Looking to build your food photography prop collection? Then check out these 10 props to enhance your food photography. If you’re a beginner and just starting to build your prop collection, then you can start by collecting these 10 food photography props to create stunning images.
Plain White Bowls and Plates
You can never go wrong with white plates, bowls and ramekins in food photography. White makes the other colors pop and can help you achieve the bright look you aim for in food photography. Also I would recommend buying them in small sizes (think dessert plates rather than dinner plates, tea cups rather than huge mugs and small salad/ soup bowls)
Black, Dark Brown Plates, Bowls and Cups
If you are someone who loves to take dark and moody food photography, then dark colored tablewares, especially in black, dark brown will really help. Try to get plain ones, without much patterns/designs so that the focus is on the food and not on the plates/cups, especially if you are a beginner in food photography
Old Metal Baking Trays and Pans
I love stained, old rustic metal baking trays. While they might not be the best choice when you want to show off your baking skills in front of your friends and family, they are an awesome accessory in food photography. You can use the trays as an another layer apart from your backdrop and it can make the image more interesting. It helps achieve a rustic natural look, if thats your jam!
Gold, Silver, Copper or Bronze Shaded Utensils and Plates
I love using my family’s bronze or copper utensils in my shots. Especially when I am shooting traditional Indian dishes. Such colors can help bring out a festive, traditional look to an image which I love. You can find cheap silverwares, bronze plates etc in flea markets, antique shops or ebay. I just borrowed the stuff we had in our family. Now go find out from your mom or grandmom if they have any old silverware collecting dust in the attic.
Matt Wooden Tabletops, Wooden Backdrops
A beautiful rustic wooden backdrop can make a gorgeous image. Especially when the wood has a lot of texture and character to it! So if you have an old table in your house, try clicking some pictures on it. You will love it. Brand new glossy wooden tables do not give the same feel to the image and the shiny surface reflecst light. You don’t want to deal with those highlights in editing. It is a pain! Don’t have an old table? You can make your own by getting some wooden planks or go raid your friends’ or neighbour’s back yard. You might get lucky!
Plain Linen Napkins / Any Plain Cloth
Plain linen cloths can be used to add another layer to the image. I prefer to keep the linens plain, so that they don’t take the focus off the food. If you do want to go for patterned ones, checks, strips are a good choice. Also grey, white and black are safe colors in most situations. But if you’ve got colored ones, don’t be afraid to use them.
Wooden Cutting Boards / Cheese Boards
Wooden cutting boards can add another layer to your image. And layers add interest to an image. You can even use the chopping boards as serving platters to beautifully display food and no one would know!
Vinyl or Canvas Backdrops
A good backdrop is one of the most important props to have in your prop collection. Backdrops forms the base for an image unless you are going to a macro zoomed in shot of the food where your backdrop has no role to play. While you can use your old table, baking trays , marble counters etc to shoot food, its always a plus to have a good vinyl or canvas backdrop so you can shoot anywhere. They are lightweight and are super easy to clean. You can get good ones in etsy, amazon. The marble backdrop you see below is actually a vinyl backdrop.
Hand Made Ceramic Plates and Bowls.
I absolutely love handmade ceramics. They are unique and have a character to it which can enhance the look of your image. They might be a little expensive so if you can’t afford to have a lot, I would suggest a matt ceramic plate / bowl in off white, grey or black as they will look good in most of the images.
Drink Glasses in Different Shapes and Sizes.
Last but not the least, having a couple of good drink glasses is a must. Whether you are shooting drinks or you want to add it as a prop on the side with your food, they are a must have. I usually find cute glasswares in local thrift stores, donation centres.
Liked our list of 10 props to enhance your food photography? Feel free to reach out to us if you would like to know where to source these stuff. Maybe we will make a blog post on that soon.