New Photography Backgrounds and Lemon & Blueberry Mini Muffins


How is it that it is nearly the end of January already? I just looked at my page and thought, I still have the holiday post up – better do something about that! I have had a little time off lately, and was lucky, [or unlucky as it was in the prime of the heat wave we just had here in Southern Australia], to enjoy the first few opening days of the Australian Open with my dad. We roughed three days in 42+ C heat [ 107 F ] to watch many big names slog it out on court. Very enjoyable and super hot. I didn’t get anything done the remainder of the week, so this week I have made up for that. Putting finishing touches on my first e-book; to come out in the coming weeks; meetings, jobs, interviews and making more backgrounds for photography.

two-loves-studio-blueberry-lemon-muffins2Today I was shooting a concept and wanted to try out my new table and decided to make some simple lemon and blueberries muffins. I made these on a whim and hope that I got all the ingredients and directions right! At the moment I am working on 6 new backgrounds and I am either having great successful or failing miserably. There is lots of DIY info out there, but I can’t find exactly what I want – so I am going through a little trial and error at the moment. As I have had so much fun putting together my first e-book, I am thinking of doing one on the food photography backgrounds I am making. Would anyone be interested in that do you think?


Looks can be deceiving! 

I have taken down this recipe as I have had some feedback that these muffins do not taste at all as good as they look. Some of you will know that I often comment on my [hideous] baking skills, and muffins baking skills sure elude me. I never want my readers to make something from this space and be disappointed. I manage to ruin every muffin recipe that I have ever attempted and these turned out better than I have ever made and so I thought I was onto a winner. I guess not. Why do they look so good then? I only used the ingredients that I had posted about, no tricks, but dense, dry muffins do not always translate in a photo. I wanted to thank my reader who contacted me – I always appreciate feedback.

If anyone can point in the direction of a fool-proof muffin recipe I would be forever grateful – baby steps!

Rach x

25 thoughts on “New Photography Backgrounds and Lemon & Blueberry Mini Muffins

      • Hi Rachel, I am new to your blog and very impressed with your gorgeous photography – the recipes are pretty good too. I think I will have a go at the muffins next weekend. I am also a photography enthusiast and would be very interested in an e book on creating backgrounds. Have you tried using milk paint?

      • Hi Gail – stocked to have you along for the ride. I am so pleased to hear that you think it would be interesting. I haven’t actually tried milk paint; I’ve tried white wash and liming, which are similar but I am sure yield different results. Have you tired it? Did it work for you?

      • Hi Rachel, I am in the process of doing it. I am after the aged patina effect and thought this may be the best way of achieving it. It is not straight forward, there are a few steps involved over a few days. I will let you know how it goes.

  1. Definitely interested in reading about your photography backgrounds! You posted some great tips about your dark backgrounds a while ago, but I still couldn’t follow up on that. My problem would actually be storing all those wooden boards as I have almost no storage room… Would still be interested, though!

    • Great! I have a small one bedroom apartment and what is ‘supposed’ to be the lounge room, or the only other space apart from the bedroom is used as a photography studio. We have such limited space for anything – but where there’s a will there’s a way.

  2. I would be definitely interested in the e-book for the food photography backgrounds. My father is a great painting restorer and sometimes he helps me with my backgrounds but there’s always that look down on me saying “what you want is not possible” so having some independency on that would be good (though I already paint many of my backgrounds, lol)

    • I am painting a lot of mine too, I find that I can’t exactly get what I want, and my ideas may not be new or groundbreaking, I would love just to share how I achieved them. I know what you mean, a lot of the time restorers are looking for perfection or correct techniques, but I feel like DIY photography backgrounds never need to be perfect!

  3. Just made these and they are by far the heaviest and driest muffins I’ve ever had in my life. I followed the recipe to the letter. Is there any chance something was left out in the ingredients list or the measurements are wrong? THey taste OK, love the lemon and blueberry combination.

    • Hi Carine, thank you so much for your feedback. I never want anyone to be disappointed by the space here at TLS. I have sent you a personal email about this and have since taken out the recipe until I can get my muffin baking skills up to scratch! Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Awesome. I would be just what I am creating at the moment. I’ll see what I can put together! I can see that you have a lot of different backgrounds that you use. Looks like I could learn something from you.

  4. I’m definitely interested in reading your e-book on food photography backgrounds. I’ve recently started getting myself into making backgrounds. I really liked read your DIY post and tried to look for real steal color here in the US but couldn’t find it. 😦 I got something that I thought was close to real steal and it turned out something else 😀 (Here is a link to my picture

    • Thanks for sending that over! It is pretty close mind you. When I went back to the hardware store, they don’t stock that colour any more either. Such a shame, there is something similar though. I just make some humble backgrounds in my 1 bedroom apartment – it is amazing what you can do though.

  5. Really enjoyed reading this post, Rachel, and it goes without saying that your photography is stunning! Don’t worry about the failed muffins – we all have our flops but not so many are willing to admit to it! I recently made some strawberry muffins that used ricotta instead of butter. Unfortunately I don’t have the recipe I used with me but there are many similar recipes online that I think you could try and safely expect to get a moister muffin!!!

    • Thanks for stopping by Helen and your kind words. You are quite right, it takes something to admit when we fail. I will have a hunt around for a recipe that incorporates ricotta and see how those turn out.

  6. Pingback: This and That. Wonderful You. | To Live Beautifully

  7. would absolutely adore hearing more about how you make your backgrounds! I use vinyl backdrops, have you ever tried? Super easy cleanup and takes up less space than my wood plank!

    • I have not tried vinyl backgrounds and yes, the clean up would be amazing! I guess I haven’t seen a vinyl pattern/look that I like – but I might keep more of an eye out next time.

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