Guide to Using Foam Core for Photography

by Sean McCafferty on July 11, 2022
Foam Core Photography

Of all the uses for foam core, photography may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet photographers the world over rely on foam core (aka foam board) for photography and video shoots.

Whether you're a professional or aspiring photographer, it's crucial to know all the uses of foam board in photography. This affordable craft material can be put to work from the time you set up the shoot through client presentation. We'll talk about the many applications for foam core in photography and why is the place to find black or white foam board products at affordable prices.

Foam Board Sets the Stage

Some people think setting up a photo shoot is a piece of cake. Professional photographers know better. Preparing for portrait or product photography often requires patience and a lot of trial and error. Foam board plays an important part in setting the stage for your shoot, from pre-cut flat sheets to Custom VFlats that can be cut to your specifications.

Fill Light Source

A fill source reflects the primary light back onto the subject to fill in any shadows that are detracting from the shot. In this case, white foam board acts as the fill light source. This technique is used in both portrait photography and product shots.

Bounce Source

When you position a white sheet of foam board above your subject, you can create a bounce source. Point one or two lights toward the white foam core and position them to get the desired effect. A bounce provides a soft, diffused light for your subject.

Photography Flags

Black foam core can be used as photography flags to block out light. By mounting the foam core on a light stand (or having your assistant hold it), you can block light from hitting your subject. This photography lighting control technique is typically used when taking low key photographs. Low key images are underlit images featuring dark colors and dramatic contrast.

Foam Board: Photography Background

Depending on the subject, you can use either white or black foam board as a photography background for your shot. Just place the foam board behind your subject or use foam board to support any printed backdrop or textile backdrop.

Photography Cookie Lighting

In photography, cookie lighting is created by cutting shapes out of your foam core and shining light through it. This technique lets you cast patterns onto your subject to create unique mood lighting. Typically, black foam board is used for this technique.

Photographic Presentation

Even after the photo session is wrapped up, foam board is still on the job. Either black or white foam board can be used to display your finished products. Whether mounting proofs for client approval or preparing a final marketing presentation, foam board gives your project a professional look. Affix photos using spray mount or choose foam board with adhesive. Furthermore, foam board is ideal for protecting, storing and transporting final prints.

Tools of the Trade

Professionals have devised ways of building tools out of foam boards for photography. They've even provided instructions so you can build your own. Two examples are the softbox and collapsible light box.

Find Foam Core for Photography at

Get all the foam core for photography necessary to make your next photo shoot a snap. has premium quality black or white foam core products in your choice of sizes, delivered right to your door. (Did we mention that our pre-cut foam boards are also affordably priced?) Buy your foam board for photography from today!

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