5 Budget Friendly Props To Improve Your Food Photography

Today's post is for the all food photographers and bloggers. I get so many wonderful comments on my photos that I thought it would be fun to share some helpful behind the scenes tips, which I use all the time. I've been focusing on improving my skills lately and really working at finding the best work flow that works well for me. 

Lately I've been trying out some budget friendly things in my photography. Little household items that have helped me improve my photos and really make my life easier. Naturally I thought, "what a great idea to share some of these little tricks." So let's jump right into it!

#1. White Bed Sheet or Curtains

Simply put this is just a great big diffuser. Don't laugh. This is a great tip to filter and soften the lighting from your window. If it is an especially sunny day out, double up the bed sheet to make it thicker for extra diffusion. Who needs to spend a ton of money on a fancy diffuser when you can just DIY? For many of the pictures I take, I cover the window of my main light source with a large white cotton bed sheet draped (or clipped with clothes pins) over the curtain rod. If you already have sheer curtains hanging then you're all set to go. 

You'll notice in the second photo taken without the bed sheet that the light falling on the lemons looks a bit harsher, which is a bit distracting.


#2. Crumpled Tissue Paper

Take 2 or 3 sheets of tissue paper and give it a bit of a scrunch up in your hands. This makes a perfect background. There is something very rustic looking about it that makes you want to dive in and eat. It's cheap, it's easy, and you most likely have some laying around the house somewhere from the last time you wrapped a gift. The best part is you can choose colours that will compliment the colour palette of your subject. You could go neutral or eye popping. I did this with the Chili Lime Roasted Chickpeas that I made back in the summer. 


#3. White Foam Board

First of all, please ignore the junk sitting in the background ;). One of the most useful inexpensive thing you can get is a large piece of white foam board. It makes the perfect light reflector that let's you fill in areas of your shot that are dark. Natural light is best. It's easy to control and can create some beautiful shots. I usually position my table adjacent to a window as I want the light to all come from one side, creating nice shadows on the opposite side of the photo. If the image looks too dark and the shadows need softening, I'll prop this guy up right beside the other side of the dish I'm photographing. The white board bounces the light coming in through my window back onto the food. The closer you place the white board to the subject the brighter your image will be. You can pick these up at almost any craft store (even Walmart) for a few dollars. Score!


#4. Linen Fabrics/ Pillow Cases

Linen is quickly becoming one of my favourite kinds of backgrounds to use. It has a beautiful soft woven texture that stands out really well in photos and helps to tell a story. Here's a recent post I made for a brussels sprout side dish where I used my favourite light brown/ beige coloured linen napkins. Don't have any linen napkins? Old pillow cases will work just as great, and don't forget the fabric store. You can pick out whatever kind of colour or pattern you like and buy a yard or two while staying within your budget.


#5. Spritz Bottles

Big or little it doesn't matter. A spritz bottle filled with water can become your best friend when it comes to food photography.  Just a few spritzes of water can bring food to life. It can give fruits and veggies that fresh picked look and make your photos look tantalizingly good.

Thanks for reading along with me today! I'll be back with some food goodies next week.