A few months back, I decided to take a food photography class. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! The class was once a week in the evening for four weeks and it was at a commercial photographer’s studio, so we got to play with all his cool toys and props.
I thought I’d share some of the tips he gave us with any of you who are as obsessed with photography, and food photography in particular, as I am.
These are a few shots of his normal set up for food. His studio is in an industrial park and the door to the back is an overhead door that lifts up, so during the day he just opens that door and shoots in natural light. On overcast days and in the evenings, he uses this set up. Cool, huh?
Here are my notes from the class:
Before shooting, spend a little time trying to figure out what mood you are trying to convey, and what props and lighting will help you get the mood you are seeking.
Height = Drama
Use natural light whenever possible. If you can get light from the north side of the building, all the better.
The bigger the light source, the softer the light will be.
Use a small light source to emphasize texture as in crackly skin texture.
Always use a tripod (I find this hard to do, I get impatient to eat!)
When there are several items in the shot, odd numbers are better than even numbers. In other words, five cupcakes look better in a photograph than six (not sure that I completely agree with this one).
In order to get the best shots while the food is still fresh, take shots from the top first, close ups second and shots from farther back last.
Mostly, we practiced shooting different types of food, which, of course, is the very best way to learn photography.