Finding Props for Food Photography with Naomi Robinson | Summer Food Photography Series Part One

This week I am kicking off another photography series like I did last year with a number of guest posts from bloggers, photographers and stylists all sharing their best tips and tricks on creating beautiful images.  Today please welcome my very good friend and fellow food photography lover Naomi Robinson of Bakers Royale who is going to share her secrets to sourcing great props for food photography.

Food Photography Props

I’m so excited to be guest posting here at Gourmande in the Kitchen. Sylvie’s blog is one of my favorite food blogs for many reasons – one of them being Sylvie’s incredible photos.

Given the professional grade photography on Gourmande in the Kitchen, let’s start this off right; I’m a beginner when it comes to photography. So I’m not here to talk about any technical aspects of picture taking. I’m here to talk about the one thing I have managed to do well, despite my protesting wallet – food prop sourcing.

Since I get quite a few questions about my backgrounds and my props, Sylvie and I thought it might be helpful to share with you where and how I find them. My top shopping destinations are eBay and Etsy. I can’t say I like one better than the other, nor can I say one is less expensive than the other. What I can say and recommend is checking both sites when sourcing something.

To simplify things I’m going to display photos with the props I’m most often asked questions about. I’ve included where they were purchased along with the search words I used to find them. Finding the right search words is the difference between having a just few or a lot of pages returned to you for browsing. Now my style is primarily rustic so the words most often used to describe that category, outside of vintage and antique, are primitive and chippy or chippy paint.

Pewter and Aluminum Plates: eBay, Etsy
Search words: Wilton Armetale RWP, pewter plates, (Note: While the plates look like, and are often tagged with pewter, they are actually aluminum. Although you can find knockoffs Armetale knock-offs that maybe pewter and not aluminum).
Pie pans: eBay
Search words: Vintage pie tins, vintage pie pans
White and patterned plates: Home Goods Store
Pie pans: eBay
Search words: Vintage pie tins, vintage pie pans

Plates for Food Photography

Platters and Bowl: eBay
Search words: Brass platter
Brass Platters
Bakesheet: (*Note: I often use bakesheets for backgrounds) : eBay, Etsy
Search words: enamelware, vintage bake sheet, Ovenex, kitchenalia bake sheet
Baking Sheets
Flatware: eBay
Search workds: vintage flatware, antiques silverware
Pattern Flatware: Sabre
Search words: Sabre, acrylic flatware

Sabre Flatware

Background: Bench
Search words: chippy paint bench, farm bench, shabby chic bench (*Note: Make sure to check the size)
Here are a few examples of how Naomi has used her prop finds in her photos.  (Click the images to see the recipes.)

Reeses Brownie Ice Cream Cake Bakers Royale

Background: Aluminum bake sheet | Purchased: Ebay | Search words: vintage bake sheet, vintage cookie sheet
Plates: Wilton Armetale RWP | Purchased: Ebay | Search words: pewter plates, Wilton RWP, Wilton Armetale. (Note: While the plates look like, and are often tagged with pewter, they are actually aluminum. Although you can find knockoffs Armetale knock-offs that maybe pewter and not aluminum.
Flatware: Random pieces | Purchased: Ebay | Search words: vintage flatware, antique silverware
greyhound popsicles
Background: Homemade boards
Plate: Enamel pie pan | Purchased: Etsy | Search words: enamel pie pan, enamelware
Fabric: Dishtowel | Purchased: Muhs Home

Cherry and Whiskey Upside Down Cake

Background: Wood box | Purchased: Etsy | Search words: primitive box, chippy paint box
Pan: Cast iron pan | Purchased: Sur La Table
Fabric:Dishtowel | Purchased: Etsy | Search words: vintage kitchen farm towels
Dirty Pirate Cocktail
Background: Wood board | Purchased: eBay | Search words: primitive wood cutting boards, primitive bread boards
Pan:Pie tins | Purchased: Ebay | Search words: vintage pie pans, vintage pie tins
Do si do pie
Background: Homemade wood board
Platter: Brass platter | Search words: brass platter
Since I primarily shoot with a rustic style, I shared my best sourcing places and tips for that. But here are a few other places that I also enjoy and shop at:
  • Canvas
  • Sabre
  • Gilt
  • Serena & Lily
  • One Kings Lane
Thanks again, Sylvie, for having me here with your readers. I hope you guys enjoyed this!
Naomi Robinson is a self taught baker and the author of the blog Bakers Royale.  She’s armed  with an abundant reserve of passion and determination for baking and creating.  You can find her on Twitter @BakersRoyale and on Facebook 

Be sure to read the full Summer Food Photography Series:

Styling for Food Photography with Chantelle Grady | Summer Food Photography Series Part Two

Learning Your Camera and How to Shoot Moody Images with Peter Georgakopoulos | Summer Food Photography Series Part Three

Rules and Tips on Restaurant Photography with Brian Samuels | Summer Food Photography Series Part Four

Food Videography with Russell van Kraayenburg | Summer Food Photography Series Part Five

Q&A with Food Photographer Jim Scherer | Summer Food Photography Series Part Six


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  1. says

    Naomi, this is such an informative and inspirational post! As the steward of our blog, I too have a great affinity for going after props. Thanks so much for your suggestions. Sylvie, thanks for making the invitation!

  2. says

    This is BY FAR, the most amazing food styling/photography post I have read so far. I kept browsing etsy, but didn’t purchase anything for months. After reading this, I immediately began shopping for an old-fashioned kitchen scale and finally bought one. Much better prices than the antique stores I have visited. And I found great antique silverware at the swap meet. Thank you so so much for posting this.

  3. Naomi says

    You should check out for vintage housewares, perfect for food props as well as everyday use!

  4. says

    Oh this post is perfect. It has all of the info I need for styling my shots. I love your photography and your photos are stunning and pure genius and you’re one of my inspirations to start doing food photography. I’m just now getting into photography and food photography. In fact I just got my brand new camera in the mail last night! It’s my very first DSLR camera and I’m so excited. I’m only 16 so I’m not a professional, but I got a Canon EOS Rebel T3 and so far it’s a gorgeous camera. I haven’t had the chance to take any pictures with it yet but I plan to soon. I will be looking over your posts about photography when I need help. Looking forward to more posts about photography from you

  5. Kathy says

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. Very much needed. And, as I actually own some of these types of the items that you listed!

  6. says

    Really love this post and your specific and detailed suggestions. I am planning to include this article in a compilation of recommended Food Photography articles in a post on my photography-advice blog at the end of the month. I would like permission to reuse one of your images in the article description (with appropriate citation and link back to this post). Please let me know if that would be acceptable. Thanks!

  7. says

    hi, thanks for sharing this I have recently setup a blog shop where I blog about home cooked indian food and sell some spice, spice blends and handcrafted kitchenware. I have been sourcing and browsing charity shops to find old vintage plates and bowls and just about anything for the food photography and stumbled upon this site. Just what I needed and so informative. Thank you