Photostyling Using Vintage Finds

Vintage pieces are everywhere and are the perfect backdrop for interesting blogging and photostyling.

GotMyReservations Lucky Junk Display

This display was taken at Lucky Junk with my cell phone. Interesting blog photos are everywhere!

While I’m still learning about photography and photostyling, I’ve figured out a few pointers that might help people who are starting out in blogging. I’m not a professional photographer, but the difference between my old and new photos is noticeable.

GotMyReservations Vintage Finds Photos

Yes, I know this photo has a few hot spots from hard lighting, but it still makes the food look appetizing.

Start with a silver tray. These can be found everywhere if you are looking for them. Check resale shops, garage sales, and estate sales. They are rarely more than ten dollars and usually require a little silver polish. No big deal for the payback you get. Don’t worry if they have worn spots — no one cares.

GotMyReservations Vintage Finds Closeup

Vary the heights and textures of the pieces in your vignettes. I used three different vessels, including a vintage Haeger pottery urn, a curvy shrimp cocktail stemmed glass, and a faceted rimmed plate edged in gold. They don’t have to match to be beautiful together, and with the exception of the Haeger urn, they were all in my cupboard. I am proud to be associated with a local vintage store, Lucky Junk, and Janet graciously allows me to borrow items from the store to use in my photos.

GotMyReservations Vintage Finds Royal Haeger Urn

Think about what’s going to be in the foreground, the middle, and the background before you take the photo. Currently, food stylists on social media are using photos that tell a story; a photo of a pizza might also have a pile of grated cheese and a sprig of basil in the picture. Usually you will also see loose pieces in the frame that help to support the theme of the vignette. Your collectible linens can also help you create a mood, so think about the story your photograph tells. I chose to photograph my collection of somewhat elegant vessels on a summery plaid tablecloth to create a lighthearted feel to my fruit story. P.S. This is a “don’t” photo — read its caption.

GotMyReservations Vintage Finds Background

I should have draped the backs of my chairs to avoid the busyness of the background in this photo.

If you are using color in your photo, repeat similar hues throughout your styling. The red strawberries, red raspberries, and red plaid in the tablecloth play well together and demonstrate the power of threes. The deep purple of the blackberries provides contrast and I purposely left the green stems on the strawberries to give some definition to the pile of red in the Haeger urn. The colors of vintage items range from the very popular light shabby chic pieces to the retro colors of the 1950s and 1960s. Use color to your advantage in your photos.

GotMyReservations Vintage Finds Food Closeup

The crispness of this photo of soft shell crab tempura taken in relatively low light is awesome.

Sometimes new is better. You should use your closeup lens to create depth-of-field in your photo. Most point and shoot cameras these days have some sort of closeup setting, usually labeled food or flowers. In my photos, you can see how the edges of the photos start to get soft and unfocused. Obviously, if you have a real DSLR and a lens with a wide aperture, use it. I have a new Sony pocket camera that is designed to take closeups in low light. While its cost is similar to a full-size DSLR, it might be a worthwhile investment if you are going to try to make money with your photos. It’s pretty easy to take stunning photos, even while in a restaurant or store where your lighting is not perfect. There are lots of fabulous photos on the web that are taken with smart phones, as well. Check out available apps which can give you all kinds of effects and editing capabilities. I’m going to try out Evernote Food, which has a built-in “foodlight.” The camera that is in your purse is better than no camera at all!

GotMyReservations Vintage Finds Tea Cup

The camera was shooting toward a crowded tea table, but the shallow depth-of-field focuses your eye on the teacup.

I’m linking up today with Christine at Rustic and Refined and Dawn at We Call It Junkin’. Both of these bloggers have figured out how to successfully use vintage pieces in their tablescaping photography. I’d love to see your best photos, so post them in the comments or on the Got My Reservations social media pages.

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5 thoughts on “Photostyling Using Vintage Finds

  1. You really gave some great tips, Jennie! I’m not a photographer, either, but I have learned a lot over the years. When Ramon gave me a new camera last year, it was up to me to learn how to use it. I am still trying to get comfortable with it, but my photos have shown improvement. Your tips will help me to take it a step further, especially when photographing food!

  2. Beautiful photographs, Jennie! Your tips are great reminders to pay attention to every detail – something I tend to skimp on sometimes when in a hurry. I am salivating over your gorgeous cup and saucer!

    • Thanks for the sweet comment. The teacups belong to my cousin Carol who hosts tea parties as her business. They are beautiful!

  3. Wonderful tips my friend! I always wondered about why sometimes I got those spots on my photos! I thought there was something on my lense….LOL Beautiful vignettes and the last one…the tea cup? Thats my fav:-) stunning color….

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