Prop Talk – Nutshells

It’s a prop talk Wednesday! (Quick explanation 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. You can see all previous prop talk installments by clicking the Behind the Scenes tab in the menu at the top).

Today I’ll talk about nutshells, which can make very simple but very effective props. I have used nutshells in many photos, one example is the Thai curry ingredients shot below. The coconut shell and husk shards add some texture and, since they are brown just like the wood surface, they break up the plane without being distracting. The shards are reusable, I washed and dried them thoroughly after I took the coconut apart and now I just keep them in a paper bag for future use. (Note: I live in a very dry climate and it’s possible that long-term storage is not an option in humid areas, I’m not sure).

Nutshells as food photography props.
From post Next up: Thai and Indian Curries.

I went a step further in the photo below and used the entire half of a coconut as a prop, in this case as a bowl.

Coconut Curry Soup

From post Coconut Curry Soup.

Another beautiful nut I like to use is hazelnut. I just crack a few of the little guys until I get the size and shape I want. (I personally really like the shards to be tear-shaped like the ones in the examples below).

Hazelnut Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Trifles

From post Hazelnut Pumpkin Spice Trifles.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

From post Hazelnut Pumpkin Spice Cookies.

That’s all for today, next time I’ll tell you about some of my wood surfaces that I use in the background of photos as “wooden walls.”


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    • Nicole B. says:

      Haha, it is treacherous for sure and I was very worried about my fingers when I hammered around on that nut. I used an actual hammer and just cautiously went around it, hoping it would split more or less evenly through the middle, which, thankfully, it did. In retrospect I think it perhaps would have looked nicer if I had split the nut lengthwise and made two tear-shaped, rather than round, halves. I may try that at some point. :)

  1. Emily says:

    You really are fulll of such creative ideas! The soup in the coconut shell looks appetizing and exotic at the same time. Love how the soup pops out against the white coconut!

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