When he's not sitting in southern California traffic, San Diego editorial photographer, Rob Andrew, spends his days freelancing from one gig to another with all his gear in tow. In order to stay nimble, Rob has developed a style of shooting creative food photography with a surprisingly minimal amount of gear. He recently published what he calls a "Bag Check" on his blog, outlining the tools he uses to get the job done.
The guys over at DigitalRev TV love doing things just for the hell of it and never seem to backdown from a challenge. Their latest of which is to take the actual food from a popular fast food chain and make it look like the advertisements. As an added challange they use nothing but Apple gadgets.
In my last Fstoppers post, I shared an interesting video called Briefly, which discussed how and why a company or advertising agency might approach developing or executing a creative brief.
Remember, the brief is the information that you receive going into an assignment and client relationship. It can serve as your guide to understand what your client aspires to accomplish; a jumping off point to get your own mind working to produce concepts and content ideas. Some briefs are short; some briefs are lengthy and detailed. Some are open for interpretation; others seem rigid and strict.
This week I wanted to share a few of the tools we commercial photographers use to create our tabletop images. Particularly the items used in photographing beverages. There's a lot of trial and error when it comes to this sort of photography, often times we find ourselves using things in ways far from their originally intended purpose. Having said that, there's a lot of things that have become kind-of standard practice in food/beverage photography, some of those items I'll share with you today.
Last year Fstoppers threw its very first live photography workshop in the Bahamas and world class food and drink photographer Rob Grimm was one of the instructors. I was able to sit in on a bit of Rob's class and I learned a ton about photographing drinks. We just got our new order of FlashDiscs in and I decided to try a shot of my own using the new modifiers.
Back in 2004 I was given the Nikon D100 digital camera for Christmas and I started making money with the camera within a few months. I fell into wedding photography and within 2 years I was making almost 100% of my income shooting them. In the last 10 years I never learned how to process a RAW file (effectively) or use Lightroom until last week.
From concept to finsihed piece Danielle Evans creates incredible pieces of art using various mediums for clients Target, Romano's Macaroni Grill and Kellogg. Her style is freeform and specializes in hand lettering to create stunning scenes with perfect lighting to match the feel she is looking for.
In past articles, I have shown you what I love about wooden and stone food photography backgrounds. These backgrounds make great sturdy surfaces that you can use anywhere. However, their sturdiness comes with weight and rigidity that can make hauling them around quite the chore. If you are looking for a lightweight background with a wide range styles; cloth is the way to go. Let me show you why.
Is there a perfect light for your food photography? In past posts, I have mainly talked about using large lighting modifiers to create a soft light over my subject. I tend to choose softer light, because I think it looks better on my food. Is this the only lighting option? No. Like fashion photography, there are many different types of lighting that you can use on a subject. To get a better understanding of what will fit your style, let's take a closer look at the characteristics of hard and soft light and how they affect your food shot.
A stone background provides a great look for many food shots. The only problem is the weight that comes with it. Spend a day hauling around large stone tiles and you will understand the price that comes with this great look. There is a solution though. Let me show you how you can still have the same great stone look that is easy on the back and the wallet.
Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in the United Stated revolve around one thing: lots of green booze. In working with a recipe developer for a St. Patrick's Day beverage, we both wanted to steer clear of the common green beer and food coloring based cocktails. The result was a beautiful green sangria. Here is more on how I created this subtly St. Patrick's Day themed shot.
I know what you might be thinking. How can something used for construction and home improvement help me with my photography? Well, keep in mind that some of the best food photography supplies come from the hardware store. Folding sawhorses are light weight, incredibly portable, and can create a shooting space with a small footprint anywhere! Let me show you a versatile set-up you can recreate anywhere.
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.
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.