Today we want to explain you a few things that we consider basic regarding food styling. We want to talk about how to choose the props that will be part of our set in our picture. Here are some ideas we find really useful to help us choose the props that best suit our food photos:
1. Know what you are taking a picture of
The main character of our photo is food. Consequently, the scene that we are creating has to help us explain its characteristics and not just be pretty. Props should help us create a coherent scene, and to do so we totally need to know (at least superficially) the ways of preparing the dish, the spices that work with it, the traditions that it’s lied to and so on. This first step is basic for our picture to make sense and, of course, to prevent us from messing it up.
2. Find its setting
Props aren’t just helpful for stressing the most interesting qualities of the dish, but also for explaining its context. When choosing the props that will be surrounding our food, we should think of its exact setting: place, time of day and year, exact step of the preparation process… After answering all this questions we can start thinking about the props that are related to them. We don’t need to be obvious about it, it’s better if we come up with a subtle way to explain the settling. For instance, if we want to explain that it is a homemade dish or that we’ve ecologic ingredients we can use brownish colors or imperfect props: a waisted table, a non completely round dish, etc.
3. Find your own style
This may sound as a classic: it is, but it is so true! We are addicted to Pinterest too (here you have the proof), but we also know that trying to reproduce the style of the blogger or food stylist we love is not going to produce a good result, and we’ll probably end up doing something not even close to what we tried to. Our aim is to find a style with which we feel comfortable and to let it evolve as we create.
Our advise is that you start building the styling for your photos with the basics. Find a dish, a glass that suits your food. Once you’re satisfied with it, look at your composition and identify whatever it is missing on your photo. Step by step you’ll find the balance in your scene. Obviously it is not the only procedure to give a shape to your food styling, but at least it is a good beginning.
We’ll stop here for now. We hope this very basic advices are helpful and we’ll come back very soon with a short list of the most basic props to start in food photography.
See you soon!