Wood is a beautiful addition to food photography and can go well with many styles of food photos. You can really tell the story of a rustic family recipe or of fresh ingredients with some wooden food photography props.
On the other hand, wooden items can be very classy and make your photos look upscale and professinal. Another style wood is perfect for is dark and vintage style photos. There are so many forms of wooden dishes and kitchen items you can use to create artistic food photography.
I’ve created this list of ideas to inspire you in the planning process for your next epic food photoshoot.
1. Wooden Serving Trays
Serving trays make the top of the list because they are lovely way to present foods in photos. They make a great hero item for an overhead photo of a table set for a feast.
You can cover them in sliced fruits, nuts and meats for an appetizer photo or use them to hold tea sandwiches. There are endless possibilities for how you can use a wooden serving tray in a photo.
2. Wooden Salad Bowls
Nothing highlights fresh ingredients in a salad quite like wood. It sets a very natural and organic tone for your photos and makes everything in the photo look healthy and inviting.
Wooden salad bowls can be on the pricey side but they are great for more than just food photography. Try using them as a centerpiece for a dining room table when you aren’t using them in photos. They also make a nice fruit bowl in a kitchen. Super versatile and classy.
3. Wooden Soup Bowls
If you’re doing photos for something such as a rustic country soup or pot pie, wooden bowls are a perfect prop for that. They look great in any photos that need a rustic feel to them. They can also be used for servings of salads in a table shot with a larger salad bowl for that gathering look
4. Wooden Dinner Plates
Wooden dinner plates are great for taking photos of things such as fish or poultry if that’s something you’re photographing. Vegetables and fruits look especially beautiful on wood plates. They also do well for desserts like galettes and cake. Stack a few of them together under a wooden bowl with fruits or salad to add layers to your shot.
5. Wooden Spoons
Possibly one of the most classical wooden items found in a kitchen. A wooden spoon is a staple and can be the perfect final prop for styling your shot. Try throwing a wooden spoon into an ingredient or process shot for homemade cookies or cake. It’ll give a very homey feel to your photos.
6. Wooden Cutting Board
Another must have item for a food photographer is a wooden cutting board, or many. You can have them in a variety of shade and shapes.
I like to use them as a way to highlight process shots of making a recipe. Colorful fresh ingredients really stand out against the wood background. Wooden serving trays are especially great for those beautiful food flatlay shots. The detail in the grain of the wood adds a lot of interest to the final picture.
7. Wooden Cups
8. Wooden Cooking Utensils
Wooden cooking utensils are not only beautiful in photos but you can also use them in your everyday cooking. Using them may even help give them an aged or vintage look to use in your photos.
9. Shallow Wooden Bowls
These are kind of like a dish that’s between a bowl and a plate. I love using shallow bowls for those 45 degree angle shots. The short edge allows you to capture the contents of the bowl from more angles than just overhead.
10. Wooden Kitchen Gadgets
There are many kitchen gadgets that you can get in wood, or at least wood handles. This can really dress up those styling items that would have otherwise looked boring or out of place in your photo.
11. Wooden Cutlery
Wooden cutlery, also known as flatware or silverware, is a really fun food prop to keep around. I love taking photos of smoothie bowls and adding a wooden spoon to the foreground.
12. Unique Wooden Fruit Bowls
Many art shows and festivals feature artisans selling handmade wood bowls and those are a great place to buy them. However, there is a surprising variety to be found online. The unique shapes of these kinds of bowls can help you create fine art photos unlike any other.
13. Wooden Salad Tongs
For those really natural looking salad photos you’ll definitely want to have some salad accessories. Salad tongs are a great addition to fill out your scene in photos. Use them to create those lovely guiding lines in your pictures.
14. Wooden Salt & Pepper Grinders
Salt and pepper grinders can be a perfect way to fill out a background and add some depth to your photos. There are many varieties that you can buy but I love this set.
15. Wooden Ramekin Tray
Ramekin trays are great for parties and gatherings but they work really nicely in food photography as well. Use them to highlight different sauces or dips. Fill them with ingredients and place in the background.
16. Wooden Charcuterie Board
Wooden charcuterie boards are nice to have for any food stylist. Whether you want to take photos of a cheeseboard or an appetizer recipe, they are great to have around. The wooden background adds so much interest to a flatlay of snack plates or appetizer spreads.
17. Wooden Measuring Cups
In my opinion, no prop collection is complete without some wooden measuring cups and spoons. They can make a vintage or rustic style photoshoot complete. Add them to your ingredient photos when doing baking shots, or use them to take beautiful photos of spices and herbs.
18. Wooden Honey Dipper
I don’t use a lot of honey for my vegan recipes but if you do then you have to get a honey dipper. I use honey dippers all the time but with things other than honey such as maple syrup or agave. A honey spinner spoon really adds a lot to a photo.
19. Wooden Mugs
Wooden mugs, beer mugs or coffee mugs, would be absolutely perfect for a medieval food photo shoot. Maybe you’re wanting a cabin-in-the-woods vibe for a recipe shoot. Wooden mugs are perfect for that.
Just looking at these makes me want to create a movie themed recipe to shoot.
20. Wood Backdrops
These may not be considered props by every food photographer but some consider backdrops to be in the category of “props”. Either way, wooden backgrounds in a food photo are a favorite for many food stylists.
You can get a variety of colors anywhere from colorful painted wood to distressed or even burnt black wood. I don’t particularly recommend using bright colors, however, as it can distract from your food. You can make your own from pallet wood but you can also purchase vinyl paper backgrounds or flat faux wood boards.
21. Wooden Cake Stands
A cake stand is a must have food photography prop for any good food photographer. They can truly make a plain cake photo into an eye-catcher.
You can find a lot of styles to choose from in the cake stand department, but I think simple is as good as any. There are more woodland rustic style cake stands or clean finish classic cake stands.
22. Wood Stumps
Small, but thick wooden stumps and thinly sliced wooden stumps make great photo props. I have used these in many photos that I wanted an enchanted look to them.
23. Wooden Crates
Wooden crates are a favorite of many food photographers. They can be used to create truly epic food photos or add lots of drama. One of my favorite ways to use a wooden crate is to place it on it’s side and put the food inside. This create a very dramatic lighting situation that can give you really nice photos.
24. Wooden Chopsticks
For any Asian style cooking you’ll want to have chopsticks for the photos. Wooden chopsticks are a great for styling a photo of ramen, sushi, or stir-fry. Use chopsticks to get a photo with a nice human element by snapping a shot of someone grabbing some noodles.
25. Wooden Rolling Pin
A rolling pin is a must have item for every kitchen. Every food photography prop collection should have at least one. There’s no need to get a fancy or heavy one for food photos. The traditional plain wood type are perfect and very affordable.