Tips on how to build an essential food photography props collection – – props & antiques
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Tips on how to build an essential food photography props collection

December 12, 2019 - filed under: ,

Let’s talk a little bit about food photography props. This is always a popular topic among food photographers and it is very clear why. Although very important, I have a feeling that all of us photographers sometimes overdo it in collecting too many props, so for that reason, I decided to share with you some tips on how to collect only the right accessories for your food photos, so that you always have right props in every one of your shootings.

1. Find your personal style!

Very important topic! I remember, at the beginning of my food photography business (better say hobby), I was buying everything that seemed pretty at first sight.

I would see on Instagram how some other creative person made a beautiful picture with colorful, bright plates, and my first thought was that I NEED this plate to make my food styling even better. What really happened is that the first time when I inserted the same plate into my photos, I would not get the same effect. The reason for this is very simple. This colorful plate never fit my style. For years I’ve made mistakes, and eventually, I learned what fits best in my food styling.

This is what I find out: I like the rustic style, minimal, with a touch of modern. Gentle colors, natural or almost always colorless props. When I finally found my style, I knew the exact props that I was looking for.

So folks, be smart and before any shopping sit down with yourself and try to figure out your unique style of food styling. If you do this, you will save some money and after a few years, you will have all the props you need!

2. Be patient!

Fact! It takes time to assemble the perfect collection of props for food photography. Make a list of all the items you’ll need so you can always take a GREAT photo, no matter what food you photographing.

When it comes to props, as in other areas in our life, go for quality over quantity. Over time, stay consistent with your list and try never to buy things that aren’t on it.

3. Food is the most important

Even when you’ve got a lot of props for the shooting, do not overdo them. Props should never be the first thing the viewer is looking at! ALWAYS choose what compliments the food.

Choose props based on the food you photographing. If the food is in bright colors, it would be best if you choose between some neutral colors or to go totally opposite and pick props in contrast colors.

4. Choose something that you can use over and over again

Just like a little black dress, choose food photography props that you can always use, no matter what food you photograph. Something that will never go out of style.

5. Choose something that can be mixed and matched

If you are like me and you love both antique and modern photography props, always keep in mind that they have to make a good combination when photographing together and also good on itself.

6. Invest in leading props

Leading props for me are those props that work with every single dish and tell a story. A leading prop can be vintage utensils that will fit in every styling story. Also old sifter, antique wooden board, small simple cups… etc.

7. Last but not least

When you feel confused with your choice of props, go simple. Forget about props, let the food to be the only decoration for your food photos.

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Written by Sonja SillyWorld

Sonja is a lifestyle and food photographer who documents the day-to-day food moments of her life. She became interested in photography when she started her blog where you can find many of her images. She has also published photos in numerous of cookbooks, food magazines, and lifestyle magazines.