Still life is my hobby… my creative outlet. Does anyone else have that need? Even though I love photographing my kids and other people sometimes (well often!) I love working with still objects and get to explore light, shadow, and color. Plus I enjoy getting to bake and gardening.
While I love baking I don’t often make time to make pretty foods. So having a goal of photographing pretty food gives me more of a reason to do it! Plus my kids like to eat…. can I get an amen! Although I don’t know if they always appreciate what I bake as they fill their faces. I have been in the middle of a kitchen reno which let me tells you takes over your life! Everything is effected by it. What has really been effected is me baking. Since….well… I didn’t have an oven or a great working counter. I didn’t let that get me too down. I pushed through with just beautiful objects in glorious light.
Food and flowers are my favorite things to photograph. I used simple props to display my food and flowers. Just like with posing people, I like to use different height levels, framing, and composition to draw the viewers attention.
Some of my favorite props are tin and dark metals. They photograph beautifully and are easily found at antique stores, garage sales, and decor stores. I also love marble cutting boards. I don’t like to photograph on all black or all white surfaces and marble has just enough movement and variation to keep it interesting. I also have a collection of wooden plates, spoons, cutting boards, and bowls I use often. I like to find props I can use in multiple ways. My favorite props are supporting actors… they help the main subject shine without being too memorable. Something that is too recognizable can’t be used over and over again. So if you are out and looking for props find simple non-patterned items.
I like to use flowers, food, and kitchen items in my images. This summer I grew a cutting garden and had tons of beautiful zinnias. So they were in a lot of my images this summer. As the fall mums started to bloom I had to add some of those too!
Since I share many of my food and flowers still life shots on instagram I crop many of my images to a square format. I like to play with the best way to and place to crop the square to make sure I have a main focal point and then enough visual additional interest. So if you are taking pictures like this make sure you leave some negative space so you have cropping options.
Another prop I have multiple of and can’t seem to ever get enough of are dish towels. I buy simple ones with simple patterns. I like to match the tone of the scene or the colors in the image. In the shot below I loved how the stripe matched the color of the blackberries. Finally, adding a bit of green is always a good idea! In this case i added some mint. Mint is great for so many food shots. I have used it with lemons, blackberries, cakes, etc. Just make sure it is fresh!
Shooting objects is relaxing for me. It sits and waits for me… 100% different then my kids do! hah. As a mom I need to have that creative outlet and now that my kids are in school and mu muses aren’t around as much, this is my new outlet.