Food Photography: Adding Props to the Scene

||, Tips & Tricks|Food Photography: Adding Props to the Scene

Food Photography: Adding Props to the Scene

By |2018-07-12T19:39:24+00:00July 1st, 2010|Categories: Photography, Tips & Tricks|Tags: |4 Comments

Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm ƒ/4L IS lens, 1/160 sec at ƒ/4, ISO 100

When I style my food photography I tend to keep things simple—usually it’s just the main food item and some silverware off to the side. I do like to add elements to the scene at times, but when I do I always make sure that the items in the scene are relevant to the dish. I place things in the frame as if I were sitting down to a meal … in this photo it would be perfectly natural to have a glass of water and some french bread on a plate, so adding them to the scene does not take away from the image I’m trying to create.

When you’re styling and adding props to your food images try to stay away from adding ingredients used to make the food next to the dish (like uncut fruits/veggies, eggs, etc.), unless you are photographing the actual prepping of the food itself. I’m sure there are ways to make these items “work” in an image, but most of the attempts I see just don’t look natural. Just do what I do … picture yourself sitting at the table and think of what makes sense to have nearby.

Food looks more appetizing if it seems “ready to eat” … you want your viewers to think that he or she could reach in and take the first bite. If you really want to add color and throw some of those ingredients in the shot, then do some prep-work to them and make them look tasty! A whole tomato doesn’t have as much appeal as one that’s sliced into bite-sized wedges, all juicy and ripe. Yum!

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website,


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicole S. Young. Nicole S. Young said: More food styling tips on – "Food Photography: Adding Props to the Scene" […]

  2. Danny July 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Ok, you are too good. When is the food photography book coming out?

  3. Jeremy Hall July 2, 2010 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I need to get the book you are recommending and experiment with some styling techniques. All the food photos I am taking lately are starting to blend together, looking the same. I like this idea of setting up some additional elements to the scene.

  4. […] Nicolesy Blog » Food Photography: Adding Props to the Scene […]

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