Food Styling & Photography Backdrops, Workshops, Online Courses and Resources

Introducing our first brand ambassadors: Patrick Rock Smith + Matt Inwood
July 01, 2021

Introducing our first brand ambassadors: Patrick Rock Smith + Matt Inwood

We're very excited to announce our first official brand partnerships with two fantastic food snappers.

We're thrilled to be working with Patrick Rock Smith, whom we have shared a mutual admiration with for a while now - Patrick for our backdrops and us for his amazing food photos and London restaurant inspiration.

And I'm equally delighted to be making our long standing advocate and friend, Matt Inwood an official partner too. Matt was a very early adopter (guinea pig even!) and cheerer-onner of our backdrops and already gives a discount code to his Instagram masterclass students, so I guess he has been ambassador-ing behind the scenes all this time! 

If you don't know of both these guys I suggest you go follow them now for some serious food, styling and photography inspo - @patrickrocksmith @matt_inwood

  

More about Patrick 

Patrick is our kind of guy - he has a huge passion for food and specialises in shooting social media content for big and small brands.  

'Photography is my craft, and creative content is everything.'

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Getting started with our printed photography backdrops
May 12, 2021

Getting started with our printed photography backdrops

Printed backdrops - whether on paper, vinyl or fabric material – are a wonderful way to build a collection of photography backdrops affordably.  

For a relatively small investment you can have marble, wood, tiles and more at your fingertips, ready to style and shoot, at only a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

And what’s more your printed backdrops won’t take over your workspace. 

They are light and easy to transport and store, no more lugging heavy surfaces between shoots! 

Here are a few pointers to help you on your way to creating amazing images with our printed backdrops

 

Our backdrop sheets are posted rolled in cardboard tubes or flat if posted in a carry & store case.

We recommend opening your package as soon as it arrives to allow the backdrop sheets to settle. 

Our extra thick vinyl backdrops will jump open and flatten for immediate use.

The paper backdrops can have a soft curve after being rolled but this will relax in a few hours if they are laid flat, face down with a few books on top.  

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food styling photography colour theory stylist props still life set up behind the scenes tips how to
April 28, 2021

Playing with colour theory in food styling

Hey! I've been very inspired recently by two great books - How to photograph food by Bea Lubas and Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone. 

Both books talk a bit about colour theory in styling and photography, and although I must have covered this in my art A-level or foundation course, I realised I couldn't remember a single thing about it!

So I set myself a challenge to do some research and style a couple of shots with colour theory in mind.  Turns out I have actually been using it as a tool in my styling all this time; I just didn't realise (or forgot) how and why.

Two ways to use colour theory in your food styling and photography

For my first play I wanted to use only green in this guacamole shot. I knew it wouldn't be boring because there are so many beautiful green ingredients in it.

We've got the warm, yellowy lime and vibrant pea green peppers, olivey avocados and the strong coriander green going darker and cooler in the shadows.

I selected props that are light, textural and neutral to create the flow of the composition, going a little bolder with the clay plate to meet the strength of the coriander seeds and za'atar on top of the guac. (Side note; ground spices and herb pots are a fantastic way to bring in complimentary colours as well as a final flurry of texture, I have loads to hand in my studio!) 

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The power of props: elevate your content & craft stories through styling
April 08, 2021

The power of props: elevate your content & craft stories through styling

Props are one of the best ways to elevate your content and build deeper connections with your audience. 

Using props to support your hero - whether that's food or products - tells a much more interesting story than your hero alone, captivating the imagination of your viewers so you make a lasting impression.

Show your process with 'doing' props.

A used zester to conjure up the zingy flavour of lemon curd, a whisk with little fluffy meringue peaks still attached tell the process of a recipe.

Equally a craftmans tools or offcuts, say the shavings of dry clay carved away while turning a pot or the natural sponge used to dab water while you work, help tell the viewer about the care that goes into your work.

Props are everywhere and can be anything - just ask yourself this question to sanity check them - does this elevate and connect or overtake and distract?

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food styling props stylist prop photography tips how to kit buy for sale online kitchen utensils vintage cutlery tray tin
November 25, 2020

NEW! Food styling and photography props now on sale in our store

After a very big delay (due to covid and moving and homeschooling and lots of other general life stuff!) we are very pleased to be opening our prop section this week, tomorrow in fact!

Alongside providing props for my styling and photography clients I have been trusted to source props for several cookbooks this year including The Pie Room by Calum Franklin, Ekstedt by Niklas Ekstedt and the MasterChef cookbook. 

It feels so good to be finally bringing this part of my work into the BVS offering here!

