Food Photographers From Around The World Share Their Favorite Props
Food Photography,  Food Photography Props

19 Props These Food Photographers Can’t Live Without

Food styling skills are just as important to good food photography as the camera skills are. Having some unique and eye-catching props, backdrops, and textures can take a photo from good to great. You might have wondered which props are the most crucial to good food photos.

I asked nineteen food photographers from around the world what their favorite food photography props are for styling their food photos. They were gracious enough to allow me to share their answers and photos in this article. Their answers may surprise you and hopefully will give you some great ideas for your own photography.

19 Food Photographers Share Their Favorite Props and Why They Love Them

Food Photographers From Around The World Share Their Favorite Props

1. Maria Tebryaeva @maria_tebr – White Marble Backgrounds & Marble Cutting Boards

Maria is a very talented food photographer from Moscow, Russia. She shoots photos for restaurants and studios in Moscow and at her home studio. She takes her photos with a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera with a set of lenses for it and Godox professional lighting equipment.

Here’s what she had to say about her favorite food props

“My favorite item is marble background. It’s vinyl background with printed marble texture, flexible and light. I use it very often – on commercial shooting for restaurant, shooting for stocks and for Instagram blog too.”

“The second most used item are white marble cutting boards, I have different, big and small, with different form. The most useful is a big marble board like tray from HM home. But I use it only at home, because it is heavy for outside shooting in another studio or restaurant.”

You can follow Maria on her Instagram page @maria_tebr, on her website You can see more of her work on Shutterstock.

2. Monika Grabkowska @monika_grabkowska – Cloths & Napkins

Monika is a South England based food photographer who has been shooting professionally for over 4 years. She works in her home studio with daylight and artificial light. “It’s all about pursuit of making photos look natural.”

Here’s what she said was her favorite item to use in her photos

“I really like to use any kind of cloth/napkins. When I photograph dishes, I like to use them because they help me create an authentic atmosphere. They often help to cover the negative space ( if it is not desired ) and sometimes highlight the photographed food by using a contrasting colour” 

You can see more of her work on her website and her Instagram @monika_grabkowska

3. Lucretia @lucrequesada – Old Wooden Box

Lucretia is a food photographer who was born in Costa Rica, lived in Mexico, and now lives in sunny Miami. Her photos beautifully capture a mood and feel.

Here’s what she said about her favorite pick

“My favorite prop is an old wooden box in which I place food, I love how it shapes the light”

You can find her work on Instagram @lucrequesada and on her website

4. Lou Virkus @vegansugarspoon – Old Steel Scissors

Lou is based in Germany. She shares beautifully styled photos with a very nice tone of drama through playing with dark and light.

Here’s what she had to say about her favorite food props

“In these three images you can see one of my favorite Props! Its this old steel scissors which i love to add in so many of my compositions! It underlines the story, like cutting flowers in the nature for the shooting, or simply cutting the cord which i also love to add in my photography!”

You can follow her on her Instagram page @vegansugarspoon

5. Dina Allam @dinas_delights2 – Wooden Bowls, Plates, and Cake Stands.

Dina is from Alexandria, Egypt. She’s a former dentist turned food photographer extraordinaire. She has a distinct look to her photos and captures various styles, both light and dark.

Here’s what she had to say about her favorite food props

“About my favorite props, the ones that I almost use in every photo, are my wooden bowls, plates, and cake stands.

I just love wood! It gives me that warm feeling, they also work very well with rustic or vintage style and with modern style at the same time! Which make them perfect props for me.

Here are some photos showing how I use them with my food photography.”

You can follow Dina on Instagram @dinas_delights2.

6. Anna Verdina @cookingpleasure – Green Ceramics, Old Spoons, & Rattan Tray

Anna is a food photographer from Russia. She does beautiful work that she shares on her Instagram page. She shoots with a Nikon D750 + Nikon 105mm f/2.8G + Nikon 85mm f/1.4G.

Here’s what she said her favorite food props are

“My favorite props are: green ceramics (plates and cups), an old spoon which I bot on a flea market in Spain and rattan tray.”

You can follow Anna on her Instagram @cookingpleasure.

