My name is Gina and first let me say Thank You to Mira for asking me to guest post today. I am so honored to be here. Now I am the first to admit, I am no expert. I have just been very fortunate that there are so many wonderful ladies like Tiffany from June Makes Six & Danelle from Danelle M. Photography, that have been so kind to share with me some fantastic tips on how to improve my food photography. I spend a lot of time pouring over food photos from magazines & of course- there is a never-ending supply of inspiration from Pinterest. I get a lot of my inspiration from these places & encourage you to keep your eyes open to notice why certain things catch your eye. What is it about a certain photo that draws you in? Try to then use those techniques in your photos to help you get to where you want to be.
I figured that since there are so many tutorials & tips floating around the best thing I could offer you would be my plan of attack & what I do when I am wanting to put a food shot together.
Please forgive the stuff in the background. I don’t shoot in a studio. While it’s full of my husband’s fire memorabilia I get my best & most consistent light in our media room which is why I always go there. It faces north & gives a nice diffused glow most of the day, which is perfect for food. I have learned from too many failed attempts that direct sun on subjects just isn’t the way to go. I usually set up before I start making the meal so that I don’t have to try to do it while I am racing the clock to keep the food warm. It’s usually my plate that I will eat that night that I am photographing so I want to work quickly once it’s ready.
You see here, because of the time of day, I put my old wooden board on top of the T.V. tray to give it more light. Depending on the time of day, I may also just put it right on the floor. I love this new to me- old (like 200 years old) board that my hubs found for me while traveling off the beaten path. I have my large white reflector leaning up against my tripod to reduce shadows. I love it. One of the best investments I have made to my gear bag. I add some sort of napkin or cloth & some extra dishes- to add some added interest to the background. Even though I know it will get lost in the bokeh- you can still sort of make it out & it does make all the difference.
Getting it right in camera…
I usually shoot as wide open as I can & never use a flash. If it’s too dim to get the lighting right I come back the next day or scrap the idea until I can do it right. With food I feel it’s important to not try to correct in processing. I like to get my images perfect in camera as I feel altering them beyond the slight brightening or adjusting for clarity changes how real or appetizing the food looks. Remember- the idea is to get the viewer to want to eat what is in the shot. It needs to look delectable.
50mm ISO 400 1/80 f/3
When I am shooting I will usually get a good 30 photos all from different angles. Get creative! I have been known to lay on the floor, stand precariously on a bar stool to get high above the plate & all sorts of other things to create my vision. I like to get at least one shot of the whole scene, more pulled back like this one above.
50mm ISO 400 1/80 f/3
Then I like to get in a bit closer to capture the little details about the food that catch my eye. Whether it be a sprinkle that fell just right on a cupcake- or in this case, the puddle of glaze & the one piece of chicken that rolled off the rice while I was preparing the plate. Those details can make all the difference.
50mm ISO 400 1/80 f/3
Linking up to
This and That @ DebDuty.Com
Framing the shot…
Then I like to do a shot looking down, partially cropped in to really capture how I look at it before enjoying it. I know that many professionals might not like this composition. But you know- these are the types of shots that I am personally drawn to when I am looking for inspiration. It’s a personal preference. I like to get up close & personal & sometimes I don’t get that same feeling when I pull back.
Keep it clean and crisp…
Remember- probably the most important thing is to try to nail your shot SOOC. Don’t try to change it too much in processing. Don’t use artistic (pre-made Photoshop) actions. Keep your edits clean & crisp. I have a couple “clean” Photoshop actions that I use & recommend for this sort of thing.
Photoshop Action to edit your food photographs
Paint the Moon’s Be Clear & Details Details. I could do these processes manually in Photoshop but I find that these make the processing so much quicker. These really make the food look as clear as possible which I love- especially because they are so adjustable to my liking.
The other thing I do is sharpen. I have found that the sharpen action from Pure Photoshop Actions (found in their freebies section) is the one I use nearly every time. It’s just enough to keep things natural- whether it be for food or for portraits or anything else. I go to that one on nearly every photo.
So that’s it!
Do you want to make this dish? Come on over & visit me where I am posting the recipe today.
Now, we would love to see your food shots!
Please, feel welcome to link your food and beverages shots to Food Photography. The rules are simple:
1. Make your photograph about food or beverages.
2. Tell us about that photograph: share a photo tip, recipe, or a story behind it.
3. Submit the URL to your food photo post or a specific Flickr image, NOT your home page or album URL.
4. Please, include a link back to my blog in your post or Flickr image description. You can grab the button below or use a text link. Note: Linked photos without the backlink will be removed.
5. Visit bloggers on your left and your right and leave some comment love.