Being a food and prop stylist myself you will find all of our props perfect for food, product and still life photography, following my prop rules they are -

1. not too big

2. not too shiny

3. not too grabby

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NEW #bvsinspired instagram challenge - join in to win up to £100 in vouchers!
November 01, 2020

NEW #bvsinspired instagram challenge - join in to win up to £100 in vouchers!

I'm so thrilled to announce our first ever challenge, open to everyone in the creative community via Instagram, and co-hosted by Clementine @clemfoodie!

About this new challenge

#BVSinspired is a new seasonal styling challenge ran through Instagram, created by Sophie in collaboration with food creatives and experts and open for all to enter for a chance for one winner to take home £100 in BVS vouchers and a runner up to receive a £25 voucher.

Through sharing techniques and ideas we hope to support and inspire our community in developing new styling and photography skills while celebrating the seasons and building a deeper connection with nature.

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5 fail-safe photography backdrops that are perfect for beginners
October 01, 2020

5 fail-safe photography backdrops that are perfect for beginners

It would be easy to tell you what our best sellers are but they're not necessarily what's best for a beginner.  We sell to a massive mix of clients ranging from top experts of the food photography industry to global creative agencies. magazine and cookbook publishers, as well as home makers, recipe bloggers and crafters - everyones' needs are unique and everybody's skill level and experience will be different.  

At the start of your content creation journey - whether thats as a newly trained photographer, social marketer, maker or crafter - your priorities and budget will be very different to that of a seasoned content creator or somebody with an established prop collection. 

That's exactly what I want to share with you today, five photography backdrops that -

    • are absolutely timeless,

 

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How to use an infinity curve for food and product photography
August 19, 2020

How to use an infinity curve for food and product photography

Because you might be thinking ‘what the heck is an infinity curve?’ lets’ start with that…

In short, an infinity curve (or cove, or scoop) is created by using a single surface to create the floor and wall of your set, in a fluid curve.  Infinity curves are often permanent fixtures, built and painted in large studios for fashion, interiors and car photography, but they can be used to equally good effect for still life and product photography on a smaller scale, using curved paper, card or canvas as a temporary set up.

Infinity curves create a minimal, stylised, sometimes ethereal look.  They are best suited to straight-up product photography rather than lifestyle briefs that normally require a more natural look; sets that convey home life. 

 

 

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Basic Food Styling Kit Essentials - 25 things you need to style food for photography
March 03, 2020

Basic Food Styling Kit Essentials - 25 things you need to style food for photography

Its the question everyone always asks - what do food stylists use to make the dishes look so amazing in food photography? 

The real answer is years of experience and practise of course!


But you can get a bit closer to achieving that perfect burger or beautifully frosted berries by having these bits of kit on hand ready to brush, stick, tweeze, spray, blast and blaze. 

Obviously the kit you need will change from shoot to shoot, dish to dish with extra machines and kit required depending on what food you're styling - if you work in a niche food group or only bake cookies for example you'll soon figure out what they are and how best to style your food for photographs.

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Dark chocolate and orange blossom croissant (bread and butter) pudding recipe and food photography set up
January 21, 2020

Dark chocolate and orange blossom croissant (bread and butter) pudding recipe and food photography set up

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog, today I'm sharing a recipe and a bit about how i shot it and the food photography set up as, like many of you, I shoot food content at home in natural light - which can be challenging in the UK!

The recipe is for a pudding i made for a family meal last weekend and shot on a new backdrop (Delia) for some quick content to promote the food photography backgrounds you'll find on this site. The pudding went down so well I am now writing up the recipe as part of my #lazytastypretty recipe collection - if its easy, looks pretty and tastes good it's a winner for me!

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food styling tips photography how to style boiled eggs asparagus parmesan recipe backdrops surfaces still life
May 13, 2019

Quick food styling tip for boiled eggs! Charred Asparagus, Parmigiano Reggiano and Boiled Duck Egg Recipe

Hi! Asparagus season is here in the UK so I'm enjoying it A LOT at the mo.  One of my favourite ways to eat it is dipped in eggs and rather fortuitously a friend dropped round some neighbours duck eggs yesterday so I have been dreaming about this lunch since then!

Skip down for the recipe below or get this for a food styling win - I had a happy accident when boiling the eggs!

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Lebanese Lamb, Pine Nuts & Roasted Aubergine Recipe
May 09, 2019

Lebanese Lamb, Pine Nuts & Roasted Aubergine Recipe

I went to a middle eastern wine tasting recently and enjoyed some beautiful spiced beef and egg plant (or aubergine!) and I just couldn't get the flavour out of my head. You know, when you're thinking about what you ate somewhere days later?!  

So I just had to look for a recipe for what I guessed was a Lebanese dish, and I searched 'beef and eggplant' on ckbk and this absolute belter came up from the cookbook, 'Classic Lebanese Cuisine' (more details at the end of this post!).  

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