December 11, 2020 - by Sabine
Driven by our passion for food photography and styling, we create a collection vinyl photo backdrops. A photo background can definitely lift your photo to a higher level. Together with your main subject and other styling props you easily create a story or mood in your photo.
Backdrops, also called surfaces or backgrounds can be used for styling and photographing a certain subject. You can use a background for flat lay photography, that's a photo taken from above (90 degrees). But you can use them also as a wall when taking photos from the front. Vinyl photo backdrops can be used for food photography and product photography. Recipes, jewelry, gadgets, cosmetics, anything is possible as long as all the elements fit on the background. Our backdrops are sized 90×60 cm. Larger sizes surfaces are also used for portrait or model photography.
Backdrops contribute to the story the photographer wants to tell. You can edit your photos with Lightroom after the photoshoot to raise the image to the next level. There are so many possibilities to make your photos significantly better. Such as adjusting white balance, popping out colors more, adding a vignette and many more. Ultimately, these images are used for many purposes. Think of magazines (like Delicious and Vegan Food & Living), webshops, social media channels, websites and cookbooks.
We use vinyl for our backdrops. Our images are printed on the material. This can be a photo that we have taken of a wall, floor or an weathered door for example. This stone wall backdrop is from a bakery front facade and these wooden planks are from an old barn. It can be anything actually and that makes it so much fun. Or we take a photo from one of our own hand painted styling boards which we are designing at the moment.
Our search for the perfect material took a while, because we had specific requirements our photo backdrops had to meet. Most important, the vinyl had to be smooth on the surface. I tell you this specifically, because there are suppliers who sell vinyl backdrops with a structure or relief in it. We certainly didn’t want this, because most of the time you can see this in your photos.
Furthermore, we wanted our backdrops be matt and wipeable. We also thought it was important they would not curl up and we wanted them to lay completely flat as soon as you unroll the background. No hassle with pots and pans on the corners of your surface during photoshoots.
We also wanted the backgrounds to be light, rollable and crease-free. And of course the print quality has to be perfect.
Besides our many requirements for the backdrop material we also have another important issue we want to meet. We wanted to work with a small scale local printer. Our experience is that we prefer to work with smaller companies rather than large ones. Mainly because a small family business often operates more flexible and they want to think along with you when you face problems. Often problems are faster resolved and they are able to switch more quickly. Another good reason for working with a small company is we simply rather support them than larger companies.
Besides vinyl backdrops there are also other types of photo backgrounds on the market with each their own pros and cons. For example, there are suppliers who make canvas backgrounds and wooden backgrounds. Each has its advantages and charm. Aspects that play a role are price, appearance, whether they are easy to carry, weight, durability and moisture resistance.
A wooden photo background actually has real structure and a printed vinyl backdrop is a replica of the structure. That is possibly the most important reason to buy a wooden board. But there are also disadvantages to buy a wooden surface. They are heay, not flexible and difficult to take it with you to location. And they are a lot more expensive too. Usually wooden boards cost more than €100,-. Most of the times they have a water-repellent finish to make them wipeable.
Wooden backgrounds are also slightly more vulnerable for moisture than vinyl. When it comes to messing with food like sauces and spices, both can be vulnerable. Because a stain is easily made from certain ingredients such as turmeric or mustard for example. Canvas, on the other hand, is also flexible but heavier than vinyl. In terms of structures, such as plastering, there are more possiblities with wooden backdrops.
Another big advantage of vinyl is that you can actually take any object you like as background, because we only have to photograph and print it. Obviously, it’s very difficult to paint brick or metal. In short, we cannot say one type of backdrop is better than the other. They all have their own props and cons.
At the moment we are expanding our vinyl photo backdrops collection, but we already have plans to sell hand-painted wooden backgrounds. These will not replace the vinyl collection, but become an addition to our webshop. We want to give our customer the choice of a printed or a handmade surface. For us, it’s important we are accessible and affordable for anyone. Certainly for people who have less to spend. Painting boards is really fun and being creative is what we love. We also are thinking about selling other photography props. Do you want to stay informed about our plans? You can follow us on Instagram @errer.food or @errer.backdrops.