Good food photography is a big part of food blogging. A part which I have lazily neglected for far too long. I've made a recent commitment to myself to improve my food styling and food photography skills, and you may have noticed I've been putting a bit more effort into my shoots lately. One of the things I read a lot on the internet is food bloggers complaining about how expensive it is to run a food blog. They're right, there are considerable costs involved, but I'm going to prove to you today that food styling props doesn't have to be a major expense. I'm going to show you what I bought today for just $5.7 (hint: it's everything you see in the picture above).
How did I manage this much stuff for so little $$$? The answer is simple: op shops. Op shops have shelves and shelves of donated cutlery, crockery,glassware, platters, napkins, table cloths and tea towels. They're selling them from anywhere between 10c to $2 usually. All you need to to is have a sift through and find the best pieces. Op shops are ideal for food blogging props, because often all you need is one bowl or one plate - so you don't want to buy a whole set!
If you're really smart you'll keep your eye on the bins out the front of most charity shops labelled as "free". Often you'll find single plates, mismatched mugs or bottles with no stopper. I picked up these three glass bottles (2 clear, one teal) for free outside my local charity shop. Sure, there is only one cork stopper between the three of them, but I didn't really want stoppers anyway.
Not bad for free huh?
Now let me show you what else I bought:
The wide white bowl in the background (a staple in your food prop arsenal): $0.10
The matching blue plate and cup: $2 (perfect for plating up soups and breads, dips and dippers, desserts with fresh fruit on the side or even a casserole with a side salad)
The white ceramic milk jug: $0.50
Three new napkins: $0.20 each
Set of five gorgeous ceramic mugs for $0.50 each. That's $2.50 for 5 mugs (I admit, I bought these for me because I loved them, not because I needed them for props).
The total cost of my shopping trip was a bank breaking $5.70 - for 15 things. Not too bad huh?
So if you're thinking about food styling props, don't stress - it's easier to find affordable options than you think! Another great option is garage sales, usually run by people who just want to get rid of old stuff rather than get much money for it. The perfect place to find vintage plates and single pieces for your styling. So, grab your local newspaper and find 4-5 garage sales happening near you this Saturday. Set yourself a $20 limit and see how much you can bring home!
Happy food styling (and keep your eye out for these pieces in my future food photos!).