My 5 Favorite Food Photography Props

I think we can all agree food photography doesn’t “just happen.” Most images of food online are staged to make the food look as pretty as possible. If my food photography was “real” pictures of my food, you’d probably see a lot more images in bad light, on the couch with maybe a glass of wine nearby and Parks and Recreation playing in the background. Real life.

In order to make food look as delicious as possible, it helps to have some props! Props can get spendy pretty quickly, but most of my favorites are probably already in your kitchen! Of course there are tons of fun props to use, but these are the five I find myself using constantly. This post from Pinch of Yum is full of more great ideas! Also, if you’re looking for some very basic food photography tips, this post might help.

Now, my top 5 food photography props!

1 // Cutting board Definitely my most used prop. My kitchen doesn’t have great lighting (it’s horrible actually), so taking pictures on my kitchen table doesn’t really work. So in order to get the light, I photograph my food outside on my back deck. I use the cutting board to give a nice clean background, and to kinda give the allusion of a kitchen table. The bigger the cutting board the better!

2 // Pretty dish towels  Cute dish towels give your photos an extra splash of color, texture and adds interest. I’ve found having three “layers” works well for photos. What I mean by this is the cutting board or surface is your first layer, a cute towel is the second and your plate is the third.

3 // Silverware Yep, silverware is a prop! Sometimes throwing a spoon or fork into the picture gives it more interest and looks more realistic. I love using them to create “bite” pictures. This is my very technical term for a picture with a heaping bite on a spoon or fork, or a bite taken out of something. Gives you an idea of what the dish looks like when you start digging into it!

4 // White dishes While sometimes I use colorful dishes, white dishes are my favorite. I feel they create a nice clean slate so your food can be the star! White dishes make it easier o play with colors in different ways, such as your dishtowels or a colorful background.

5 // Ingredients You have to be careful with this one so it doesn’t look too forced or silly, but using ingredients from the dish in your photo can really help your composition. Ingredients can also help fill awkward empty space in a photo, and people better understand the dish right away. The best part is by purchasing ingredients you also bought some props! Two birds with one stone.

So there you have it, my most used food photography props. Bloggers out there, do you have any food photography props you can’t shoot without? I’d love to know your secrets 🙂

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