Don't know what type of props you need for your food blog? Whether you're building a prop collection or looking to add new items, we've compiled a list of the most efficient and versatile props every food blogger should have.
How To Choose Food Photography Props
As you go through our guide, keep in mind that the best dinnerware, serveware, and glassware should be neutral colored and non-reflective because they are easier to photograph. Neutral colors will practically go unnoticed by your audience and will suit any color palette, enabling you to use the same props over and over again. Since lighting for food photography can be tricky, you should also seek props with a dull finish to reduce reflective light and make it easier to photograph and edit your pictures.
1. Plates & Bowls
It might be tempting to pair your fare with intricately patterned blue china plates or multicolored porcelain bowls. After all, they are eye-catching and photograph well, but you'll soon find that beautifully designed tableware can end up hurting your photographs rather than helping. Plates with strong colors and patterns can distract from your food and may result in followers asking where the plates are from rather than asking about your culinary creations.
Melamine plates and bowls with a matte finish are the perfect choices for plating your dishes. Unlike other plastic dishware, melamine plates are virtually unbreakable and give off the appearance of being made out of porcelain or slate. Your subscribers won't be able to tell the difference! In addition to their high-grade look, a matte finish will prevent uneven lighting so you'll spend less time correcting photos during post-production.
2. Cutting Boards
Looking to make a dish that stands out from the rest? A well-placed cutting board adds layer, height, and texture to your pictures. Use them to stylishly display how you prepare your meals or as plates to enhance your presentations.
Natural wood cutting boards give your pictures character, warmth, and an effortless rustic touch. Most food bloggers pair cutting boards with:
- Wheat dishes
- Brightly colored fruits
Cutting board alternatives are great options if you want something that doesn't look like a cutting board, but has the same effect as a cutting board. You should try:
- Wood serving trays
- Acacia risers
A collection of props with a variety of options will give you different shades and textures to choose from to create the perfect look.
Marble serving plates and platters are also great if you're looking to add texture with a more sophisticated and clean feel. Marble serveware is versatile in that it's elegant and can be used every day. You'll be able to plate your food on marble multiple times without your followers even noticing.
3. Cutlery & Utensils
If you want to give your pictures a human touch, add some cutlery or kitchen utensils to your scene. Spoons, forks, and knives help viewers imagine they are eating the dish, while utensils show how your meal was made. Since most cutlery is reflective, picking the right fork or spatula can be tricky. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can try such as spraying your stainless steel utensils and cutlery with anti-glare to give them a matte finish.
Melamine tasting spoons are an alternate option to traditional cutlery. With tasting spoons, the food is already in the bowl, making it even easier for your viewers to visualize themselves tasting your delicious treats.
Silicone utensils don't have any glare and are available in a variety of colors. Plus, they can be used to make lines that lead to your dish. They're great tools for creating a story in your photographs or videos.
You can't go wrong with glassware. Unlike mugs and other non-transparent cups, glassware can be photographed from all angles, allowing you to choose the perfect shot from a large selection of pictures. Plus, clear glass will give your audience a sense of action. Think about it, a glass full of ice cubes stirs your senses with sound, feel, and taste. While a non-transparent cup limits your imagination. Just remember to always use cups and glasses appropriate to the beverage your photographing or filming. You wouldn't put a martini in a champagne glass, would you?
Etched glasses make beverages look more refreshing and their etched design shows off the colors of your fruit drinks or margaritas. You'll be able to play more with light and give your drinks more dimension.
Square glass bottles and nostalgic bottles are essential when it comes to bottling up your drinks. You won't always need a tumbler or a wine glass next to your meals. A hot dog will always look better with a bottled soft drink than with a highball glass. Not to mention, these are reusable and you won't have to worry about concealing expiration dates that are printed on most commercially sold bottles.
Beverage glasses can be used for any drink and paired with any meal. Their simple yet classic design makes them versatile and an essential prop for your collection. Look for glasses with thin walls, as these are less reflective and will show off the dark and light hues of your drinks.
5. Small Plates & Bowls
With mini plates and bowls, you'll be able to create the look of a full plate with less amount of food. Large bowls and plates will require more food which can be costly and is harder to photograph. Small plates and bowls are easier to style because they require less food and can be put in between larger dishes to create a visual journey.
Small glass bowls and dishes can be used to showcase ingredients, appetizers, desserts, sauces, and more! Like glassware, glass bowls and dishes have no bad angles. There are many types of small glass dishes and bowls available, such as tasting dishes, tasting bowls, dessert bowls, and prep bowls. Experiment with different bowls for unique shots of your ingredients or tasty meals.
6. Food Wraps
An easy way to create an extra layer in your food photography is with food wraps. You can wrap your sandwiches or burritos, but you can also lay them flat and use their lines as a way to guide your audiences' eyes to dishes or beverages. Plus, food wraps with designs add color and visual interest. Crinkle food wraps to add extra texture. Your followers won't be able to take their eyes off the pictures in your posts!
The Focus Of Food Blogging Is The Food
No matter what types of dishes or glasses you end up choosing, bear in mind that food props for photography are meant to complement your dishes not overshadow them. It's easy to get caught up in finding the perfect bowl or spoon, but you should never forget to make your hero, i.e. your food, the star of the show.