There are many different surfaces that you can shoot your food photography on. You can use a table in your kitchen, a table in a restaurant, the floor, or any other flat surface that you can find. When selecting a surface, the colors, patterns, and textures of the surface will have a great effect on the look and feel of your final image. With the background playing such an important role in your image, there should be some thought put into what you shoot on. The best way to control this is to make your own backgrounds! Let me show you why wooden planks are my favorite surface to shoot on.
You can can go dumpster diving and find wooden planks for free, or spend a few dollars at your local hardware store. You can get as few or as many as your want. It all depends on how big you want your set to be. When buying my planks, I like to buy enough planks that when lined up side-by-side, they are about the width of a kitchen table. This can be anywhere from 3-6 planks depending on their width. The grain and the type of wood that you choose will play a role in the final look of the planks, so try and experiment with different varieties. Take however many planks are needed to create your set and keep them together.
Here are 6 painting combinations that I recently created.
Here are what those backgrounds look like with a subject on them.
For more food photography tips, tricks, and tutorials check out Issues 1-5 of photographing FOOD!