Collecting food photography props for almost 10 years, I have some great tips I would love to share with you. If you’re just starting out with food photography, you might be lacking some essential food photography props such as good cops glasses plates cutlery and trays.
Buy cheap essentials
You can get amazing cheap basic plates and glasses from pretty inexpensive places like IKEA, Muji, or the dollar store. The absolute basics like plain white or black cleats or sunglasses look almost identical whether cheap or branded.
Invest in a set of non-shiny white, black, gray plates. Basic props the last you a very long time and distance any upcoming trend in food photography. This plates, bowls, and glasses, get them all on a smaller size, they will be easier to fill his food.
You can also get some inexpensive wooden boards, black stone plates, and marble boards at the stores mentioned above. Also Zara Home, and H&M have great cheap essentials. In Germany, there are also Depot, Strauss, and Butlers. In Spain: Muy Mucho.
Don’t get multiples
You will start buying the more expensive props to make your collection a little bit more interesting, don’t get huge sets. Unless you are photographing huge table settings, one or two plates, glasses, bowls and so on are usually enough. Rather than getting multiples, I like to get different sizes of one kind of an item.
Never use your props in your own kitchen
You will see if I turn off money if you make your props last longer. Therefore, never use your props to eat out of them, not in your own kitchen, but also don’t eat the food out of the mobile photographing the food. I’m done shooting, I usually transfer the food onto a different plate and eat it out of that. It avoid scratching. Don’t wash the dishes with harsh chemicals and also don’t scrub them with any sharp sponges or brushes. It’s also better never to put the dishes into the dishwasher, always handwash your food photography props. Don’t use any harsh chemicals, like acids or soaps to clean your dishes.
Try not to break your props
It doesn’t happen a lot, but I managed to break some expensive props by just not being careful enough. It usually happens while transporting or storing, but sometimes also while shooting.
If you have lots of props, you definitely need to think about our practical storage solution, always store all the props into reusable wrapping material. You don’t want to props to get dusty, to scratch, or to fall down while storing them.
After one of the pizza shoots, my model couldn’t hold the plate anymore and it fell down. I wouldn’t do risky photo shoots with the expensive plates in the future. Lukely, it was a half-off plate, I will tell you how to get your props for half the price.
You get tons of basics but also some unique antiques at the flea market for a fraction of the price you would to have to pay at the store. There are some better, some cheaper, and some disillusioning flea markets. Buying props from a flea market is adventure and years long hobby. You will never be able to find what you are really looking for, but something you might need in the future. Are usually only go to the flea market if I really have the time for it and it’s not huge of an effort. It’s a lot of fun for us to going to flea markets while traveling. We get to go to the parts of the city we go to usually not have gone, and usually find something really amazing to take home.
Buy flawed props from your porter
The last trip for buying amazing props for a fraction of the original price, it’s to ask your favorite Potter if they have some slots pottery they would usually not sell for the full price or would not be comfortable selling. Depending on the flaw, I usually get a 50% discount. Here is an example of cake stand, a normal person would probably not buy it. It’s pretty disfigured on the top, but it doesn’t matter to me so much, as I can always cover it with food. So it works for me pretty well for me and I can get two instead of just one item. The potter are also happy to get rid of their hard-to-sell stock.
Build up your collection slowly and keep your future projects, or what you would laugh to photograph in mind. This way you will have enough time to buy food photography props on sale or the flea market.