Food styling isn’t something that comes easy to me, but with a bit of practise (and shooting my own cookbook), I’ve learnt a little along the way. Check out my most frequently used props to add interest to your food images and don’t forget to pin the below image for inspiration later!
You can also check out my favourite stores to go prop shopping, or even where to hire them!
1. Recycled glass jars
You’ll find heaps of these online, or even in your own fridge. Give them a good old wash out and use them in the background of shots to add height and interest. Fill them with ice, herbs, nuts, straws – anything that fits with the story you’re trying to tell.
2. Sea salt flakes
So simple yet so effective. These add texture to the top of dishes, along with cracked black pepper. If you have a block of colour in your shot, or something very smooth (for example, an egg yolk), you can break up that colour and / or texture with a sprinkle of salt or pepper.
3. Textured napery
Throwing a cloth under your plate can create depth and texture in your shot. I love these from Bianca Lorenne and use them regularly.
4. Garden Twine
Cheap and super simple to use – tie it around glass bottles with name tags, or around your fresh herbs.
5. Vintage Cutlery
Shiny cutlery is a nightmare for causing reflections. You may have seen me hanging over many-a-picture in via the spoon mirror. The best way to get around this is use beautiful old cutlery that is worn. I find heaps of these in charity shops for 50cents each.
6. Microherbs + Edible Flowers
Perfect for topping salads and smoothie bowl, they also add a splash of colour and texture when you need it. I like to cluster a few together rather than showering my dish, but play around with them and see what works for you.
There’s just something about hand-shaped crockery that makes food look more beautiful. These can be expensive, so I only buy one at a time – you rarely need a full matching set. Look out for beautiful flecked bowls or organic shaped plates – anything that adds interest.
My favourite finds come from these places:
Salvation Army Stores
For eBay and Etsy, I use search terms such as ‘vintage cutlery, kitchenalia, handmade ceramics, vintage kitchen’. Keep your eye on the prize – new stuff gets listed daily.
Where to rent:
You can rent beautiful props and backgrounds – there’s often big warehouses or shops that cater to the stylists in the area.
Here a few great ones I’ve come across:
Melbourne: The Prop Dispensary
NYC: Prop Haus
Did I miss any of your favourite prop stores? Got an amazing shop you love to visit for hidden treasures? Share it below!