Food Photography - Never thought I would shoot that

January 31, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I always know it will be interesting when one of my children start off the conversation with "Hey Dad, would you mind..."   And that's how I started down the path to my first ever photoshoot of food.  Prepared food.  On the table.  For a Christmas story on a major blog that my daughter writes for.  (No pressure.)  Can I bow out?  Nope.  The words of "Sure I'll shoot that for you" came out my mouth all the while my brain was still going "Huh?".

Instantly the yin/yang of emotions hit the washing machine of my brain.  First was "Wow - cool!  I've never done anything like that before."  Quickly replaced by the forbidding fears of "I've never shot that before!  What's the angles?  Lighting - natural or flash?  Time of day?  What's the food?  Depth of field?  What's the optimal white balance?"  Augh!!!!!  Sometimes I hate photography.

Long time ago I looked back at my photography results and saw my style emerge.   I didn't set out to target a particular style, I just evolved into one.  It was me.  And it was original.  Cool.  I liked that.  I wasn't like everyone else.  I did look around at some publications on food photography.  Gave me some ideas on what I didn't want it to look like.  Forget the magazines, I was just going to do it my way.  Pressure is off.

The day of the shoot was interesting.  My daughter was busy cooking away when I arrived.  She's really an awesome cook.  Once the table was prepared and the food plated - that's where the fun began.  I shot so many different angles and so many different lighting types.  Natural streaming lights from the window were a bit harsh and cold, but the overhead lights were too soft and didn't throw off enough light.  I used a reflection disk to help eliminate some of the shadows on the table.  The glow of lit candles helped bring the desired warmth of the presentation to the series of photographs. And the plates and layout were moved around the table so many different times I lost count.

In the end post processing in Lightroom CC 2015 helped bring the project home.  I adjusted the white balance on the photos to achieve a warm and inviting glow to the meal.  Synchronizing the WB settings across all the photos is an easy task to do and helps post processing time go quicker.

In the end my client was happy with the results and gave her Christmas food blog the desired result.

And that's what it's all about anyway - making sure the client's expectation of the results are exceeded.

If you want to see the final article and photos here's the link to it:

http://www.neworleansmomsblog.com/2015/11/16/the-best-slovak-bobalky-from-our-family-to-yours/

Have a great week!

Mike


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