Ilva at Lucullian Delights is hosting the successful Food Props on Sunday series. Over 8 weekends she has published tips on crockery, linens and backgrounds.
A round up, “Show us your props,” will be published at Lucullian Delights on 4 July. Ilva is also a contributor to the sensational photography blogging collaboration, Between Hemispheres.
Props, as food bloggers know, can help create fantastic photos. My collection mostly comes from sales with vintage items inherited from my grandma (such as plates in the chocolate aubergine cake post or sundae dishes here). The cellar shelves groan with odd glasses and plates. My back bedroom has Ikea boxes stuffed with napkins, odd cutlery and small dishes. Never mind the kitchen. After just 12 months’ food blogging!
Small is good when looking for props. A full size plate or spoon can look enormous in proportion to the food. I constantly have an eye out for dinky cutlery and containers or dishes.
Quite often if you have a set of napkins or small dishes, it’s boring using them repeatedly in photos. What better way to broaden your collection than to swap your spares with other food bloggers?
At Food Blogger Connect earlier this month, there was a brilliant food prop swap. Armed with a bag full of spare napkins, place mats, cute boxes and ribbons, I picked up new props cast off by other bloggers.
Here’s what I got:
- a selection of patterned paper napkins;
- 2 x stripey cardboard popcorn boxes;
- 4 x African style wooden spoons;
- 3 x Oriental style spoons made from shell;
- 3 x shaped plastic serving dishes;
- cute packet of cocktail sticks decorated with miniature fruit (centre of picture, difficult to see)
- and a box of rabbit cookie cutters!
So do expect some of these items to pop up soon in my food photos. I wish I could tell you who else shared their stuff but apart from Sarka and Guilia above, my memory fails me – my eyes were more on the table!
Other booty gained at Food Blogger Connect: GOODIE BAGS!
This year we were treated to:
Foods Unearthed Biltong and Snacking Chorizo
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
Randalls Country Chutney in various flavours – mine was tomato and courgette
Purely Pesto Pesto (they also make things like hummus and taramasalata)
Barking Nuts Chihuahua Chili Nuts by Olives et al
An information pack from Vive Le Cheese with some wonderful cheesy recipes I hope to use soon
And a yummy chewy bar which unfortunately I’ve forgotten the name of the company.
Not forgetting, on our chairs upon arrival, delightful (and award winning!) elderflower marshmallows from Caroline at Sugargrain.
If you are fortunate to be meeting up with any lovely food bloggers, why not suggest a prop swap of your own?
Finally, props are only part of the story. For further advice on improving food photography, check out Neel’s invaluable blog, Learn Food Photography. He has recently published a two part post summarising the tips that Meeta and Mowie delivered in their Food Blogger Connect presentation on food photography which is well worth a read whether or not you saw the original talk.
faithy, the baker says
Such a fantastic idea for food prop swaps!! Reminds me of that tv show i'm watching now on BBC, Twiggy's program..the one that do fashion swap..pretty interesting!
Stephanie Savors the Moment says
That food blogger swap is a really great idea! Looks like you got some fabulous finds. Also, I need to get some of that snacking Chorizo – how good does that sounds?! Thanks!
Barbara Bakes says
Fun! I love the idea of a prop swap. I hoping to come home from vacation with a few new props.
Deeba PAB says
Woot woot…another something I feel sore at having missed at the FBC – a food prop swap! Sounds like nirvana Sarah. Love what you picked up, esp the African and oriental spoons! Must do a props post for Ilva. Sounds like fun. Missed hearing about the event and am gladded I stopped by here! Big Hugs…
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe so true my shelves are full to bursting with different props and pieces of cutlery! 😛
Looks great! I love the Sunday props series. I have started re-collecting now, and my husband has started sighing, "not another bowl" when I come home from the market. 🙂
An Open Book says
i so badly need some new props…im bored with mine..i think i need 2 make an ikea trip soon
Kitchen Butterfly says
Yay……..I'm so glad I get to see more of FBC and I love those African spoons! My husband just cleaned out a box for me to store all my props and collection of purchased antique crockery and cutlery! Superb post
Juls @ Juls' Kitchen says
My napkin friend!! Now you are my napkin friend, I can't help it! 😛
I gained a lot of colorful paper napkins (you have seen them in Ilva's guest post), I absolutely love them!
Oooh love those wooden spoons. And of course those rabbit cookie cutters are perfect for you! I walked away with a stack of beautiful colored napkins which I have been using in all of my shots.
Lovely collection of props and a great goodie bag. It looks like you had a fabulous time. I was so sad to miss it this year but I'll definitely be at the 2011 one.
Know what you mean about props though – I have a huge box of tea towels and napkins and a floor to ceiling cupboard groaning with plates and glasses.
Funny what happens to you when you start to blog about food, everything becomes a potential food prop! 😛 Great post, Sarah.
Props can take over your house when you become a food blogger! It is true, I am always looking at things as potential props now. It's rather funny!
It will be fun to see these traded props take on new life through a fresh set of eyes!
Julie the Alkaline Sister says
Sarah, the 4 African style wooden spoons were my contribution! I ended up with a gorgeous detailed antique silver salad fork and a ceramic cruet. I had to sneak off early so I missed the goodie bag- but oh well my suit case was stuffed with props I found in London and my travels there after to Paris, Copenhagen-really scored here, Stockholm and Oslo. I too am a wee bit obsessed to say the least! But it is soooo nice to have a lovely collection to inspire ideas. I love, love, love being a food stylist, recipe creator and photographer. It can’t get any better!