I’ve been fussing over what I put my food in for a while. Is it the vintage white bowl or the modern white bowl? A gold Zara Home spoon or a deco silver-plated spoon? But I’ve been giving one of the most important aspects of my food photography short shrift: the surfaces.

The feeling you get from the combination of the light and propping and colors is because all of these little details work together, and the surface is the foundation of that.  All of the recipes here are things that I’ve shot on cutting boards I have at home.  I love the idea of bringing natural textures into my photography, and wood immediately sets the tone of natural, fresh, and artisanal without having to say much.  You want it to feel like we’re in a kitchen, even though we only see a teaspoon of it… and though you don’t see many elements of the kitchen, you want to be in it.

Funny enough, wooden cutting boards big enough to shoot on have proven to be some of the hardest things to collect.  Granted, if I showed a little ingenuity and bought the wood myself, treated it, and knocked it around to give it some character, life would be a lot easier.  Unfortunately, I’m not particularly crafty, and I’m not dating a carpenter, so there. Anyway, I found that by searching under the “primitives” heading on ebay I can find cutting boards in the style I was looking for, and honestly, etsy’s options proved a wee bit expensive for my tastes.

So here are some of my favorite surfaces to layer my recipes on. Hope you enjoy!