Prop Talk – Wood “Walls”

Wooded boards as food photography props.

Wooded boards as food photography props.

Hello, hello! Here comes another installment of my Prop Talks. (To read previous posts of this series, just click on the Behind the Scenes tab in the menu at the top).

First, I want to let you know that I am going to reduce the frequency of the Prop Talk posts to once a month from now on. (I need to pace myself a little better…). Today I’ll show you some of the rustic wood boards I use in the background of some of my photos as wooden “walls.” I often like to have a horizon line in my photos with a table and a wall in the background behind it. Since I don’t have actual antique wood walls in my studio nor in the rest of my house (and I would venture to guess that few photographers do) I just prop up antique, textured wood boards either directly onto the table or against the back of a chair behind the set. Above are three pieces I use frequently, a wooden board, a wooden tray and a wooden shutter. They all have great texture that looks nice (and, in my opinion, authentic) in photos. Below are the three pieces in action:

Herbed Orzo with Grilled Zucchini

From post Herbed Orzo with Grilled Zucchini.

Roasted Chicken

From post Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Homemade Seasoning Salt.

Shrimp Gumbo and Rice

From post Shrimp Gumbo.

What about you? Do you use rustic wood surfaces as backgrounds? What are your favorites?

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on Facebook


  1. Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire says:

    I love that rustic look so much and would love to add it to my photographs, but my problem’s always been with sourcing them. Right now, I only have one reversible board that I made which isn’t very rustic looking, but can get me a pretty nice shot. I haven’t had much chance to go through antique or thrift shops just yet.

  2. Farah @ The Cooking Jar says:

    I just got done distressing some pine wood a couple days ago for my backdrop. I was so tired of wood vinyls. Using wood for walls is such a great idea. I’m really loving the dark tray one in the second picture! Now to figure out where to find these kind of things ;)

  3. Nicole B. says:

    I hear ya’, it’s definitely hard to find nice rustic pieces. I have spent A LOT of time in antique stores and have often left them empty-handed. The piece in the first photo on the left is from El Paso Imports and I got the tray at a local store that isn’t even an antique store, they actually sell home decor items and had the tray sitting underneath some plates. It is one of my favorite props, I just wish it were bigger. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Nagi! I know it’s really hard to find good distressed wood and I was really lucky to find some these items! :)

  4. Shihoko says:

    Hi Nicole, They all look so nice. Me too, have been looking for distressed wood but they are so hard to find. Brisbane city council is doing big rubbish collection so I have been paying attention to road sides if there are any good wood *o*

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hi Shihoko, I couldn’t agree more, nice distressed wood surfaces are incredibly hard to find. I find that they are often too yellow, or too shiny or the gaps between the individual planks are too wide….And I too always keep my eyes open, I actually found a few wood planks in an alley the other day, I stained them with natural stain and they turned out quite nice. :)

Leave a Reply