. Deck. Product shot on my deck
Picture E. Living Room. During holidays use that Christmas tree. For this shot, I just used a little stand for the drink and low aperture so it let in more light and blurred the background.
ProTip - Widening Your Aperture (low fstop) and your background will be blurred, this way you food/drink is the star of the image and not your home.
HOUSE PROP SUGGESTIONS
Bottles of Liquor
Glassware, Vase, Craft
Pillows on a chair/couch
Bar props - shaker, jigger, stirrer
Pro Tip: remember you don't have many props in the shot because you are focusing on the drink or snack. Ingredients from those make good props too, a few limes for a drink, or salt on the side for popcorn. Keep it simple.
Picture A - Dining Room
Picture B - Bedroom
Picture C - Kitchen
Picture C - Kitchen -different angle towards sliding doors balcony
Picture D - Deck
Picture E. Living Room, Christmas Tree
I Hope these tips will help you out. Cheers Kim