Tabletop Tuesday: Paper Straws

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

High on a rolling cart in my studio, I keep a huge plastic storage container filled with adorable paper straws of every color and design. I also keep an orange tool kit filled with the straws I take on locations for photo shoots. Here’s the deal…I cringe when I use them.

The first photo I put a stripy paper straw in was nearly 8 years ago. I had brought back home a small box of the red and white candy striped kind from a European vacation. When you take only one backpack on a month long trip and use up part of that small storage space for a box of paper straws, you’re either crazy or you must really love them.  I handled those first straws like a heart ready to be transplanted. Always wiping them off and drying them to be used again. One jerk of a food stylist actually threw two away on that first shoot…I’ve never chosen to talk or work with her since (the straws were just the straw that broke the camel’s back).  

For the past 8 years, my clients have been asking for “some of your cute paper straws”.

“Libbie, wouldn’t it be cute if we put a stripy paper straw in that ridiculously tiny milk bottle?”
“Libbie, what do you think if we put a pink polka dot paper straw in that green glass with nothing in it?”
“Libbie, wouldn’t a few yellow striped paper straws be SO CUTE rolling out of frame with the just cut lemons and fresh mint leaves on weathered wood?” 

I oblige.
1. Because I have nearly 3,000 I need to justify buying.
2. Because I always want my clients to be happy.
3. Because secretly I must love the straws…because I keep buying them…and using them…and treating them like hearts ready to be transplanted. 
Stripy Paper Straws at their finest (Libbie Summers and Chia Chong for Salted and Styled)
Bacon Banana Cookies from Libbie Summers (Photography by Chia Chong for The Whole Hog Cookbook)
Fun Fact: These are my REDIC Bacon Banana Cookies from The Whole Hog Cookbook and were seen in Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 7…just sayin’.

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