Switching gears up a bit today and talking about something I am really excited about–a friend has taken on a new and exciting venture and I get to be part of the cheer leading section the entire way! If you are in any way interested in food photography or really not just food photography, then you NEED to know Mandy at Replica Surfaces.
When it comes to my blog, as with other food blogs, the photos are EVERYTHING. In so many ways, the photos are the door that invites readers in, they can literally make or break a recipe. Let’s be honest, we are very visual people when it comes to food, so we want pictures of food to be drool-worthy. I mean, I can have the best recipe out there, like the muffins of all muffins that EVERYONE needs to try, but if the photos are only so-so, the odds of everyone thinking said muffins are a necessity are pretty slim.
When I started in the world of food blogging, I knew NOTHING about photography other than how to turn a flash on and how to press the button to take the picture. Seriously, amateur of all amateurs. I still have so much to learn but I have picked up a thing or two along the way thanks to a whole lot of YouTube, an E-book and a lot of Pinterest studying.
One thing I have learned more than anything is that the food can really speak for itself when styled just right. It’s amazing how setting a spoon here or adding a dollop of yogurt can create a whole new composition. And it’s amazing when you get that photo juuuuust right. It’s equally as frustrating when things don’t go quite as planned. We have all been there.
So perhaps you are dabbling in this world of food blogging or food photography. I promise you can spend so much time and money collecting all the things (I mean ALL. THE. THINGS) to use as tools and props for your photos.
Let me save you some cash and give you a few deets on some of the best things to use for your food photos:
- White dishes: these allow the colors of the food to pop and really tell a story. They can be so easily found in thrift stores, yard sales or even in your own kitchen! Opt for a few simple classic pieces that can be used for multiple recipes.
- Neutral Dish Towels or napkins: again, keep as much of the color to the food! I have collected many of these from clearance bins, Ikea, World Market and thrift stores. They add great mood to a photo.
- Food! The ingredients in your recipes make the BEST props. They help tell a story and they are literally right in your kitchen. These are my favorite props of all, no doubt.
- Utensils: These are the BEST thing to find at thrift stores. I rummage through bins to find the most unique spoons and forks to add a touch of flavor to pictures.
Those are just a few of my favorite things when it comes to food styling, and spending tons of cash does not have to be a thing especially if you are just starting out.
Which leads me to surfaces and backgrounds. I will also save you lots of cash by just leading you straight to the gold. (By the way, this post is in no way sponsored, I love Mandy, I love Replica Surfaces, and I know that so many need to know her too!)
There are some DIY surfaces you can make: not for me–I am not that crafty, and if you spill one morsel on these crafty concoctions, it’s over. Time is money, right? Well you may save money the first go, but then it’s over. There are also several surface manufacturers out there that can put you back one or two hundred bucks. I have one of these, but it is literally the only one I will ever own because I can’t fathom spending that much ever again for a board. Instead of boards, you can get vinyl sheets, I have had no luck with the quality of any of them and they just look fake.
Soooo, enter Mandy Gleason. I met her a while back through the good old land of social media–she had another company in which she was selling surface boards at by far the best price I had ever seen. I was amazed that I could actually afford several if I wanted. We corresponded here and there and I just really loved her product, her personality, and the overall experience of her business.
Then I was mortified when she announced that she would no longer be around with Medium Boards, her former company. My heart dropped. But whyyyy?
Ha, she wasn’t actually gone, she had just started something bigger and better: Replica Surfaces. Thank GAWD!
My backgrounds and surfaces are so important to me in my photos, and it is the one place I am willing to spend a little more, but thanks to Mandy,I can have the best of both worlds now.
Replica Surfaces has launched on Kickstarter TODAY and these beautiful, lightweight, hyper-realistic, ultra-thin designs can be yours–and you can support this amazing startup! I am so excited to really dive in. Oh and they also have stands that make it super easy to stage without things like stacks of books, flower pots, gallons of milk (guilty on all accounts), etc.
While the retail value of one board is $78, right now in the Kickstarter campaign you can get them as low as $46 each.
I would just love it if you went and checked it out and showed Replica Surfaces some support. Mandy is happy to answer questions and there is also a video and even more info there to really show you the beauty of these boards.
As soon as I get started with mine I will show you all of my pics as well!
Thanks so so much guys!