Seamless Backdrop for Food Photography




About: I'm a 49 year old Systems Architect living in the Midwestern United States. After travelling the world for 20 years as a consulting architect I became disabled, as a result, I am now embracing a Slow life.

Lately I have been wanting to experiment with a seamless backdrop for my foodie Instructables. Not wanting to make a large initial investment, but needing something that could be deployed and put away quickly, I came up with this solution using white seamless background paper and some odds and ends from the garage. The final result is better than I expected and I hope my fellow foodies find this useful.


Step 1: Measure and Mark

Be sure to measure your roll of paper. Whilst mine was advertised as 53" wide, it was actually 54 1/4". Add about an inch to the width to allow for the width of the pole and hooks. Mark the bottom back side of your upper cabinets with a 3/8" tall line (this will set the position of the pilot hole for the hook.

Note:I haven't remodeled my kitchen yet, so I don't mind putting holes in the cheap contractor cabinets that are original to my condo. If you have really nice cabinets, you might want to consider mounting your rod another way.

Step 2: Drill

After taking a deep breath, since you are about to put a hole in your cabinets, drill a hole using the 7/32" bit through the back of the cabinet into it's recessed bottom at the top of the mark you made in the previous step. Drill a similar hole at the other mark.

Step 3: Mount Hooks

The hooks should now screw into the pilot holes firmly. Be sure to finish with the open section of the hook facing up.

Step 4: Mount Rod and Roll

Threading the rod through the center of the paper roll, mount them on the hooks as shown. As you can see in the pictures, it is easy to pull the paper down onto the counter, and then roll it up out of the way when finished (or cut off any stained section).

Happy Foodie Photographing!



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I definitely need to do something like this for my projects. Do you use just the basic overhead lighting in the room or do you have a spotlight? Your last picture of the drill looks like it could have a spotlight on it with the shadow it casts.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I use inexpensive CFL photography lights (not strobes) with softbox covers.


    2 years ago

    Given the weight of the roll and the fact that I am constantly pulling down on it to unroll the backdrop, the clamps would have to be tight enough that they would dig in to the flimsy particle-board cabinets, and a cushion or spacer would likely cause them to slip. The holes actually leave less of a mark in this case. However, if I had nicer hardwood cabinets, I would definitely use clamps if possible, perhaps with a rubber cushion between the clamp and the wood, since hardwood is less likely to compress.


    2 years ago

    Not saying what you did won't work, but couldn't you just as easily buy two small "C" clamps and use them to support the backdrop roll and then you wouldn't have to drill into any cabinet? Just a thought. And "C" clamps are very cheap and you can adjust the width as needed. And once you remove them again, there are no holes in the cabinets. JMHO! Not to say you did anything wrong, just an alternative idea.


    2 years ago

    Looks great. now i just need to figure out a place in my apartment where i can mount one.