Shooting food photography from start to finish
I’ve always loved cooking and baking, both bring me a lot of joy. When it comes to shooting photographs of an entire meal from beginning to end, I honestly feel it’s a fantastic idea!
Food brings us together. It’s a reason to gather with friends and family to spend quality time together. To sit and eat, while catching up, telling stories, and laughing together sound like a bit of heaven to me.
When photographing food, light is very important. If you’re trying to capture food at home and don’t have access to lights or reflectors, daylight is best. If you can, photograph your food outside. But if you can’t do that, try setting up the food you want to photograph near a window and use natural light as much as possible.
Let’s start at the very beginning with drinks. In my mind, Autumn is all about gathering together. Often, it’s cold outside, so a warm drink is just the thing to hit the spot. My favorite is hot apple cider or hot cocoa.
The photo above was taken using LED continuous light and a reflector. I love the cinnamon stick, cloves and beautiful, whole anise spice floating in the cider.
This next photo was taken on a light table. I love the perfect white background it provides. I also used a reflector and flash to balance the light in this photo of a fun fruit starter.
Bread is a glorious thing. Every meal should start with bread, don’t you agree? This photo was shot using a wide-open aperture and window light.
Like the photo of the cider above, this bread photo was taken using continuous light and a reflector. Photographing bread is a good way to capture texture in a photo. I think this photo is pleasing to the eye because of the various textures. The cutting board is smooth, while the loaf bread shows a crusty outer layer and soft-looking inside. The towel in the photo helps to add even more texture and color.
Speaking of bread, what could make bread better than using it as a bowl?
Let’s move on to shooting the main dish: Cheese Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl. Comfort food at it’s finest.
While we like to zoom in and photograph individual portions of our meal, it’s always great to get a photograph of the entire spread.
I tried to create angles in this photo that lead to the red soup pot.
Now for the sweetest part of the meal, dessert. If you’re like me, you consider this the best part of the entire meal experience.
Both the caramel apples (above) and the spice cake (below) were taken with continues light along with some natural light from a nearby window. With the apples, I tried to create some fun perspective by making the front apple a clear focal point. With the cake, the pumpkins on either side create nice leading lines; together with the cake, they form a triangle shape. Triangles are always pleasing in photographs.
This apple pie was shot using beautiful window light with some added continuous light and a reflector.
Sometimes it can be fun to zoom in on the details of your food. I thought it would be fun to focus on the sprinkles in this photo of a cake:
Milk & cookies. Need I say more?
More great food photographers and food bloggers:
Here are some great articles with tips for photographing the entire meal: