I met with an editor, who suggested that my photographs that have even a little bit of interest in the background, versus a plain background, are much more interesting. And I think that's true.
So, for the new Helpful Ideas for Busy Dads, I wanted to do a product side for the series, so I shot the objects on plain backgrounds:
And then I had that meeting with the editor, and I thought I'd experiment with different backgrounds.
Some of them turned out fine, and others turned out OK, but all of them are everything I hate about contemporary photography, unfortunately.
And then I remembered some other words I'd written, on compositing, and I realized that if I want to do more interesting backgrounds, I need to have them in the studio with me. Which really is a lot easier than this other thing, not to mention a better result.
There's a reason tabletop studios have entire rooms filled with backgrounds and surfaces.