One of the questions I get asked at least once a week is how I get the bright, colorful backgrounds I use for my product photos and Instagram feed, so here it is! The big, bad secret? It’s paper. Yup, almost every single background you see in my Instagram feed is really just poster board. Chances are when you see beautiful flatlays with marble, fur, tiles, and even (gasp!) a clean white desk it’s just a cleverly used backdrop. Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite easy photo backdrops to help even the simplest pictures feel pro.
Poster board is one of my all time faves and my number one go-to for photos. I’d say about 99% of my Instagram feed has poster board in the background. White foam board is the easiest for white backdrops since it’s not only inexpensive but also easy to store and move around if you’re like me and looking for just the right angle with natural light. I also use pink, mint, and yellow poster board that I purchased at my local art store for all my colored backgrounds.
Large, small, and anything in between, tile samples are a really easy way to give the illusion of not having a carpet colored in dog fur. Most large home improvement stores let you buy individual samples so the sky is the limit.
A little pricier than poster board, PVC backdrops are also much sturdier and resilient, not to mention food proof! I have a pink one that I often use if I’m using opened candy and don’t want the sticky residue left on my poster board.
Marble contact paper
Marble has Instagram flatlay written all over it, but let’s be real, how many people really have beautiful slabs of marble lying around their house? Enter marble contact paper – an easy an inexpensive way to get a super luxe look.
In an ideal world, I make my bed every day and always have the perfect backdrop for mugs of coffee and beautifully placed snacks on marble trays. In the real world, I grab some blankets from my bed and arrange them on my office floor to fake a relaxing morning in bed.
Wrapping paper and fabric
Much like poster board and contact paper, wrapping paper and fabric are a really easy and inexpensive way to add a unique touch to your photos. The trick here is to not pick something too busy, or if busy patterns are really your jam, be mindful of how they look next to the other photos in your feed.
Faux fur is one of my favorite backgrounds for mixing up my otherwise texture-less feed. I use a pillowcase from Ikea since I’m often photographing something fairly small. You can also purchase faux fur from a craft or fabric store or go all out and get something larger like a fur blanket.
Like marble, wooden contact paper is totally a thing. However, I find that a piece of stained or treated wood looks much more genuine. Even just a large piece of well-textured plywood can do the trick.
If it’s something heavy or messy, my white Ikea tabletop is perfect. I purchased mine in the “as is” section so it was incredibly inexpensive and stores pretty easily in my office closet.
Adding things like confetti, fake leaves or branches, and other props can quickly transform a plain background into something more unique.
What are some of your favorite backdrops to use for Instagram?! Share in the comments below!