When starting out as a food photographer, it’s tempting to go all-out on prop shopping. You can end up spending an absurd amount of money on delicate handmade props thinking that they will single-handedly turn our photos into something spectacular.
We’ve all been there: thinking that the more props we have, the easier it will be to take great photos. And yet, there is one element we often forget about — looking into what we already have at home!
Not only are props found in your home super cost-effective (basically free), they’re also some of the most versatile pieces you can find. Below are six props you can use to elevate your food photography that you very likely already own.
I was hesitant to use bed linen in my photography until a very recent Mother’s Day shoot for a client (see above). My goal was to recreate the comfort of a bed, but on a steady surface. I took white bed linen and placed it over my shooting table. It worked so well I ended up experimenting with more colors and using it as my new go-to background.
It makes perfect sense. Photography backdrops can be expensive and bed linen is already there just waiting for its moment to shine! Nobody will know you’ve used a handy prop from your own home.
Don’t bother ironing it — the more texture, the better. One last tip: to avoid an accident, make sure you’re using at least four clamps to securely attach the bed linen to your shooting table.
Plants, Herbs, and Flowers
Another prop I simply can’t get enough of are plants. When photographing food, creating a seasonal mood can prove a challenge, especially when you’re just starting to learn about lighting and editing.
Plants and flowers help you create that seasonal mood so easily, but they also serve as ingredient clues.
Take my rosewater hot chocolate shoot (above) as an example. I used a beautiful bunch of fresh roses and dried petals to make sure the viewer makes an instant connection between roses and the pictured drink.
You don’t need to go all out and buy expensive flowers, though. I like to use small succulents or herbs that are already growing in my home, or you could grab some dried flowers and use them again and again.
Your Grandma’s Cutlery
Okay, not everyone’s grandma has a sophisticated collection of vintage cutlery, but almost everyone has accumulated some older kitchen pieces that can be used for photography.
Old teacups are the perfect example as are old plates. These are often a lot more textured and patterned than modern crockery, making them the perfect addition to your photos. Just remember to use them …….