Making a Bagel Brunch Board

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

How to Arrange a Buffet-Style Bagel Board


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For my latest shoot, I decided to do something that has been trending in the foodie culture lately- bagel brunch boards. I got the idea when talking with a friend about food photography, and we decided it would be an interesting shoot to do together.


A bagel brunch board is assembled on a cutting board with varying vegetables and garnishes for bagels paired with smoked salmon. The board should focus on dips, spreads, and the salmon.






The bagel brunch board is a simple concept, as it’s just bagels and various toppings on a cutting board, but presenting it is important to the shoot. Before the shoot, I sketched out what I wanted on the board and where I wanted it, and gathered all of the props and prepared the board for the shoot. In order to fit everything on the board, I had to use a larger board that was 23 in. by 10 in. I first arranged dips and spreads for the bagels, to be a focal point for the board. I then arranged the salmon, as it takes up the largest portion of the board, and finally the vegetables around everything else. For the board, I just used a regular wooden cutting board, but any large board can work, such as a slate board or a more rustic-looking board.


When preparing the vegetables for the shoot, I used a mandoline slicer for consistently even slices. I recommend a mandoline slicer as it has been proven to be quite useful in lots of shoots, as sometimes cutting vegetables by hand can be tedious and can appear uneven on the camera. Cutting the vegetables, since there is so many, takes a bit of time- it took me 30 minutes to cut all of the vegetables and 10 minutes to arrange everything on the board before shooting. I recommend pre-slicing vegetables the night before the shoot, to save some time for the shoot. After cutting them, putting them in an airtight container and keeping them in the fridge keeps the vegetables looking fresh. Everything on the board was meant to be in combination with the smoked salmon, so most of the vegetables were to garnish the salmon, especially parsley and chives.


I preferred using mini-bagels for this shoot, as I didn’t want the board to appear too cluttered and overwhelming with the amount of toppings and large bagels. These mini-bagels are also good for kids, groups in an event setting, or as an appetizer for a brunch meal.


This shoot was really easy and quick, and it was nice to shoot with my friend and talk about food photography.





Kitchen equipment for this recipe

Mandoline slicer

Food photography props used in this photoshoot

Some of the props might no longer be available in stores. I selected props as close as possible to match those items.

Large wood board

Small ceramic bowls

Spread knifes

Appetizer tongs

White cake stand







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