Food bloggers have a lot of pressure on them to make fantastic photos. While magazines have a whole staff of experts to bring you those delectable, gorgeous recipes you drool over, we’re one-man shows, forced to become as close to experts as possible in recipe development, recipe testing, recipe writing, storytelling, and photography in order to gain enough exposure to have anyone read about the recipes we make. It’s a little more work than you count on at first when all you want to do is share your love for baking, but it also teaches us to branch out more and become better at everything we do. It’s a good kind of pressure.
Perfectly composed photos generally are not of the food item alone. Browse through Pinterest, Foodgawker, or your favorite culinary magazine and you’ll see all sorts of extras–props–that help make the photos pop. Whether they are fancy plates, colorful napkins, or funky silverware, they help bring the photo together into something more than a snapshot. Each piece is carefully selected to accentuate the food best. And each blogger probably has a prop cabinet just full of the items used to achieve these results.
What do you do with the props you’ve grown tired of? The ones who have given their all and you just don’t think they have anything left to give you? That’s where the Food Blogger Prop Swap comes in.
The Food Blogger Prop Swap is the brain child of Alyssa of www.EverydayMaven.com and Faith of www.AnEdibleMosaic.com. Each of us was given the name and address of another blogger to send a medium flat rate Priority Mail box full of props to. In return, we would receive one from another blogger. What a great way to change things up!
When it came time to ship out my box, I had a hard time parting with the props I had. It was my intention to recycle them from the start, but I just couldn’t do it–I couldn’t send them on their merry way. Instead, I went on a bit of a shopping spree at HomeGoods. HomeGoods is a food blogger’s paradise; a place where you can buy plates and linens individually, suiting our needs perfectly. I packed up my box of goodies and mailed it to Anne of From My Sweet Heart. I was a little nervous selecting items for someone else–what if she hated them?–but Anne not only loved every item I selected for her, but she also sent me an early thank you to be sure I knew just how much she liked them! I’m sure they’ll get great use in her house!
When I arrived home a few days later and saw that my Food Blogger Prop Swap box was from Shea of Dixie Chik Cooks, my heart raced. I love her blog! How exciting to be on the receiving end of her re-gifted props! She sent me some lovely linens, a cocktail shaker (oh, yeah!), a bowl with a rooster on it, and a fork and knife (which I badly need some flatware!). Some American flag toothpicks topped it all off. LOVE it! Can’t wait to get to work with all these new goodies!
In the end, I would gladly participate in a Food Blogger Prop Swap again. It gave us a chance to reach out to bloggers we may not have heard of before and make an impact on their lives, even if in a very small way. Plus it’s just plain fun getting a box of goodies even though it’s not your birthday or Christmas!