Food styling is an integral part of food photography. It sets the mood. These beautiful shots are from the 2010 Calendar from la Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec. I shared them with you because they illustrated a good trick when it comes to food photography: pay attention to the backdrop. In this case, they aim to create a cohesive mood instead of a minimalist approach.
Start collecting bold wallpapers, fabric coupons, and gift wrapping papers to create your backdrop scene. The stylist for Le Lait calendar was not afraid to opposite modern patterns to traditional plates and utensils.
Get inspired by the food and the tableware you use. If you find a strong pattern, you can repeat the main color of the food on your backdrop. You can also select a pattern that repeats the food shape. At other times, playing with contrasting colors works better. It is a game of trials and errors until you get it right. The key is to experiment. Therefore, always have on hand several options ready to be used.
Be Careful that the Food is Not Lost
The cream puffs stand against the busy backdrop because of the contrasting colors. On the other hand, the black and white pattern used for the cupcakes is not the best choice. I feel that the small cakes get lost. A bright yellow and black backdrop would have been more effective. I suggest yellow because it complements the creamy tone of the white chocolate curls.
This lesson is not only for food photography. It also applies when you design a buffet table. Simply think about Amy Atlas. A stunning pattern backdrop is a signature of her dessert tables.
+ photos by Le Lait – click here to download the calendar (only in French)