One of my favorite things that has happened as this food blog has evolved separately from my main blogging concern (The Little Magpie) is that I’ve acquired a bountiful supply of several things: new recipes to try, deepened friendships (Lyndi at nwaFoodie, Jenny at Blessings & Raindrops, Julie at Eggs & Herbs) and plenty of fun kitchen goodies!
Recently, I gathered with two of these cooker friends for an afternoon of food styling (and snacking) in preparation for the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference in August, where we held a #FoodieFriday event that included food styling and food photography sessions. Each of us (Lyndi, Jenny, myself) wrote different takes on that fun afternoon, and out of it came the idea that we needed to show some of our blogger friends how easy it is to make a “prop basket” or drawer full of cute linens and kitchen “pretties” to use for upping the style factor of food blog photos. Lyndi and I each took on the challenge to hit a flea market with $20 to show how far it will stretch in the creation of a prop basket!
In my kitchen sits this lovely retro hutch that was in my grandmother’s kitchen for years. It’s become (in a good way, I think!) a catchall for lots of kitchen relics, and is often my quick grab source for a food photo prop and even serves as a photo backdrop. Now, I live in a 1905 house, so this works. I (shockingly) try to avoid clutter and knickknacks in the rest of my house, but I have a LOT of vintage kitchen goodies acquired from a long line of food enthusiasts.
I’m also fortunate to have spent several months living in France and backpacking around Europe at the age of 20 as my food tastes were evolving, accounting for things like that fabulous antique chocolat sign and the robin’s egg blue Moi, Toi, Nous Deux (essentially: yours, mine and ours together) tea set on my hutch, all picked up at a Paris flea market for a few francs. I’ve gotten grief from other foodies about some of these scores.
Here’s the thing: if you don’t have your own house full of kitchen chic goodies or didn’t acquire them in a completely psychotic way in your 20s in Europe, all hope is not lost: hit a flea market for plenty of cute goodies for your own prop basket (even if you don’t love vintage junk)! Lyndi and I each took $20 to demonstrate. I hit The Rose Too at 1140 West Walnut near downtown Rogers, Arkansas. I’m a HUGE fan – visit The Two Roses for their two locations, hours and more information.
Ironically, Lyndi and I followed the EXACT same formula even though we shopped separately – we both bought one linen, an ice cream scoop, a cream container, and similar measuring cups/sifters. We bought the exact same quantity and style of items – how funny! Here’s my loot, all of which came in at $19.83 including tax and a special treat for my foodie friend:
There are so many fantastic kitchen and food photography props to be found at a really stellar flea market like The Rose Too. Here’s a sampling of some of the items I spotted as I looked for my perfect $20 food prop sampler (trust me, I put a lot of things back and carried a LOT around before settling on this array!)…
See all the photos of goodies from The Rose Too in THIS ALBUM: $20 Vintage Food Prop Basket, and find links to recaps from all the sessions (including food photography and styling tips) at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged 2012 conference here. And, watch for a post from Debbie Arnold of Dining with Debbie, who was the winner of 20 crisp(ish) $1 bills to go find her own vintage food styling props! In the meantime, check out her cute blog and fun photos and recap of the AWBU conference.
Let me know about your favorite finds and food props!