Props to the Props!
Let's talk about PROPS! I freakin love props and I love prop shopping. Sifting through second hand stores finding a bargain, searching through my own garage seeing what I can get my mits on, it's all part of the fun and you can get really creative with stuff you already have around the house. Think outside that big, boring box! My brain is usually on overdrive when i'm doing this, thinking I could use this for this and this for that... it's great for inspo.
Props should compliment your "hero" item. They should relate to the subject and work together in a way that both tells a story and draws the viewer in. When beginning with props get yourself some solid staple items that are versatile and can be used for a range of products. Items like chopping boards, placemats, teatowels/fabric, jars etc. These aren't just for food photography, you can use these bad boys in any product photos to stack and elevate products, create texture and flow with material, jars with flowers and all that jazz.
For food photography i'm personally all about the old vintage cookware and bakeware as staples, like your classic swift whip and well loved baking tins and utensils. I like to keep the colour palette neutral (ish) when it comes to food props with pops of colour every now and then depending on the food. These old gems photograph so well and are full of character and stories within themselves, and they generally all fall within the same simple colour palette. For my food shots i'm definitely more for a rusticky (not a word but it's my blog so meh), natural, "lived in" look as opposed to pristine, perfect and boring AF. That being said, there is a time and place for those too.
When you're brainstorming ideas for how to photograph your product, think about what it is and it's own story. Some great props are things you probably have, particularly ingredients which are so much fun to use. Say your product is a candle or a moisturiser, use some of the ingredients that are in those eg. beeswax, fruits, herbs, spices, whatever. These are all great for styling and you can get super creative with them. Have a play around, take a few shots, see what works and what doesn't. It's also good to think about colours at this point, you want the shot to be cohesive with colour too.
Props can also create texture. Things like fabric, flowers, greenery, branches, wood, concrete, stones, textured paper (haaa, inhale/exhale (how the hell do I write a "takes a breath" sound?? (are these brackets even grammatically correct? (slightly off topic here)))) or even paper that you've crinkled up and uncrinkled again make damn cool props and add texture and interest to your photograph. I'm a sucker for a good flower or two and/or a burst of greenery in my photographs, they have the power to make a bang average photo pop and the colour options are endless.
Have a rummage through your house, sift through some op shops, go forage for flowers and greenery and see what you can rustle up. I'm sure you'll find some goodies you can get creative with. I'd love to see some of the props/shots you come up with, use the hashtag #lovethyprops on Insta.
x Sophie Louise x