Casual Friday Vol. 23

Food blogging backdropsHappy Friday, friends! I’ve had a few people ask me about some of the tile countertops you can see in many of my food photos. So I thought for this week’s casual Friday, one thing I’d do is give you a little behind-the-scenes mini tour of my food blogging backdrops. It’s all smoke and mirrors. 🙂

Some of you might remember that recently Trey and I tiled our kitchen backsplash. This was my first time tiling from start to finish. After that I decided to use my new tiling skills to create some pretty backdrops to enhance my food photography that you often see here on ABM. I love the color and texture that pretty tile can bring to a photo, but I don’t have the budget or desire to tile my entire house in different color/shaped tile—so this is the next best thing.

Yellow penny tile Food blogging backdrops Laura made me the pretty white subway tile backdrop sometime before she moved away to Nashville. I use that one the most! I had been meaning to make a few more and had even bought all the tile online, but I didn’t end up having time to make these backdrops until the day before Christmas. They are all pretty new to me, so you’ll probably see them a lot in photos for a while. 🙂

I have a yellow penny tile “counter”. A pale pink penny tile one, a black triangle one and a red hexagon one. I made all four of them at the same time, and it was WAY easier than our kitchen backsplash because it was a lot less square footage and I didn’t have to fight gravity while applying mortar and grout to a vertical wall.

Food blogging backdrops Behind the scenesI have a little wooden box I made on casters that I store all my blogging backdrops in. This makes it easy for me to wheel all my options into my dining room while I’m working and then roll them out of the way when I’m done.

And in the above photo you can pretty much see what my days look like, window, backdrops, dogs, house slippers…this is my life now. 🙂

And now a word from our Nashville branch…

Casual FridayHi, guys!!!

Here are a couple random photos we snapped this morning. 🙂 It’s a rainy day here.

Casual Friday I don’t know if I mentioned how I feel about this wallpaper yet.

Did I mention that?

Oh…18 times already. K—sorry.

Casual Friday We’re having this one installed in a week!! (It’s from Spoonflower and the designer is Peacoquette Designs—I promise to share more details in a couple weeks…)

Casual Friday I know you’re probably distracted by my mismatched socks, but LOOK AT MY NEW CACTUS!

It needs a haircut and a new pot (welcoming your suggestions if you have experience with this type of plant).

I need to give him a name. He’s 30 years old and so beautiful!

Casual Friday Welcome to the family, big guy.

Casual Friday Speaking of small miracles, I found this 6 foot fiddle leaf fig tree at Home Depot for TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS this week. Laura bought two.

Casual Friday Hey from Lowe’s! Supply shopping this morning.

Casual Friday Matchy matchy last week.

ps—My “Brunch” sweatshirt is from my friend Erin’s shop (website looks to be down, so I’m linking her Instagram).


xx- Elsie

  • Emma that’s cheating 😉

    Such a great idea for product photographers – AND good practice for tiling newbies!


  • A wallpaper round up post like the one you did with the brass light fixtures would be awesome. There are so many options out there it can get overwhelming!

  • I had the pleasure of taking care of one of those types of cactus for five years at my old job. It was about 25 years old and so amazing. Definitely be careful with them. If you snap off a little part of it you’ll see some white sap. It can cause temporary blindness as another poster mentioned so be aware of that. Always wear gloves when taking care of it as the sap can be irritating to skin. We ended up having a horticulturist come and take care of it for us and professionally re-pot it (it only needed it once every 10 years or so)but he would also come to swap the soil out – every few years the topsoil needed a bit of freshening up. I’d call a local nursery and see what they recommend. And be sure to put your pot on wheels – our had to be rotated every few months as it started leaning towards the sunlight. Such a beautiful plant!

  • OHMAHGAW. DUH. That is GENIUS, Emma! I mean it just seems so obvious now, but I didn’t even think of that! And here I am trying to find the PERFECT, SINGLE countertop that looks good in my home but (obviousl, more importantly), also looks good in pictures! Ugh, *facepalm*

    Awesome post you guys!

  • I’m so glad to see another casual friday post! I always loved these little peeks into your lives haha! 🙂

    Emma – I absolutely love the tiled backdrop idea for food photos! I keep meaning to make something for mine, as at the minute I’m just using the back of an ikea boookshelf door which is a little plain!

