I believe the key to great food photography has 3 basic components:
1) the angle
2) the depth of field (blur) used
3) setting up a scene
I haven’t done a lot of food photography, but in seeing great photos, I can spot those 3 key componants every time. It is more complicated than it seems, and the few times I have done it, I am have challeneged myself.
I have a display in a local yogurt shop, and it is so fun to walk in and see it, because it is so different for me to photograph food. In my mind, it is actually more challenging to me than people! Can you imagine…people move, food doesn’t. But making food look interesting requires thought and effort.
Here is my display
The bowl below was used for the owners to eat cereal out of on the morning they were working. They just had one or two in the back, but I think it is a perfect addition to this shot.
The other food project I worked on was 2 years ago with a friend who is a chef and wanted to make a calendar of her favorite dishes with recipes. It was really fun to work on, as this was really my first efforts in food photography. I was at her kitchen table with the window light and we tried to dress up each situation the best we could. My favorite, which became the calendar cover, was cookies stacked and the glass of milk softly in the background (blurred with my low f-stop focused on one choco chip on the cookie). The unique glass really helps the interest in the image, too.
The only one not taken on her table is the firesplace/holiday scene where we pulled out the stocking and mini tree, and the summer popcycle wagon scene which was in her backyard. We actually sold these calendars from our blogs and all the proceeds went to our favorite charity that year.
Now wouldn’t this make a great gift for family, calendar of favorite seasonal foods? Now go make one! The more you study food images, the more it helps take great food pictures, too. Holiday time is filled with traditional meals and treats. I challenge you to capture that food in a unique way…you never know, it may turn out frame worthy, and how fun to have a beautiful food shot in your kitchen to say “hi” to you everyday (and for others to ooh and aah over). I’m not Bakerella, the food photographer, or the dish on photography, but I like to try:)
Happy December! ~Kristen Duke