Week three is here.. and today is Day 15.
Today we will be continuing the discussion on prop styling.
Kitchen and Dinner Napkins are important props available in most homes.
In today's simple lesson, let's explore how you can use kitchen napkins to tell your food story.
Have you used kitchen towels or dinner napkins in your food photos Have you noticed napkins in food photos of other photographers?
Look at the napkin in the photo below… it is stained with rhubarb. Does it tell you something? Being in the baking tray, does it feel like the napkin was used to bring this out of oven?
In this photo, what if this napkin was missing? What if the frame excluded the napkin, how will that change the story? Take a look at the photo below.
Similarly napkin can be also used at background and give a different feel to the photograph.
Napkins add another element to the story. They give viewers one more clue to solving the mystery in the photo.
The main reason why napkins work is that they add depth to the story. So how can you use them in your own photos? Below are some examples:
If your story is about a formal restaurant, or the mood of your food photo is more elegant, you could use a napkin to say just that. There could be a folded napkin under your dish tell you that it's a story of classy dinner or fine dining restaurant.
A napkin thrown on the table near a classy half-finished dish, may show an interrupted and unfinished meal.
Napkins can also be used as a background. If you do so, make sure you iron them really well... unless of-course your story doesn't need it.
You can also use napkins to directly place food on them. There are certain food items that can be placed naturally like sandwiches or bruschetta or street food. Yes! there are paper napkins too.
Remember the end goal should be to add props in a way that it looks natural and supports the overall image. Same is the case with napkin. Napkins should be used to support the image and overall story.
Napkins should not distract from the main food. This means the color of this napkin should support the story and same goes for the napkin texture.
This is certainly one prop that you should have in your kit.
Now, let me answer a common question. “Where can I find good props like napkins?” Have you tried finding kitchen napkins online? Take a look whole lot of them here.
Where do you get your props? Leave a comment below.
Let’s move to today’s assignment.
Estimated time: 30 mins (or depending on how organized your prop storage is)
Step 1 – Today again, select the subject. Ideally use the same food subject, you have been using last couple of days.
Step 2 – Set up the food subject as you like, without any napkin in the scene. Take a photograph.
Step 3 – Now depending on your story, add the napkin to your photograph. Napkin could be fabric or could be paper towel. It could be a formal dinner napkin or something else.
Step 4 – Take a photograph again.
Step 5– Again, compare these photos just like you did in previous assignments. Recall your story and the specific elements we discussed earlier. Which one of these photos compares closely with your story?