Props for Food Photography

If you are a food blogger or following a food blog , by now you would have known the importance of props and how essential they are for food photography. Of course, you need a decent camera to capture a great photo of the dish or food, but props have their own significance.They add life and color to form a great photograph.

Most food photographers usually have a collection of props handy .There are some who make use of what best they find around them .Some others are minimalists when it comes to food photography . Even then, some basic essentials help in bringing out the best . To be honest, being a busy mom I use props only when I have enough time to photograph ,else I just go with whatever I have on hand. However , there are times when I take the effort to follow some of the tips learnt online from various sites .

So what is a prop? A prop in food photography in simple words is any item that you place along with your food on your table or photography set to enhance the look of your food and improve the presentation so it looks very appealing.

It could be a nice foam board easily available in many patterns and colors on which you place your dish , cutting boards, ceramic bowls, white plates, clear bowls or jars, antique or wooden spoons, plates and flatware, serving bowls, utensils, ingredients used in the dish like vegetables, fruits, spices , linens, fresh flowers, vases or simply any household item that would help enhance the look of the dish .

Some things to bear in mind when using props

  • Remember that the dish is the main subject of the photo and it should be the main focus . The props should not steal attention away from the food .In fact , the props should help draw attention to the food and make it look appealing and better .
  • Any glare from utensils and flatware should be minimized as it can distract attention.
  • Using miniature plates, smaller bowls  , mini pans and utensils not only help in making the serving dish look full but also helps fitting in the camera frame as well.
  • Too many props can distract the viewer and spoil the whole appeal of the food .
  • Play around with the composition and you can be the best judge of what looks good ultimately. Here are some props that food photographers find useful.

Foam Board

Various types and colors of wooden foam boards and marble sheets are available .They are also light weight and can be easily carried around .They can be inter changed and used as a backdrop and not just a surface where you place the food. The backdrop need not always be tiles or craft papers. You can use your imagination and play around with it.

photo credits:

White Plates

White plates are neutral and bring out the color in the food .

photo credits:

Chopping board

Chopping board adds a great texture and enhancement to food pictures .It also brings in the visual interest . Collect variety of chopping boards in unique shapes and colors for variety.

photo credits:


Flatware of various types can be used as props . You can look for discounts in the stores for fancy ones and add to your collection. There are many varieties available like the silver , gold, bronze ones these days.

photo credits:

Clear bowls & glasses

The clear bowls, jars and glasses as props are a photographers delight in photographing food.

photo credits:

Art & Craft paper

Different colors of art and craft papers can be used as a surface or backdrop to make the food stand out .The contrasting colors gives the food an interesting look.

photo credits:

Linens, Parchment paper, kitchen towels

Linens, parchment paper and kitchen towels gives a wonderful texture and are interesting food props.Linens and towels also help bring light to the food and reflect it at times.Parchment paper looks great with baked goods.

photo credits:

Ingredients ,Tools & Condiments

Ingredients used in making the dish for example spices , ketchup, vegetables or fruits can also be used .Mortar & pestle, spice grinders are great food props.A dash of pepper sprinkled around a dish gives the food an appealing look.

photo credits:

Variety of Bowls & Plates

Collect various types of ceramic bowls and plates to be used as props .Some of the stores like Target, home goods, Ross, T.J.Max carry them at discounted prices.They help to bring out versatility when you have to photograph food often .

photo credits:

Miniature bowls and Plates

Small , miniature bowls or plates have the advantage of helping fit in the frame , gives a look of plenty and also looks amazing.Below are some of the bowls and plates that I used for food photography on my site.

photo credits:

Antique spoons and rusted utensils

photo credits:

Antique spoons, rusted utensils like an old baking tray will give a vintage and compelling look to the photographs.

Just Food or Dish

There are times when just the food is enough to be the main subject using no props at all . A nice sharp, close-up shot with a good camera and right light will do a great job!

photo credits:

As we see, there are many things around that can be used in many different ways as props for food photography. There is no limit to one’s imagination. Everyone one has their unique style ,signature , creativity and skill that they can use to brings out the best . If you have any interesting props that you like to use in food photography, do share in the comments below.

Until next time, happy clicking!

You Might Also Like

  • Hannah
    January 24, 2019 at 3:05 am

    This is such a fantastic resource! It really is the little finishing touches that set the scene and make a photo more than just a forgettable snapshot. Thank you for sharing such inspiration!

    • InspiresNish
      January 24, 2019 at 11:55 am

      Thank you so much for the wonderful comments! I’m so glad you like it . Yes indeed the props makes a really huge difference in food photography and takes it to the next level,

  • Smitha
    January 24, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Wonderful post Nisha! Thanks for sharing such amazing information about food props 🙂

    • InspiresNish
      January 24, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you so much Smitha ,glad to hear that you liked it!

  • Richa
    January 24, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    What an brilliant post! Loved the photos, the info and the detailing!Brilliantly beautiful!❤

    • InspiresNish
      January 24, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much for the wonderful comment Richa 🙏 much appreciated!

  • Jyo
    January 24, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Wowww AH-MAZING post Nisha…well explained and well penned about food props…very useful tips and advices👍
    I m in love with those rustic props by the way 😉❣️

    • InspiresNish
      January 24, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks a lot Jyo appreciate your wonderful comments. Yes I loved them too hope I can get my hands in them sometime. They would be great props in a picture !

  • deepa
    January 24, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Nice. Pics are super.

    • InspiresNish
      January 24, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you so much Deepa appreciate your comments!

  • Dippy Dotty Girl
    January 24, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you for such nifty tips, Nisha. I just got back some mini brass bowls and buckets from Delhi and hope to use them soon. 🙂

    • InspiresNish
      January 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm

      You are very welcome Dippy!Thats wonderful you shopped for the mini bowls .I always look out for such things , hope to get some mini brass buckets on my next trip . Thank you for the comments!

  • Chris
    January 25, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Great post. I’m never happy with my Food photographs – this may help.

    • InspiresNish
      January 25, 2019 at 11:56 am

      Thank you so much , glad this is useful !

  • Diane
    January 25, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Thank you for the excellent advice!

    • InspiresNish
      January 25, 2019 at 11:55 am

      Many Thanks Diane , appreciate your comments!

  • Megala
    January 26, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Wonderful tips! I like the idea of using mini bowls, mini plates, etc., thank you so much for sharing these tips.

    • InspiresNish
      January 26, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      I’m so glad you liked the tips . Thanks a lot Megala 🙏

  • Khanak
    January 30, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Such a fantastic post! I love how in-depth it is- such a great resource. Great post!
    I’d love it if you’d check out my new post at
    Khanak x

    • InspiresNish
      January 30, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback .I will definitely check it out!

  • Armann and Kaymann
    February 11, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Food Photography is a difficult subject. Thank you for the tips for everyone to use. Always learning.

    • InspiresNish
      February 11, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      You are very welcome and it is true we learn something new each day! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Deeksha
    February 14, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Informative post!!

    • InspiresNish
      February 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      Many Thanks! Glad it is useful.

    %d bloggers like this: