Most bloggers and content creators can agree on one thing: We invest a lot of our own money into our ventures. Cameras, lenses, backgrounds, props, ingredients, travel, you name it. I have yet to develop a good recipe for making free money, but if I ever get my proportions rights, I’ll share my secret, promise. *wink*
When it comes to surfaces and backgrounds, I have had my eye on Replica Surfaces for quite a while. In my current living situation, I have limited space in which natural light works – damn NYC scaffolding and ground floor living, ya KNOW? – and I have a few surfaces that I use in my tiny bedroom corner. Namely, I use a gorgeous wooden cheese board I was gifted many moons ago, but this 10″ x 12″ beauty only allows me so much space. It is also worth mentioning it’s gained a few stains in the past few years, despite careful cleaning.
I needed something larger, durable, but it couldn’t take up too much space, either.
Replica Surfaces has heeded that call, and it was an investment I wanted to make.
Truth: When I posted on my Instagram Stories in September that I had just purchased the Butcher’s Block surface, the DMs flooded in, and they were extremely polarizing. Either people had a bad experience with their respective surfaces, or they swear Replica makes the best surfaces they’ve ever purchased. I decided to reserve judgement until I got it.
Y’all, my final opinion is a wholly positive one, I am happy to say. I am also honest with my followers.
I’ll waste no time and run down a small list of my personal pros and cons:
Replica Surfaces Pros:
- The surface came sealed up and wrapped in more bubble wrap than I knew what to do with! In other words, Replica Surfaces ships their products well-protected. My surface came in perfect condition upon arrival.
- It is extremely thin yet sturdy, with a slight bit of malleability to it. It makes storage a dream! I am able to slip it under my bed, easy peasy! In a smaller space – hello, NYC apartment! – I appreciate it that it can disappear from my line of sight when it’s not in use.
- I appreciate its size! Measuring at 23″ x 23″ (or just shy of 2′ x 2′), I have much more surface to work with than I previously have.
- For my particular surface, I was impressed at its hyperrealism. For the layman? It looks like actual wood in my photos. I’m impressed with the lines, the wood grain, and slight color variations throughout the surface, just like real wood.
- This is a breeze to clean up! I’ve photographed a few hard ciders on this surface, and it’s takes no time to mop up any drips or spills afterwards. I have a few spills I’ve had to take care of on my actual wooden shooting surfaces, and a few light water stains still remain, which is a bummer.
Replica Surfaces Cons:
- As I speak about investments, this particular surface’s base price was $77. It wasn’t so much a con for me – I could afford it and I wanted it, so I bought it! – but I know this cost will be prohibitive for some. I have seen competitive brands at lower prices; some brands which print a complimentary surface on both sides of the board, which piques my interest, a 2-for-1, if you will. Maybe Replica Surfaces will move in that direction in the future!
- It states in the literature that came with my surface that it is technically not a food safe surface; since I’ll often lay food (e.g. pastries, cookies, cheeses, et al) on cleaned surfaces *and* eat what I shoot afterwards, this was kind of a bummer. I doubt I’ll become instantly stricken if I ever ate something that was atop my surface for a few minutes, but I’m also the “better safe than sorry” type. 😂
At the end of the day, I am happy with my purchase! I will consider Replica Surfaces for future purchases, and am incredibly thankful for my large “wooden” surface. I hope that my review may help you in making your future decision-making process when it comes to surfaces for your content photography.