Inspiration is probably one of those words that I tend to overuse, but it truly is the moving force behind my life as a prop and photo stylist.
I recently discovered Lucullian Delights. It is a wonderful blog in and of itself, but I was intrigued (and yes, inspired) by Ilva Beretta's series, Food Props on Sunday. I couldn’t resist... so here’s a small taste of what is in my photography prop closet!
I have never met a food photographer who didn't appreciate a well worn cutting board! I try to have a good range of tones, sizes, and degree of distress in my board collection. I don't alter them, the random cuts and dings are as found. All go through a good cleaning and sanitizing, light sanding to remove any surface dust, and then a mineral oil finish. From there on, it's a matter of matching the personality of the board to the food we will photograph.
My props are a series of mini-collections. I’m often attracted by certain colors, like this mix of pink vintage and vintage inspired table and glassware. It is not a color I get to use a lot in advertising photo assignments, too precious for most clients, but occasionally I can slip it into a dessert shoot.
My personal prop collection consists of mainly vintage finds from flea markets and tag sales. The stack of linen towels and napkins above just gets better and better with washing. They have super texture, a touch of bright color, and a soft drape that looks great.
The natural fibers of old homespun linens bring an organic touch to the set. They look wonderful whether they are pressed, creased, or wrinkled.
This group is what I like to call my "ephemera for foodies". My paper collection has varied selection of vintage paper drinking straws, fancy waxed papers, and some special finds like a wonderful set of 1930's paper souffle cups.
I suspect this was a salesman's sample kit, as each tiny cup is marked with a size, and comes with different colored edges. There is a portfolio sample yet to be created with these, I guarantee it!