7. Alessandra Bartoloni @alessandra_darkfoodtales – Vintage Teaspoons & Magazines

Allesandra is an amazing food photographer from Tuscany, Italy. She has a distinct dark style of food storytelling. She Does a wonderful job creating a mood in each of her photos.

Here’s what her favorite’s are

“I have a lot of vintage props taken in flea market all over the world  and I love using them. Surely I can’t live without my teaspoons and my vintage magazines, I use them both very often! I love the scenes reminiscence of old Tuscan kitchens!”

You can see more of her work on her Instagram page @alessandra_darkfoodtales.

8. Anja Burgar – @useyournoodles – Homemade Ceramics & Vintage Silverware

Anja is based out of gorgeous Slovenia. She is very passionate about her work and shares so much to help new food photographers. She has courses available on her site She has much to say about her favorite props.

Here’s what she shared about her favorite props

“Since my style is somewhat rustic, but at the same time I like to think it’s also a bit elegant, I like to use homemade ceramics that are neutral in colors, shapes, and patterns. I find small ceramic bowls also super important since you can add in smaller ingredients to tell the story better. And I have a bunch of them, although they can be pretty hard to get, so most of mine are custom-made.

Silverware is also a very important part of food photography. Again, following my style of photography, most silverware was found at thrift stores and flea markets and are vintage.

With props, I like to stay minimal and not have an overly large prop collection. Mainly because I’m very limited with space and also because I like to have everything well organized and find whatever I need quickly. My advice for new photographers would be to focus on a few quality props that are neutral and can be used in various situations.”

You can follow Anja on her website and her Instagram @useyournoodles.

9. Harsimran Kaur @gourmet.gaze – Antique Bowl

Harsimran is based out of Munich, Germany. She has a lovely eye for styling fresh fruits and produce. Her photos are colorful and tell wonderful stories of flavor and freshness.

Here’s what she said her favorite food props are

“I love using my Grandma’s antique bowl, to style traditional food. However I tried capturing ice cream scoops in the same brass bowl and the image turned out quite well.”

You can follow Harsimran on her Instagram @gourmet.gaze.

10. Eva G – @miss_blackbirdy– Old Cake Pan & Antique Oval Plate

Eva is from Alsace, France and shares the most beautiful work in her photos. She adds plenty of florals and fresh fruits that accent her pictures wonderfully. Her style is dark and very dramatic.

Here is why she loves these props

“I have an old cake pan that I was lucky to find in a flea market. I haven’t used it that often so far but I love it. I love how it reflects the light and it gives the scene immediately a rustic mood. It can be combined with all colors due to its neutral greyish tone. It also adds a lot to the storytelling in the shot.

As for the oval plate, I love its subtle yet beautiful floral pattern and also its oval shape. It happens that it has the perfect size for my 50mm.”

You can follow Eva on Instagram @miss_blackbirdy

11 & 12. Leonie & Lina Zangerl – @studiove_food – Linen Fabrics

Leonie and Lina are two very talented sisters and food photographers. They live in the stunning mountains in Salzburg, Austria. They have a bright, almost minimalist style that I just adore. Their photos feel fresh and clean with a silent invitation to come taste something delicious.

Here is what they had to say about their favorite props

“Our favorite props are linen fabrics of all kinds: napkins, tablecloths, or just plain old fabric scraps. We especially like to use them as backdrops for flatlays and all sorts of table scenes. Linen fabrics are easy to wash, don’t take up much space, and come in every color imaginable. They are great for everything from an elegant to a rustic look in your food photos. We prefer to buy linen fabrics by the yard (it saves money and there’s a huge selection on sites like Etsy) and use them to sew tablecloths and napkins in various sizes.

You can follow Leonie and Lina on their website and their Instagram @studiove_food.

13. Cristina Coco – @the_publishers_daughter – Wooden Items

Cristina is a food photographer in Westchester, New York. She started as a professional portrait photographer in 2009 but is now working to focus primarily on photographing food and editorial gatherings. Her work is distinctly tasteful and classy.

