(Help) Food photography

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by brulo, Nov 14, 2017 at 8:29 PM.

  1. brulo

    brulo

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    Home Cook
    Hi all!

    Don't know if this is exactly the correct place to post this.

    Does anyone have some cool material yo learn more about food photography?

    I've downloaded a bunch of youtube videos, and will be googling for articles and such, but maybe someone here knows some other good options to learn a little more about this aspect of cuisine.

    I would like to start stepping up my photo game for my personal portfolio.

    Any input will be highly appreciated!
     
  2. planethoff

    planethoff

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    I have a few places to suggest, but i don't know if it is proper to post on this site. I'm sure you'll come across them of something similar with your google searches.

    However, In my experience you should study two things: Photography itself and The Art of Plating.

    As I'm sure you are aware, photography is an art-form all to itself and you would be amazed to find out how complex it can be. My tip would be to start with lighting. Take something you made and plate it as pretty as you can. Take a picture in as many different light sources as you can. Do natural and artificial lighting. Try different levels of brightness and color warmth. Then compare. You will be astounded to see how much different the same plate can look in different environments. For example the light from a sunset at dusk on your patio table compared to on the kitchen counter under fluorescent lighting will look like two completely different dishes. Then, you can try different angles in the different lights.

    Plating is another art form all to itself. It is a true canvas of visual art. Go to a home goods store and buy different colored/patterned plates and place settings. Along with arrangement on the plate. and its location (picnic table, dining table, cutting board, etc.)

    Key is, just mess around and try different things. Expensive equipment and fancy filters are great, but the eye for the light and plate are the keys to a good shot. Good Luck, Have fun!
     
    drirene likes this.
  3. halb

    halb

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    I used to do commercial photography around 18 years ago. Product shots and portraits, not so much food but it is much the same and different. I quit when I couldn't make money anymore because everybody with a cell phone became a photographer. My advice is to forget You tube, you need to concentrate on lighting which you aren't going to do with very well with an on camera flash. You're going to need a lighting setup (preferably strobes) and modifiers (soft boxes, umbrellas, etc) if you are going to pursue this seriously. I would recommend you read:

    Light Science and Magic
    by Fil Hunter and Paul Faqua, ISBN 0-240-80275-6
    The Lighting Cookbook by Jenni Bidner, ISBN 0-8174-4196-4

    After that is the plating. Most professional photographers use "food stylists". It's not just the plating, it's doing what's necessary to make the food look good to the camera which doesn't necessarily mean you would want to eat it if you were to have it placed in front of you in a restaurant. I have no references for books but I'm sure if you Google "food styling" and "food photography" you will find some.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
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  4. brulo

    brulo

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    Thanks both for the extensive advice and comments!

    I want to clarify that I want to step in this part of culinary arts just to be able to take above-average photos of my (still) amateur cooking. So, no professional pursuit here, at least for now. But I want to be able to showcase what I do without being the typical crappy photo, understanding that I won't be able to go full pro either.

    My main interest is cooking, but I want to learn about plating, styling and photographing too.

    Thanks again and I'll be looking for any other advice anyone else want to give.
     
  5. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    in these days of electronic photography, play with it. your camera should be able to display camera settings on each shot. camera on a tripod is almost required. some movable lights also(some with daylight bulbs, some with soft white bulbs). make a sample plate. take photos from directly overhead then work in steps to 45* angle. joy now is you can look at your pictures right after you took them, not hours or days later when film had to be processed and prints made.