Use Paper Accents in Food Styling and Food Photography

Paper accents such as doilies and other decorations can present foods nicely for the camera in your food styling and food photos. These delicate papers can be the perfect little accent to an otherwise plain, and sometimes dull, photography setting.

If using traditional, frilly doilies just isn’t your thing, or if you’re looking for something new and fresh, check out some of these other paper options:

  • Paper napkins: Paper napkins can often provide a nice pop of color or design for an image, as shown in the following figure. You might want to go easy on the patterns, but colorful polka dots and striped napkins make for some really cool graphic images. You can find an array of colors and patterns on paper napkins at supermarkets and party supply stores.

    These pink paper napkins provide a nice pop of color. [Credit: Focal length: 55mm, Shutter speed: 1
    Credit: Focal length: 55mm, Shutter speed: 1/15 sec., Aperture: f/6.3, ISO value: 400
    These pink paper napkins provide a nice pop of color.
  • Parchment squares or circles: These pieces are intended for use in cake and pie pans to provide a nonstick surface. However, you can use them as a plain doily-like surface when photographing baked goods. You can find these parchment pieces at cookware stores and some upscale markets.

  • Wax paper: What is it about wax paper? Perhaps it reminds you of your grandma, or maybe your mom used it when you were growing up. Whatever the case, wax paper lends a nice home-cooked quality to images, as shown in the following figure. You can easily find wax paper at any supermarket.

    Wax paper brings a touch of home to a food image. [Credit: Focal length: 55mm, Shutter speed: 1/60
    Credit: Focal length: 55mm, Shutter speed: 1/60 sec., Aperture: f/5.6, ISO value: 200
    Wax paper brings a touch of home to a food image.
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