Behind the Scenes Food Photo Shoot
Food photography is far more than a plate of food and a camera, it calls for a passion and comprehension of what you’re shooting: always remember that ice cream melts, herbs wilt and steam fades.
In this age of smart phones, portrait mode and Instagram filters, the perception is often that food photography is as simple as pointing and clicking a button. However this is far from the case when it comes to a professionally shot and stylized photoshoot, meant to capture more than just a dish, but a mood and feeling of the dining experience.
A photo is not just about the food itself. Everything in the frame is important, from the table the plate sits on (is it a wood table, stone counter, does the color contrast well with the plate and ingredients) to the glassware in the background. Composing a moment is just as significant as composing a dish.
Behind every food photoshoot, there is a stylist whose job is to tell the story, and often to trick the eye. Food styling can be a difficult task as textures and flavors must be transmitted through photos. Sometimes this means making something taste LESS delicious to look MORE delicious. The bun on your burger seem blah? Spritz it with some olive oil, instant glisten. Need a scoop of ice cream on top of that pie? Try mashed potatoes, they never melt! Looking for that perfect dollop of cream for a coffee drink? Use shaving cream, it won’t melt as fast.
Things to remember when shooting food:
- The Three ‘ations to Quality Food Photos:
- Light saturation. Natural light is always best, and make sure there is plenty of light available.
- Dish elevation. A dish should have some lift, seeming to jump off the image. Stack ingredients, layer items, give the food some body.
- Color variation. Pops of color help make any dish look more appetizing. Browns on greys on tans will always seem flat and dull in an image.
- Additional Tips of the Trade
- Angles. Angles. Angles. Try all angles.
- Stay true to the food.
- Take more photos than you think you need, you may not get the chance again.