List of most used food photography props
As part of the food photography book project that I’m working on, I’m spending a lot of time outlining and that’s time that I usually spend blogging. Anyway, that’s my excuse for this sorry attempt at a blog post. This has been a crazy week at work, and I’m actually writing this post from Nebraska and not my normal home town of Pittsburgh. I’m here on a multi-day shoot and last week I worked late until the evening three days. I’m pretty sure you really don’t care about that, so here’s what I have for you today.
I thought it might be a good idea to come up with a list of commonly used props when shooting food. A list like this will come in handy when preparing for you next food shoot or for when you need a last-minute idea. Sure, some of these items are obvious and probably don’t need to be mentioned, but others may be “just the right ticket” to fill a compositional hole or to add a little story to your next food photo.
When I’m in a jam for an idea, I just glance around the studio looking for a possible prop, but I’m thinking this list may come in really handy when planning for the shoot. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be referring to this myself, not too long into the future.
Like I said, I’m way behind this week and I’ll be putting this list in a better order for the book, but for now, I think this list may be of some value to you.
Individual sized plates /and bowls – All kinds and colors. I find I use more 5″ or 7″ than dinner plates.
Serving sized plates and bowels
Tablecloths – All kinds and colors. Plain and simple patterns are best.
Cheese Cloth – This is mostly for artsy fartsy shots….
Napkins – All kinds and colors. Plain or simple patterns are best.
Wood surfaces – Antique and new table tops. You can buy new wood at a one of those large box hardware stores like home Depot or Lowes. Buy some stain and beat the items with a hammer to give them an aged look.
Stacks of plates – good for illustrating the concept of “party” and useful as a vertical compositional element in the top of a photo.
Silverware – All kinds, new and old. It’s a good idea to keep some as scratch free as possible.
Bread baskets – All shapes and sizes, including wicker and wire types. The wire ones are good for showing the bread through the rack. This will help make an out of focus object, identifiable.
Cutting boards – used very often. Get as many sizes and colors as you can. I never use the plastic ones
Milk and Orange Juice pitchers
Sugar Jar – I never used one, but someone suggested this and it sounded like a good idea.
Fake Ice Cubes – One of my most used props. Worth having several types.
Salt and pepper shakers – These make good compositional fillers
Utensils (wooden / antique?) These are good for “assembly” type shots.
Knife set – Good kitchen background element and you can cut stuff with it too…
Mixing bowls – good for “cooking or assembly” shots
Ramekins – Good compositional filler element for assembly shots
Baking pans –
Cake dishes – Good for cake or pie shots
Glasses of all kinds – Use all the time for table shots.
Coffee cups – Use all shapes and colors, including glass ones. Rarely use ones with logos.
Mason jars – Good for Pinteresty type of shots…
Antique dishes and silverware – Good for Artsey shots.
Vases / flowers
Measuring cups and spoons
Pizza cutter – Guess what this if for…?
Paper Bags – For kid’s lunch shots
Cooling racks – For cookies and cakes
Pans pots skillets – For cooking action shots
Craft paper / butcher paper / parchment
Cheese jar glass
Cast iron pans
Hands / clothes
Colored bottles (for outside the frame)
This little list is a work in progress, so if you have any ideas for props that I’ve missed, please let me know via the comment section of this post.