Today on Prop Talk: fabrics! More specifically, I’m going to show you small pieces of fabric that I like to set plates and bowls on. (For those of you who are new to this blog, every second Wednesday I write a post about some of my favorite food photography props. This is one of those posts. You can see all previous prop talk installments by clicking the Behind the Scenes tab in the menu at the top) .
Small pieces of fabric can visually anchor tableware to the table. I find that a bowl or plate sitting directly on a “naked” surface can sometimes look disconnected from it, almost floating, depending on the angle of view. Whenever that happens, I turn to my collection of small napkins and fabrics. These can also help single out the main subject in photos that show multiples, such as several jars of trifle, for example. Setting the one jar that is your main subject on a small piece of fabric will elevate it ever so slightly and mark it as the most important.
I picked out my four favorite pieces to show to you.
Let’s start with the burlap ribbon. This material comes on a roll and you can buy it by the yard. I bought a large string of it at a local store but I’ve also seen it on Amazon. The one I have has a nice wide mesh and very thin metal wires (that can be cut with regular scissors) run on either side of the ribbon. The wires make the material nicely bendable and you can easily make nice waves that stay in place.
Here is an example of the burlap ribbon in action:
From post Mushroom Risotto with Cracked Black Pepper.
Next, I’ve got a small lace table topper I found at an antique store. It measures 7 inches by 7 inches and fits perfectly underneath plates and bowls. I’ve used it in the beer cheddar soup photo below:
From post Beer Cheddar Soup.
Lastly, linen cocktail napkins (10 inches by 10 inches) that I bought at Crate & Barrel. They can look very elegant, especially when a nice crease is ironed into them. I like them a lot and have used them in the example below:
From post Star Anise Poached Pears.