What do you use for backdrops? If you’re like most tabletop photographers you have probably built up a bit of a backdrop library, but it’s never enough, you always need another one! Perhaps a light-coloured wood effect when you only have dark wood, or a marble effect when you only have granite. It can get expensive.
Well don’t worry, Scott from Tin House Studio is here to show you how to make and repurpose backgrounds for tabletop photography, on a budget.
Firstly Scott talks about the pros and cons of using paper as a backdrop. If you’ve ever used seamless paper yourself you’ll understand. The great thing about them is that they are cheap, come in an abundance of different colours, and will last a while if you store them carefully.
After a while, they can get wrinkled from damp and the large sizes can be difficult to store. Also, they generally are flat with no texture. If you want texture you’ll have to look elsewhere. Generally, these are great for cutouts and commercial work which needs a clean background.
Next Scott shows you a blank of plywood or MDF. The advantage to these is that you can paint them different colours on each side, or just paint over them when you need a new colour. You can also paint on different textures and mottled colour effects. They are also straightforward to store, although you do need a little space.
The final option is simply to use thick coloured paper. It’s relatively cheap and comes in many different sizes. You can easily find them in craft stores.
Ultimately the world is your oyster when it comes to backgrounds. There are so many different options out there, but if you want cheap and easy to change up these three options are probably your best place to start.