Welcome to the second guest post in the series of ‘Food Photography and Styling (Season 2). After learning about ‘Customizing your Backgrounds‘ lets move a step ahead and learn how to play with props. Prop shopping, setting and storing is such a huge subject that binding it in a single post is very difficult….So we will be having two awesome bloggers who will be talking about this ‘Prop’ thing in detail. Our guest blogger of today’s post is Nusrat of ‘Eye of the sBeholder‘, She is going to take us on a virtual feast through her stunnning food styling and photography. I came across Nusrat through a social media network and completely bowled by her simplicity and food pics…Today Nusrat is going to take charge to help us deal with prop pressure….Let me tell you this prop pressure is not less than the blood pressure at times….wink..wink….Nusrat says,
You’re born to click, baby! You’re an artist! As over and over again, you’ve successfully seized the moments of the most beautiful and ancient form of art: cooking! As a Food-photographer you know it very well that in Food Photography FOOD is the whole show. And Props is one of the supporting factors. Let’s not ruin FOOD with Props pressure .
You do not necessarily need to go ‘vintage’, ‘rustic’, ‘old-timey’, or ‘ultra-urban’ when it comes to using props in food photography. You do not necessarily need to spend a truckload of money to purchase a boatload of ‘exotic’, ‘rare’, ‘never-seen-before’ props. It’s very much possible that you keep your props simple, humble, minimal and yet you create charming, adorable, lovely images. And when your food styling/presentation/composition looks ‘Real’ and ‘Exactly like home’ … chances are buys will knock on your door with real deals.
If collecting props is your obsession, then it’s a different story. Sensible, thoughtful, smart use of minimal props is much more necessary than displaying hoard of irrelevant props in your image. They showcase bizzare juxtaposition which you don’t want. Nobody wants that.
Dealing with Props-Pressure successfully:
- Take out stuff that you don’t need. Take out things on the table that are distracting, overpowering, overshadowing the food and competing with the color and texture of your food. Rather, pair down to just one plate or pot of food. For example:
- Do not let the props challenge your food. Because food is the STAR of food photography. display non-patterned dishes so that the food stands out more. Example:
- Bring out your fancy dishes and table cloth from the cupboard that you usually use in special occasions. Trust me ‘real life stuff’ are equally able to create gorgeous photos as are those rusty pots and pans, worn-out flatwares, an ages piece of wood-surface. Your personal pots and pans that you use everyday in your own kitchen give your picture a sense of uniqueness and honesty.
I’m not opposed to showcasing various types of ‘props’ and I have nothing against props. If done right, they bring out amazing, exquisite outcome. All I’m trying to emphasis is: be confident and comfortable with whatever you have in hand. The endeavors instead you need to undertake are: Knowing your camera properly, understanding spot-on styling, display of light & shadow, framing, a little knowledge on post-processing softwares. Once you get hold of these key factors of food photography, you’re welcome to shop around for props. As much as you want.
- In my images there is very little use of props. But still I manage to attract buyers on a regular basis. For example: just one pair of scissors and a knife… That’s all. The rest is FOOD itself.
- Get creative with flowers instead. They can make super attractive props. Plus they are cheap and easily available :
I used to get disheartened and jelous when my fellow food bloggers share their new found unique, out-of-the-world props. For a lot of unavoidable reasons shopping around props wasn’t something easy for me. But this sense of ‘unavailability’ made me come up with the idea, “I have to use whatever I have around. And yes I CAN create confident, outstanding images with limited resources.”
– You can do it too.
Thank you Nusrat for being my guest on my blog and helping us deal with ‘Prop Pressure’.
You can find Nusrat @ Flickr.