As a product photographer, I’ve always had a problem with finding what to use as a background. Even more so when I need to go to my client to shoot their products.
Before, I was limited to shooting on a black granite tile. Then I added some do-it-yourself wood planks into my props collection, but carrying the wood planks was a big problem, as they were too heavy and I could only limit myself to about 2 wood planks per shoot.
Fast forward a bit. I was in the hardware store to get something when I saw a piece of tile that resembled a rocky surface, which was perfect for a shot I wanted to create. Then my curiosity with different tiles was born.
In this article I’ll show you how I use tiles as my backdrop and how versatile they can be for your product and food photography.
Black Granite Tile
I’ll start off with one of my favorites and the very first tile I ever used. The black granite tile is perfect for a clean on-black shot or to create gradient surfaces like the one below. It’s also very reflective and perfect for products.
White Granite Tile
I used to use an acrylic sheet or formica for my on-white photos. Then I bought a white granite tile and, after some testing, found that I like it better than using formica or an acrylic sheet.
If you go around the hardware store or a tile shop you’ll find all sorts of textures and surfaces for a very cheap price. Usually it’s around $3 to 10 for a piece of tile.
I was using a rocky and textured surface for the photo below.
You can also find clay or granite tiles, which have wooden surface look.
I kept on looking for different tiles when I stumbled upon vinyl tiles, which are lighter and almost the same price as the clay or granite ones. I liked these better because they’re more portable and easier to bring on shoots. I bought about 2-3 pieces per plank and placed them beside each other.
Here are just a few wooden surface tiles that you can use, their is a lot more varieties to choose from.
I had one shoot were I needed to bring all my lights and gear to a cafe, so I brought two different tiles for the shoot.
I used tiles to shoot my new watch.
You can also use one tile as a base and another one as a background.
So if you need a great product photography base that you can take on the go, go out and find yourself some tiles!
A big thanks to Fuji Tokyo Headquarters and Fuji Philippines for lending us the X-E2s and X-Pro2 — check back for a review of these cameras soon. Also, thanks to Cydnei’s Cafe for the food photography photos.