Best Cheap Food Photography Surfaces

Best Cheap Food Photography Surfaces

Sometimes it feels like it requires a fortune to get into food photography. By purchasing cheaper items and re-purposing other items, you can get a pretty good set of surfaces.

Contact Paper

Contact paper is gold. Marble is HEAVY and expensive. Contact paper is cheap and goes on any surface. It makes things look like real marble. (Only you will know it's fake lol.) Below are a few of my favorites:

Pro tip: Get cheap-o TV trays and cover the top with contact paper. You can use this to photograph flat lays.  


CounterArt Glass Cutting Board

These are not the best for cutting, but they're great for presenting food. When you can't find contact paper in a texture you want, check if there's a glass cutting board in that texture. 

Wooden Cutting Board

A cheap wooden board is perfect for photographing contrasting color food.  You can play around with different shades and textures. You can do a multi-colored wood or white washed wood or a dark wood or a light wood. Sometimes the higher quality wood cutting boards tend to be more expensive. 

Marble Boards

For contact paper marble textures you can't find, you can usually find a cheap marble cutting board, like this. I usually keep an eye out for them at Home Goods and Marshalls. I usually avoid marble boards because they're super heavy and take up a lot of space. Regardless, they look really nice.


Scarves make great background and can give different colors and textures to your shots. Imagine adding a little plaid orbeige or floral texture to your shots.

For lighting, I try to use natural light with a reflector. When I don't have that, I use a 3 point lighting set up.  

If you like this post, you may like the "Best Camera for Food Photography" post.

Best Boba in the Bay Area

Best Boba in the Bay Area

LA Food: Eating Through Jonathan Gold's Recommendations

LA Food: Eating Through Jonathan Gold's Recommendations