Well of course this all depends what you want to capture in your photo, the angle of shot, the type of lens you prefer to use, how much space you might have, or not have to store the boards, how often you might use them, portability and more.
Perhaps the simplest way to answer most of these questions is to show you some images created with our backgrounds in with various compositions.
These are our smallest and lightest boards, popular with chefs, bloggers and instagrammers. As they have no timber frame it is also possible to have them double sided so you could take a whole library of surfaces out on the road with you or store at work without taking up too much precious space.
Daniel Watkins (@chefdanielwatkins) shoots consistently beautiful plated overhead shots, side lit with natural light on 60x60cm squares- as you can see there is still plenty of background to play with if you wanted to support your plates with props and food, if the end use is a square crop for instagram then the boundary of the board automatically helps you effortlessly compose the shot.
So a bit of a one trick pony then? Absolutely not! A combination of just two 60x60 boards will allow you to compose a photo with both foreground and background at various angles.
This picture (Copyright David Loftus) gives an idea of the scale of composition that can be achieved. If you are looking for a similar composition but with a larger subject, then you will need to move up a size.
Our most popular size overall, these are timber framed to protect the surface from warping and accidental knocks to the corners.
So for overheads, you have a bigger area to play with for a portrait or landscape crops without cropping out any of the surface, this is helpful if text is to be overlaid as well as allowing more surface for styling the shot.
Lower angles can also be easily accomplished for much wider shots, with or without a horizon.
Most popular with our Studio Photographer customers who want a range of boards that can be used for multiple purposes.
If you are looking even wider shots, this size covers almost all eventualities in most still food photography applications, ideal for high resolution banner images for web use and dramatic flat lays and poster shots, the level of detail is identical to the smaller sizes so they are just as useful for close ups and tight compositions as the smaller two sizes are. Although our largest standard size, they are still lightweight, portable and easy to store.
(image copyright Rosalind Atkinson, @her_dark_materials)