Today, I’m sharing my top tips on How to Elevate Food Photography with Props. Every foodie knows the value of good props and how they take a boring one-dimensional image and turn it into something truly unique.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer or even a food stylist – with the right props that compliment your beautiful food you can take the viewer on a journey of senses, of memory and of taste.
Don’t forget to visit my Prop Shop to Start your collection www.foodphotographypropshop.co.za and learn how to elevate food photography with props.
The real magic of food photography are the little details that work together to make the star of your photo pop! With different props, you can feed the viewer’s interest by delighting their eyes. And you don’t need to break the bank to find pieces that make people want to lick their screens.
In this post, I am going to show you some simple items around the house that you can use when taking a food picture, to really elevate the look.
Let’s dive right in.
Interesting plates and bowls
Display your dish on an exquisite or unusual plate or bowl. Over time, start to collect different types of plates and bowls.
If you’ve ever visited me, you would know that I have a variety of mismatched plates and bowls. I generally look for crockery that is either white, matte or very bright and colourful and the more textured the better.
You can buy these items when they are on sale, or just purchase individual items when you spot something interesting – no need to buy a whole set. You’re almost guaranteed to find some gems at second-hand shops and vintage markets.
Handmade ceramics are unique – even if you do buy a set, the pieces won’t be completely identical and will add some wonderful character to your image.
Add some fabric
When it comes to fabric, you don’t necessarily need anything super fancy here. Stonewashed cloths go a long way toward warming up your shots and creating texture. Smart placement of draped or folded cloth can frame your composition perfectly.
I have a bunch of mismatched tea towels and napkins that I use, and they range from white, blue to grey.
If you have an item of clothing that has the perfect pattern to complement your dish, make sure it’s clean and ironed and play around to find the best way to hide hems and buttons.
Everyday household Items
Baking paper is a lovely surface to take a picture on when you want a clean, neutral background. In fact, paper, in general, is an affordable prop – sheets of scrapbooking paper make for wonderful flatlay backdrops. Alternatively, try wallpaper offcuts and greaseproof newspaper.
Unusual flatware may be just what your image needs. Rummage around in your mom or grandmother’s cutlery drawers to find that unique look. Vintage spoons, knives and forks will add a truly unique touch to your image. Alternatively, look for gold utensils or ones with a matt finish.
While we’re on the topic of vintage, items with a history can add a bit of mystery.
When starting your prop collection, you can’t go wrong with vintage cutlery – dark and moody patinas also reduce glare.
But don’t stop with flatware! Interesting bottles can be used to show off salad dressing, or simply pour in some olive oil for colour. Use them when showing ingredients, such as spices, or when sharing your latest cocktail recipe. They can add a pop of colour while also adding height to your image.
Fake it ‘til you make it
Speaking of cocktails, you might find that ice – essential in most presentations – often melt before you’ve captured the perfect shot, leaving your cocktail look sad and possibly changing the consistency.
Fake ice is the perfect solution. Usually available in different sizes, you can mix them up for a realistic perfect serve.
How to Elevate Food Photography with Props
Push boundaries by using props in a creative way, rather than traditional. You can literally turn a tea party upside down by placing the saucer on top of an upturned teacup for a cupcake stand.
Props are to photos what garnish is to food.
I hope that these tips on elevating food photography with props help you to take better food pictures.
Most importantly, remember to keep practising.
Visit my Prop Shop to Start your collection www.foodphotographypropshop.co.za