10 Essential Props For Food Photography

I’ve never had a fancy, gorgeous wooden table (though one day I swear I will!). Instead I’ve invested in this shabby chic wooden board that I use as my backgrounds for pretty much everything. Some of the many reasons I love it are: 1. it’s small enough to travel with yet large enough to shoot full sets 2. you can order it to have a different finish on either side aka two for the price of one 3. it has a photo finish paint on it so you won’t get funny glares.

Good silverware is a must in my opinion. They make for awesome close up “bite” shots (ya know the ones where you scoop some of those pancakes onto a fork & focus on the fork in the shot with the rest of the dish in the background?), they’re great to throw in as space fillers, & they elevate a photo’s beauty.

Paper straws are my favorite for adding a fun element to any shoot. In milk jars, mason jars, or just thrown around the table they always add a pop of color for just a few dollars.

I’m known to have just one of every plate I own. In my opinion, buying one of each piece instead of an entire set is super useful for switching up your content. Plus, it makes for a fun dinner party when everyone has mismatched plates!

I also have an entire closet rack of just dish towels because I use them in nearly every shoot. They add a feminine touch to photos, are space fillers, & give your photos a sophisticated/professional look.

I know what you’re thinking, extra food isn’t a prop… It is though! Having extra of whatever you’re shooting is essential so you can make the photo look, what I like to call it, a natural mess. Sprinkle some of the cookie crumbs on the plate for a natural “bite”, place some of that pot-pie on the plate but still have some in the background, the list can go on & on. Extra food is an essential prop for food photography!

Mason jars are my favorite for drink recipes as they have so much character within themselves. Drinks can often look boring unless you use a cool glass (aka these guys), some paper straws, or garnish.

In my opinion, for at home shoots there’s no need to spend a ton of money on expensive lighting equipment. Using a plain ‘ole poster board from the drugstore will totally suffice as a clean white background or a great way to reflect natural light. 

Tape is a must for shoots! You know when you want to lie a bottle on the table but it keep rolling into your dish? Put a little tape on the back & secure it to the board/table so you can easily place props to your liking.

I’m a sucker for flowers in a shoot. Whether they’re in a vase in the background, topped on a cake, sprinkled over the table, or however you want to add them in, they add SO much to a shot.

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