It always amazes me how the choice of backdrop and props can change the story and overall feel of a food image. These photos of lemon and poppy seed loaf were part of a personal food photography project, so I decided to test this subject with different props and backdrops in order to get different stories out of the same recipe.
As you can see from the images below, I tested two different backdrops: light wooden planks for the first setup and white tiles for the second one.
This wooden backdrop gives a cozy feeling to food photos, as it recreates a kitchen table: the viewer is invited to sit on a chair and taste the lemon and poppy seed loaf. Images of the same subject on white tiles with bold colored props tell a different story: the backdrop resembles an outdoor table and the scene reminds of a late spring or early summer brunch.
You can notice that with few little changes in terms of styling and lighting it’s possible to tell a completely different story.
Post production plays an important role too: the editing of the images was intended to emphasize the subject in both settings. I’ve followed different approaches to editing these images, but the main differences are in the contrast and colors.
As a food photographer, I always talk thoroughly with my clients about the story they want to tell. This is the only way to fully understand their needs and choose the right props and backdrops to tell their unique message in my photos.
Props and backdrops, in addition to lighting, are powerful narrative elements in food photography. This is why I collect a huge variety of plates, bowls, cutlery and photography backdrops that my clients can take advantage of.
What’s your favourite setup? How would you tell the story of this lemon and poppy seed loaf through a set of food photos?
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Food photography / Rome food photographer / Italian food photographer / Food stylist