Food, Photography & Me


After thinking about it for a long time, I finally worked up enough courage to take a course in food photography at Maine Media Workshops.  I went into the class, taught by well known food photographer Judd Pilossof, hoping to improve my food shots using the camera I have and not requiring a lot of sophisticated equipment.  What I learned is that was much harder than I anticipated.

Olympus XZ-1

Olympus XZ-1

A couple of years ago, I decided a big camera with multiple lenses was not my thing and opted for one of the new high end point and shoot cameras.  What I have is an Olympus  XZ-1 which has considerable capability, but as I learned last week, as a food camera it is not the best.  Why?  Because it is primarily a wide angle lens camera which can distort a food shot, and it does not allow me to blur backgrounds as I so yearn to do.

The camera is just one part of the problem.  There are a number of other things to consider  when it comes to taking good food photos, and many of them are quite simple.  Perhaps some of what I learned will help you, too!

Light is the most important criteria for good food photography and not all light is created equal.  Natural light  is generally good, but you may need to experiment with other sources.     Avoid using your flash!

food photographyTo deflect light, use what you have: a sheet, a piece of foam core board, wax paper, screen material.

Food photographyUse a tripod whenever possible.  It allows you to frame your shot and keeps everything still.

food photographyPlan ahead and think about how you want your food to look.  This is a real challenge for me as I often take the photo seconds before it goes on the table.  As this photo shows, the result is not always great!

food photographyKeep it simple!

food photography  While lovely dishes make a beautiful tablescape, they are not always best for shooting food.

Keep it looking natural

Keep it looking natural

Keep food looking as natural as possible.  Tweaking it too much can make it look a bit artificial.

Know your camera well enough to understand aperture, shutter speed, white balance.  This is subject for much more detail, but I’m not the one to give it!

Food PhotographyLike with so many other things, the way to improvement is practice and a willingness to do the work.  Though a class is helpful, there is a lot of food photography information out there.  For us who blog about food, I highly recommend Focus on Food Photography for Bloggers by Matt Armendariz.  It confirms much of what I learned in a very readable format.

If you have tips regarding techniques, cameras, lighting equipment or anything else related to food photography, won’t you share?  

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

16 thoughts on “Food, Photography & Me

  1. I could use a few good tips since I like to share food recipes and pictures on my blog occasionally. I study food pictures in magazines to see exactly what they do to make it look attractive since it’s very much about the staging as it is the photography techniques.

    I hope you enjoyed the class!

    XO,
    Jane

  2. I have been reading some books on this, and the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know! How wonderful to be able to take a class and be hands on. Thanks so much for sharing the tips with us,
    Jenna

  3. How nice you’ve got the chance to take a food photography class. that’s something I would love to do as I always wanted to learn more and improve the pictures I take for my food blog. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  4. Good Morning Lulu, Thank you for the tips on taking food photographs. Mine has been a steep learning curve. I have scoured many cookery books to find the look which I like and I think I am almost there. I have learnt so much and one of the things, was how to deflect light. My husband made me a white board which has helped tremendously, especially as our days are very grey when winter comes and the light in the house is not very good.
    I do not have a tripod, but that is something which will come later, at the moment I am using what I have.
    Thank you again for the hints and tips, they were really helpful.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

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