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Food photography props

July 18, 2010

My stock of food photography props is slowly mounding. But I was pleased to find that I’m far from terminal, and I’m far from some of the extremes I’ve seen on the web.

Inspired by a great blog post I came across on Imagelicious, I thought I’d share with you some of the props that I use in the blog. I haven’t taken any photos of the glasses, plates and so on that I have been using as, up until now, I’ve just used whatever I happened to have to hand.

That’s all about to change though. I’ve been in the market for a cheap (or at least reasonably priced!) cake stand for a while now. They all seem overly expensive for what you get in the shops, and given that with food photography you want things to be as varied as possible, only having the one would just be plain old dull.

So yesterday I began scouring eBay for great cake stands, and I ended up bidding for not one, but 3, whoops! I ended up winning a lovely blue Midwinter 2-tier 1960s cake stand, which I’m very excited about, as well as a single-tier Alfred Meakin piece.

I’m still waiting to find out if I’ve won another single tier chintzy piece. It’s all very addictive. Anyway, if I win the third one I will have spent £30 on 3 different (and vintage to boot) pieces – bargain.

On to stuff that I already have. By far my biggest collection is backgrounds for my photos. I tend to take all of my photos on the coffee table, believe it or not, so jazzing up the background is of utmost importance. I’ve purchased papers, art papers and saved bits and bobs from wrapping paper and flower wrappings to use as background. Nothing gets wasted! Some are more expensive than others, and some are more used than others. This weekend I bought some new material and new paper, so they’re yet to make it’s debut!

Some of the backgrounds I use for my photographs

New materials I bought this week, all 4 pieces for less than £10 from Cardiff Market

Some of my favourite papers, all from Paperchase.

I’ll post some tips on how to use them later on in the week, but for now, on to the recipes that I use. I’m an avid hoarder of food magazines, until eventually my collection got too big and I decanted them into a folder. And my collection of cookbooks is growing, a lot of these I got in the Border’s closing-down sale at knock-down prices and some of them were gifts.

My starter's collection of food books

Where my first lot of food mags ended up because I ran out of my room... going to have to do this again very shortly I fear...

Some of the many (far too many probably) food magazines I've got left...

Some of the many (far too many probably) food magazines I've got left...

The cookbooks and magazines are not just great for finding recipes, but also fantastic inspiration for food photography itself, and some have completely different styles than others, which is always good. I’ll post more on this one day too…

This week I’m making it my mission to hunt down some retro cookbooks, and more retro props from the vintage and charity shops of Bath and Cardiff, so if you have any recommendations please do let me know and I’ll post up anything cool that I find too.

As I said, my collection is small… but I don’t expect it to stay that way for long…

Are you a prop hoarder? Any tips you’d like to share? Get in touch via the comments box below or the suggestions/about links above.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2010 6:24 pm

    Guilty of prop hoarding and proud of it! Like you, I find vintage pieces to be a great bargain. I am a prop stylist to food photographers by profession, so collecting is also part of my business. Such a thrill to find a prop you love and use it in a shot, isn’t it?
    You can see some of my treasured finds featured on my blog & website, would love for you to visit!

    • amydavies permalink*
      September 28, 2010 9:29 pm

      Wow, you have the most amazing job… it’s honestly one of my dream professions – maybe one day when I’m rich enough to set up on my own 🙂 I love your website, I can see me visiting often for inspiration, and to prove to myself that I’m not the only insane one.

      I really should sell back (or donate back to charity shops) some of the props I use, as I know I probably won’t use them again in a long while (I only bake once a week), but I can never bring myself to – still it’s handy knowing that there’s money tied up in the cupboard for a rainy day 😀

      Thanks again,


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