If you are a food photographer or blogger then you should be aware that props are as important as the food in a photograph. You would need lots of food photography props if you are planning to blog regularly or post food pictures on social media quite frequently. We cannot use the same prop over and over; we have to mix them up to keep our photography and blogging capturing.
A blogger should be creative… with budget friendly props!!!
Although, the camera, harnessing the light and the lighting situation play a major role in capturing the right image, fancy food styling props do add texture, glamour and appeal to your dish. I truly believe that we, as an artist, have to be extremely creative with our presentations, but that does not mean we have to spend a fortune on expensive props, backgrounds and studio equipment; all you need are few random but unusual pieces to make your photos stand out.
Gathering Food Photography Props on a Budget!
Let's Know The Purpose of Props First
Few shoots are prop-centered, while other shoots focal point may differ from time of the day, the dish at hand to the season. Your prop should work both with the food and place & time of the day. It should also tell the audience a story.
Props also help to select your audience. Props have a feminine or masculine stance to it. They should represent the viewers perfectly. If you are just a beginner, try with the usual ones. Cutlery shots and ingredients based shots are way to start your photography journey, however, don’t over complicate it with too many things in the frame.
We Can Get Addictive You See.....
Here’s a slight warning from a fellow food blogger, your budget will never allow you to equip yourself with a complete prop closet. We are greedy people and this aspect of food photography can become addictive and pricey down the lane.
However, once you know the fundamental elements of styling, and with few tricks and essentials you will be able to take affordable steps towards buying and selecting the appropriate food styling prop that would evoke passion, creativity and required mood to shoot.
Wanna be a blogging expert? try Killer Food Styling Tips & Tricks Followed by Pro Food Bloggers
Places to look out for low budget food photography props
- Grocery stores are one of the best places to find natural props. Ingredients of a dish, their colour and texture may help you find the right prop and background that will highlight them.
- Natural props are easy to add subtle hues to your shot. This includes herbs, spices, fruits & nuts, sugar crystals, peppercorns, vegetables etc.
- The ingredients that go into the dish can be your great prop alley. Save the best looking ingredient for the shoot. They not only create the mood and but also present the story you want to tell about your dish.
- Asking questions to self could be good; for example “does the dish has memories associated with it” or “why am I making the dish?” All these questions may garner suitable props.
- Simple coloured cutleries highlight food more. Hunt for crockeries and cutleries that you can use ‘everyday’ as part of your cooking. And buy them in sets of two instead of ordering in bulk. This way, the crockeries will not only add variety to your prop collection but you would not have to buy separate cutleries for your dinner.
- Colourful napkins, fabrics, accessories add vibrant colour to your picture. Use shawls, scarves, bedsheets and fancy looking fabrics to serve the purpose.
- Think beyond normalcy. How about unusual props like jewelleries, cans, bottles, perfumes, photo frames, newspapers etc.?
- Look for unique and original items and think out-of-the-box. A worn out pebble can add so much authenticity, you may never know.
- Flea markets, garage, yard sales, thrift stores are few places where you can buy terrific stuffs for a quarter or two.
- Old cardboards can be made into new prop with splashes of acrylic and glitter paints. Renew old things with colour paints.
- Keep an eye on the shopping streets when you travel to new places; antique stores do have stuffs that are too old to be sold. You can use them artistically.
Basic Budget Friendly Food Styling Props
2) News papers
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6) Wooden Surfaces
7) Coloured Papers and Foam Boards
9) Home and Living Accessories
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10) Rustic Antiques and Potteries
Sometimes, a prop can motivate you to cook; that one prop that inspires an entire story in your mind. Your imagination is your limitation. Inspirations for food photography props could begin from anywhere, keep searching and do not settle for less. Hopefully this article has inspired you enough for a head start. But who knows, you may have all of essential props for food photography hanging around your house already?
If I have missed out on any basic prop on budget, do share it in comments. Until then, chao!