I don’t claim to be an expert on food blogging, but it’s an area I’m passionate about and I’m always trying to push myself to gain more knowledge on the subject.
When I got married 12 years ago, I didn’t know much about cooking, other than the basics. I decided to teach myself to cook so we could enjoy delicious family meals. I stopped by my local library and came home with stacks of cookbooks. I made my way through them devouring the information. I was working as a substitute teacher at the time and had a little extra free time to spend in the kitchen. Our apartment kitchen was less than glamorous- the counter tops were peeling and one of the upper cabinets had been burned by a previous tenant. It was a small galley style, but I made it work. I fed my husband and our roommate some updated meals and fell in love with the process of cooking and baking.
My entire life I’ve spent documenting adventures- if you don’t have a picture did it even happen? That sentiment of remembering where I’ve been has been essential in helping me develop my style and creativity. Reminiscing can flood you with past happenings and inspire you to keep pushing forward. Having a trail of photographs helps you to see how far you have come.
Anyhow, all that, brings us back to using props to elevate your food photography. You spend time making dishes and you want to show the final product in its best light.
Over the past several years I have acquired lots of fun items, some new and others vintage or antique. I love to go to flea markets or vintage shops to find awesome props. Homegoods is also a great store to get items at a fantastic price. Along with Pier 1 and World Market. Many of my props belonged to family members like my grandma and mean so much.
Check out my list below on items to add to your prop collection.
- Plates (new and vintage-especially ironstone, I love the crazing on the super old pieces and the color white allows your food to shine, since it’s a clean look. Smaller salad plates work perfect since you can add just a little bit of food.)
- Vintage silverware (I love the patina left on the time worn pieces.)
- Ramekins (these are the perfect size to hold ingredients.)
- Mason jars (perfect for dressings, salads, drinks and even flowers. Such a versatile piece and affordable.)
- Cloth napkins (They add a pop of color/pattern and even texture.)
- Cake stands (I love cake stands because they are pretty and elevate your dish.)
- Berry baskets (They are perfect to corral produce and add homespun charm)
- Paper straws (A touch of fun for drinks.)
- Lace doilies (Paper or vintage lace add a nice delicate look and a bit of depth.)
- Cutting boards (Great for backgrounds, especially when they are worn in. Baking sheets are perfect too.)
- Wooden spoons (The rustic wood grain makes me think of farmhouse charm and they are a simple versatile tool.)
- Backgrounds (I love wood- especially reclaimed. Since I can’t own twenty tables it’s nice to make a few smaller backgrounds that can be rotated out.)
- Cast iron (I use mine everyday and it adds a rustic feel to your dish.)
- Wax paper (I like to crumple it for texture. It’s also perfect to use in between layers of cookies or bar style desserts.)
*All of the wooden pieces I photographed are handmade by my husband. He is an amazing artist and craftsman. Many of these tools were given as gifts and made right in our garage. His talents are unbelievable and have added so much to my food photography. One of a kind pieces are my favorite. Thanks Chris!
I hope this little list provides some insight. What are your favorite food photography props?
Thanks for reading! xo