The guys over at Immaculate Infatuation are a little, well, obsessed with food. Their restaurant reviews are honest and refreshing; they tell it like it is. So when I saw that they wrote a piece about how to take “perfect” food photos, I knew I had to check it out. Now this isn’t a guide for professional food photographers (far from it) but if you’re one of the types that likes to Instagram every meal you eat, chances are you could learn something from their post. [more]
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There are many great dishes that are boring to look at. Most dips and sauces are monochromatic and have very little texture to them. They taste delicious, but there is a challenge in making them jump off the page at a viewer. Here is how I took a boring looking blue cheese dressing, and made an image that you want to take a bite out of.
Sponsored by “Hunger Free Colorado”, a recent photo series gave digital cameras to 15 woman living on food stamps in Colorado, and asked them to document their lives using the cameras in a series called “Hunger Through My Lens“. The concept is simple, but what it leaves us with, is some incredibly powerful images on the harsh reality of the lives of those battling hunger in America. [more]
When working on a multi-page editorial spread or a cookbook, it is important to showcase a variety of different food shots. If there is an author or chef involved in the shoot, including them in a few action shots will blend nicely with a variety of still shots. Here is a look at a recent shoot I did where I was assigned to shoot both action and still shots of the same dish.
One of the biggest niches in commercial photography today is food photography. We’ve all had the same experience, walk into a small local restaurant and ask to see their menu. The photos look atrocious and you wonder to yourself, “who took these photos?” You know you can probably do a better job, but how much better can you really do? “Photographing Food” an ebook series by Taylor Mathis helps you take ordinary food photos and makes them extraordinary. [more]
When you are on a food photography shoot, you will hear the term the “Hero _____ ” throughout the day. DO NOT EAT THE HERO. The hero is the picture perfect version of the food that will be in the final shot. Here is a look at what goes into finding the hero for your shot.
I’m a big fan of clever puns. I’m an even bigger fan of puns done in an original way, which is hard to do these days. The Instagram / Tumblr account “Talking Food” has blended the awesomeness of food photography and pop culture puns like “Go Shawty It’s Sherbert Day” and my favorite “Batman and Reuben.” If you have a few minutes to kill check out the page for over 100 puns that will put a smile on your face and food that will make you hungry. The most impressive part, the graphic design is all done on an iPhone. [more]
For beautiful salivating food photography, you don’t need a lot of lighting equipment. To create a shot that will make your viewer’s stomach start to rumble you only need one diffused light source. Using only one light source creates a natural look with one set of shadows. By changing the direction and intensity of these shadows, you can create countless lighting scenarios that will leave your viewers hungry. Let me show you how one light can provide many options.
Have you ever looked at a picture of a dish and been embarrassed? It could be that a sliver of drool escapes from your salivating mouth. Or you could be a crowded place and looking at a food shot causes an embarrassingly loud rumble from your stomach. Looking around and pretending that it wasn’t you won’t save you. The food photographer and stylist have done their jobs. They have made you hungry. So how did that do it? [more]
Have you had trouble lighting reflective surfaces? If you were given a food like ceviche to style, would you know where to begin? In this post, I am going to show you how I styled and shot a scallop and peach ceviche recipe. Here is a little background on the shot. The recipe developer meant for this dish to be served at an outdoor entertaining event, and wanted to highlight the light refreshing nature of the dish. With this in mind, I chose lighting and props that would help communicate this. Here is how I created the shot.
Have you ever wished you had an extra hand that you could set a prop in and know that it wouldn’t move? Fortunately photographers and videographers have dozens of clamps, clips, stands, and arms that allow them to place any piece of lighting gear, lighting modifier, or prop anywhere they would like to. You could have a model or member of your crew hold a utensil in place, but there is a high chance that they will experience fatigue and drop the food. Here is a solution that uses grip gear to ensure your food will stay in place for as long as you would like.
What do you do when you find yourself in a restaurant without a decent window to shoot by? You will have to create your own light. If you are new to food photography and never had to use artificial light to light a dish, you may find yourself unsure of where to start. You don’t need multiple flashes and a bunch of modifiers to create a beautiful shot. All you need is a flash, a light stand, a large diffusion source, and a piece of white foam board. Here is how I use these tools to create a beautiful backlit shot.
How do you choose the right aperture for an image? If you are shooting at night with only available light, you may prefer a faster, wide open aperture to let more ambient light through your lens. If you are shooting a landscape, a smaller, stopped down aperture will give you a deeper depth of field and ensure your whole landscape is in focus. On the contrary, if you are doing a creative portrait session, a shallow depth of field can create an interesting and captivating portrait. If you are new to food photography, you may find yourself wondering, “What is the best aperture to shoot with?”
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is officially here! This means plenty of picnics, outdoor barbecues, and many more occasions where you can take pictures of food outside! When outside, you won’t have control of the weather conditions. To be able to have nice, soft, diffused light in any weather, there is one piece of equipment that I always bring with me. It is small, light-weight, and essential to creating mouthwatering pictures of food on a bright sunny day. Can you guess what it is?