    Elsie – I am so jealous of your cacti! That thing is hugeee, but SO amazing!
    Hope you all have a great weekend!

    xo April | April Everyday

  • wear gloves and read up or have a profession re-pot it for you, even with professional help Cacti can go into shock, won’t kill it but will take a few months to a year to regain its appearance of health.

  • I was wondering the same! Can’t decide between buying bikini so teeny or virgin snow 🙂

  • I love your Casual Friday posts! I just went back and read a whole heap and they are awesome! Please keep doing them 🙂
    Emma, that is totally what I would do! And so practical. Awesome to see that you do cheat for awesome photos, it makes it so much easier to relate with you:)
    Elsie, Your cactus. Wow. So super awesome!!!! (can you tell I like that word….so appropriate though!) AWESOME!

  • The cactus is amazing, I’m in love with it. Casual Friday is giving me such good vibes, you looks so vibrant and happy. Hope you have a great weekend xoxo Tove, Norway

  • The counter top “samples” as photo backdrops are such a fabulous idea!!! And just where does one buy a 30 year old cactus?

  • I’ve been playing around with different types of card stock paper as background for my photos but it never even crossed my mind to use sample floor tiles! Ya’ll are so creative!

  • I’m so in love with the tiled backdrop idea!! And the box on castors to hold them?!? Brilliant!

    I might have bullied my husband into going down and building a box TODAY for the square wood backdrops I already have. And I warned him that we will be tiling more soon 😉

  • Cool way to hone your skills, both food photography and tiling, and perfect storage too Emma!

  • I would love a post on what kinds of plants you, Emma, and Laura keep in your homes-which ones are easy to care for, which ones to avoid, which ones are poisonous to pets, etc. I want to start being a plant mom (mainly inspired by all of the gorgeous plants that you gals have in your homes!) but kind of have no idea where to start!

  • I love, love, LOVE those tiled props! I’m just getting started with food photography and my table is not always the right choice. I just recently picked up some large tiles to shoot on…now I want to do this too! Thanks for a great idea!!

  • It’s really nice to discover behind the scene tips and those tiled background are such a clever idea – can’t wait to discover them in situation. Do you plan to make some marble ones too ? You’re really tidy, I’m equally impressed by your hand made wooden box to carry them. Wishing you a lovely evening.

  • I mean…look at Emmas back drop collection and trolley. If this isn’t on point I don’t know what is 😉 Have to make one for myself as well. You guys shold make a blogpost on those things! I’d love to see that.

  • That cactus is soooo cool! When I was a child I loved them so much (needless to say these are not natural to south eastern Canada so they were very exotic to me). Growing up I always called them “captus” and it’s still what I call them with my mom. I only have small ones at home (coutertop small). I would love to have a huge one like that!!!!

  • Is it possible to get a more direct link to that awesome wallpaper? Can’t find it though I’ve tried both links (and scrolled and searched :)).

  • I just bought this fig leaf tree this week too!!! I’m super excited about it! Where did you get that giant cactus plant? I am wanting to add a cactus or two, but I do not know of a good place to go shopping. Any ideas?

  • Dear Elsie thank you for wearing mismatching socks! I’m fed up with constant even if gentle nagging about doing the same. They want me think I’m the only weirdo to do that. I’ll show them your pics. Next time I’m wearing random socks I’ll think of you. Which is often. LOL

  • Love your blogs and posts! I like the ‘smoke and mirrors’ thing you’ve got going on, its amazing how its all in the details that make things look pretty! Keep it up!

  • Awesome cheat for the tiles!!! That sounds like something I would do!! About the old wallpaper, I love it!! LOL. I love them both actually!! Just found you today! Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with!

  • Could you blog about how you built your food blog box? By the way, your book is my fav photo inspiration book, hope you do another one

  • Hello girls ! I just discover your blog todday via Pinterest, and it is very complete and brightful <3. What is the size of your backdrop ? Thank you so much and keep going inspiring the world. Cheers from Switzerland

  • Did you adhere the tiles directly to plywood? I would assume the wood would warp without drywall or backer board. Would love your input. I’d like to make a few of these and I was planning on framing them out with 1×1 and adding drywall. Skipping all of that would be a big time saver. Thanks!

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