Category Archives: Food
Dessert, anyone? Food Isn’t Easy to Capture
Everybody’s doin’ it. You’ve seen it all over social media. C’mon. Admit it. You’ve done it yourself. I’m talking about the now all-too-common practice of diners uploading photos of their just-served dish. It was cool at first. But now … not so hot. Especially when it has degenerated to the point that pile of mush plopped into a paper-lined plastic basket is celebrated on Facebook as a work of Renaissance art.
Let’s face it. Food photography is a little more complicated. Yes, you can still post your cell-phone capture of the three-bean vegan taco you had at the brewpub on Tuesday, but I doubt the proprietor will be paying you to use it in a print or online ad run. If she does, she won’t be in business much longer.
Food photography – when done properly – is hard. Patiently. Logistically. Technically. The prep, setup and shooting time for this image totaled about six hours. And that’s with rushing through it once the ice cream hits the set and starts melting.
With a disappearing subject, I had to set everything first with empty dishes where the ice cream would be – it had to be the last thing to placed. Even so, like every other session, it’s an organic process. Shoot, rearrange, shoot some more, re-rearrange, adjust the lighting, shoot more … you get the picture. All within an unpredictable time window.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked doing it. But it’s not like shooting a wedding or a high schooler’s senior portraits. Food is a totally different animal. And harder to capture.