The weekend turned out a great one for me, it was my weekend off from work, Payday was Friday and I got to indulge in one of my fav things to do…hitting up the thrift shops!
I usually go through the books section and stroll through the kitchenware areas, just to see if anything catches my eye. Normally, I’m not looking for anything in particular, but this weekend was different. I went about it with a particular purpose in mind. I went in hopes of finding props for food photography for Culinary Zest.
As I work on improving my food photography skills, I’m reading “Plate to Pixel” by Helene Dujardin, a book on digital food photography and styling, I’ve decided to add to my existing kitchenware collection. Now, I already have a lot of kitchenware items, I love having the right dishes on hand for presentation purposes. But I wanted to set up a specific food photography collection.
In hopes that it might be helpful to others, I decided to blog about my little adventure in getting my food props collection started. It will be a collection of items used specifically for my food photography and separate from my regular kitchenware. I have a walk-in storage area in my place, one side has built-in shelves, I’m planning on setting aside this area for all my food photography props. An area that I can easily go to and see everything I can possibly use to help set the mood of my photograph. I’m one of those people who if I can’t see it, I forget I own it, so this will be the perfect area to get set up in 🙂
And I’m off to a great start so far!
The Salvation Army was the best spot for me this weekend. I left with 3 bags worth of dishes, cutlery, and glassware. The best part was that this cost me roughly $20, a pretty good investment in my opinion.
I had lots of fun digging through all the containers full of cutlery, looking for items that had interesting detailing on them. I was looking for vintage or antique looking pieces. I found a small mixed handful of knives, spoons and forks. I bought 11 pieces of cutlery, they were .69 cents each! They were exactly what I was looking for and worth every penny.
I managed to find lots of plates and ovenware pieces, 18 pieces or so, most of those were .69 cents each and a couple were .98 cents. They’re all in great shape, some don’t even look like they’ve ever been used. I also found several glassware items that were also .69 cents each.
I stopped by Home Depot, to get some ideas for backgrounds. So far, I haven’t had much luck finding any weathered wood to use. I really regret not grabbing the section of old wood fence that was at the curb during the Spring clean up. It would have been perfect to salvage and re-purpose for my photography backgrounds. Oh well. I figured it was to hard to drag up 4 flights of stairs to my place. I’m not even sure I could have made it fit in my trunk 🙂 But I really wish I had tried!
I left Home Depot with a couple sheets of Oak ply, 1/4 inch 2×2, they cost me $5.92 each. I plan on experimenting with them while I look for something more substantial to use as backgrounds.
I ended up going back to Home Depot the next day and picking up some wood planking as well. They were $3.00 a piece and I bought two, they should make a substantial sized background for me to experiment with. I also picked up a nice piece of slate, which you can see in use in some of the photographs here, it was $2.99 a square foot and came to $5.99 in total. I didn’t know if I could buy the slate by the piece or if I had to buy the entire box, I simply asked and they were more than happy to sell me just one. I left with a big smile on my face 🙂
I was also delighted to find out that I could buy 8 oz. paint samples for $4.99 each. I picked up three to use on my backgrounds. I plan on distressing some wood using them, to get the look I’m after for my backgrounds. I went with a dark grey brown called Magnet, a vibrant blue called Key Largo, and an off white called Dutch White, all Behr Marquee. I’m really excited to try them out.
I stopped at another thrift shop and found a nice choice of bamboo placemats. I bought 8, they cost me .25 cents each. Six of them were a set, and I grabbed those to use as an interesting background panel. Right now, I’m planning on attaching them to a 2×2 plywood panel and experimenting with how they photograph.
My local Dollar store provided me with a few more bamboo placemats that I found eye-catching. I also bought some sandpaper, plastic drop sheet and a paintbrush there. All things I will need as I work on my backgrounds.
I picked up some white foam board to use as backgrounds and to help bounce some light back on my compositions when needed. All the items from the Dollar store were $1.25 each.
I stopped by my local fabric shop to dig through the remnants bins. I managed to find 6 bundles of remnants, in colours and patterns I found appealing. The remnants were 3 for $1.00 or .50 cents each. I plan on turning them into napkins or other fabric props to help with my compositions.
All in all, it’s been a pretty productive weekend for me. I feel like I got a good start and I didn’t have to spend all that much money either.
The thrift shops were a good source of low-cost props for me. The Dollar store provided me with some extra odds and ends I needed and the Home Depot was a good place to go for some sample paint and small sheets of plywood to use as my backgrounds.
Who knows, maybe when I’m done putting mine together, they’ll become my go-to backgrounds. I’m still on the hunt for that perfect “I must have it” wood background. I’m patient. I’ll find it 🙂
It’s time to start getting creative and experimenting with all my finds.
Can I say I’m super excited!