Cheese Photography: My Prop Drawer

Madame Fromage's Kitchen

Several times a week, I tear my kitchen apart to photograph cheese. When I started this blog in 2009, I didn’t even own a camera, but over the years I’ve enjoyed not just nibbling hunks, but learning how to pose and snap them. As you can see, my kitchen is the color of a washed rind.

This year, I’ve set the goal of improving my photo skills. I’ve learned them on the fly, through trail and error — but now I’m itching to go a little deepers. I’m taking lessons from my photographer pal Albert Yee (also known as “Picky” from the blog, Messy & Picky). And I’m drawing on what I learned from working with Jason Varney and Carrie Purcell during the photo shoot for my book.

The three days I spent with them inspired me to create a drawer of cheese props for my little kitchen studio. I’m proud of this funny drawer, and I find it makes my cheese shoots for Madame Fromage and my freelance work go much more smoothly.

The Cheese Prop Drawer

Inside the drawer are Madame Fromage’s photography essentials: 1) make-up brush for dusting off crumbs, 2) chopstick for nudging cheeses to the left or right, 3) nail file for manicuring the occasional rind, 4) all my favorite cheese and butter knives,  5) egg spoons for condiments, 6) Q-tips lest my hunks sweat.

Madame Fromage Cheese Prop Case

And then, there’s the inspiration corner. I like to leaf through Culture Magazine when I’m in a funk.

Cheese Books and Grater

My kitchen light is best in late afternoon, so that’s when you’ll find me — dish towel jammed into my back pocket, butter knife in my hair — primping rinds to look their very best. This spring I hope to share more cheese photography tips with you. And if you have any tips or favorite props, please share a crumb.

Testun Malto d'Orzo (mixed milk cheese packed in spent barley malt and whiskey)

Testun Malto d’Orzo (mixed milk cheese packed in spent barley malt and whiskey)

P.S. This was one of my best lovelies in 2013, both to photograph and eat. It’s a rare beastie. I only found it once at the Di Bruno Bros. in the Italian Market. If you know Testun al Barolo, a mixed milk cheese packed in grape must, this is similar. Testun Malto d’Orzo is soaked in whisky and packed in barley malt. The roasty grains around the rind add crunch to this dense, boozy-sweet cheese. It’s better than crumb cake.


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2 Responses to “Cheese Photography: My Prop Drawer”
  1. Janeane says:

    love this. and love the pics. and love albert. keep making beautiful things!

  2. Aunt Tookie says:

    I love how organized your drawers are! A woman after my own heart! 🙂

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