Here is what she said about her favorite choice of food prop

“I’d have to say mind isn’t a prop per se but a common thread – there is some form of wood in almost every image I take, sometimes just a small detail like wooden bowl, spoon or plate. Usually though, it’s a wooden tabletop.  I have a couple that I use … wood is almost always in my frame

You can follow Cristina on her Instagram @the_publishers_daughter and her website

14. Magdalena Gough – @magsgoughphotography – Dulling Spray

Magdalena lives and works in Plymouth, England. She started her career as a pastry chef and now works in producing commercial photography images for websites, print media and publishing. She has a lovely and elegant style that shows in each of her photos. Her prop is more of a styling tool and I’m thrilled she was gracious enough to share it!

I particularly love her choice as it’s very unique. Here’s what she said

“Thinking about the props there is no prop which I use regularly. My selection of props is massive and I tend to just choose them depending on assignment, brief.

The one thing which I use a lot as a food photographer is a dulling spray which is a God send in tackling highlights in shiny objects especially cutlery.

Dulling spray and tweezers, always on a set with me!”

You can follow Mags on her Instagram page @magsgoughphotography and her website

15. Walaa-Azazy – @walaa.azazy – Vintage Props & Backdrops

Walaa is a food photographer and cake designer from Giza, Egypt. She has a food photography course online and shares beautiful work on youtube and instagram. She has a talent for displaying fresh fruits in the most beautiful ways.

Here’s what she said her favorite props were

“I like vintage props so much and my vintage backgrounds. I feel that I can’t live without it!”

You can follow Walaa on her Instagram @walaa.azazy , her website and her Youtube channel.

16. Alexandra Onosă – @bakingmydays – Handmade Ceramics

Alexandra is a food photographer in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Her photography has a huge emphasis on including fresh ingredients and greenery. Her photos give off an essence of togetherness and gatherings in the most beautiful way.

Here’s what she said had to say about her favorite food photography prop

“I am not sure I can choose only one prop, but I love my ceramics a lot, and I am trying to incorporate them in my images as often as possible. I have many handmade ones that I use quite often, made by my friend @naturellebynatalia . They are all so unique either green or brown. 

You can follow Alexandra on her Instagram @bakingmydays.

17. Johanna @throughherkitchenwindow – Vintage Cutting Board

Johanna is from Stockholm, Sweden. She is a food photographer, food stylist and recipe developer. Her stunning work emanates a feel of being in a vintage countryside kitchen. She has a unique way of human elements and movement to her photos that I just adore.

Here’s what she said had to say about her favorite food photography prop

“The props I use are different depending on the season. But this summer I bought a vintage cutting board in white porcelain that I absolutely love!”

You can follow Johanna on her Instagram @throughherkitchenwindow.

18. Ulrica – @ulricakrii – Handmade Ceramics

Ulrica is a food photographer from Stockholm, Sweden. She describes her photography style as minimalistic. Her work is artful and vivid, wonderfully telling the story of her subject. She shares her recipes on her blog along with all her lovely work.

Here’s what she said had to say about her favorite prop

“Some photos of my favorite props are handmade ceramics from Swedish ceramics and they all look so great on photo. Small plates and bowls are so versatile and the little milk jugs you can use.

I use them for more than just milk. 🙂 I love neutral colors so that the food can get all the attention and it works well with my (often) minimalistic style.”

You can follow Ulrica on her Instagram page @ulricakrii and her blog

19. Katarzyna Anders – @fotokulinarnie – Large Ceramic Bowl

Katarzyna is from Katowice City, Poland in the Silesia region in the South. There she shares her stunning work. Her style is bold and beautiful. She shares both bright and airy photos and dark and moody and every photo is guaranteed to leave you hungry.

This is what she said about her favorite props

“I think it’s hard to choose one prop for culinary photography without which you can’t live – backgrounds, ceramics, cutlery, a whole range of natural accessories – all of these create unique stories in the photos and you need many such accessories, especially if you like to build wide and rich scenes, as I do.

However, there are some special props, with which a beautiful story can be connected. In my case, such a props that evokes sentiment is a ceramic bowl for preparing batter. The bowl is very old and all my life my mother used it and it was from her that I got it.

Every photo using it has a special meaning for me – not only because the bowl is beautiful, in a warm, chocolate color, with wonderful decorations and fits perfectly in all scenes, especially with baked goods. But also because there is a family story behind it.”

You can follow Katarzyna on her Instagram page @fotokulinarnie and her blog

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