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food photography

SB_01-12_p33Food Photography

Photographing food is one of the most challenging projects, a style of photography that is often underestimated. Effective food photography is a team effort among many people. The chef, photographer, and, potentially, a food stylist all work together to create a photo specifically designed to sell the product.

Any business, such as restaurants or magazines that depends on food should utilize food photography in their advertising or marketing campaigns. It is a proven fact that restaurants sell more food when their menus contain photographs. That is why food photography is so prevalent in advertising today. It is only practical advertising, however, if the photography wets the appetite of the viewers. Following these tips can ensure a successful food photography session:

Food Stylist Tricks

Photographing food and products is much more than just placing a plate on the table and picking up the camera. Your final images must look appetizing, or the food will not appeal to anyone.  Ideally, a Food Stylist will be utilized for more comprehensive food shoots. An experienced food stylist knows how to choose the right items to photograph. When taking a photo of a tomato, for instance, the stylist might have a case of tomatoes and only use two. Glycerin can be added to the tomato, too, or lettuce can be iced to make them look fresh and juicy. A food stylist might have the chef cook five or six steaks so that they can choose the one that photographs best. Heated wires can be used to create grill marks on meat or vegetables.

Accessorizing With Props

Props play a major role when photographing food and products. A food stylist accessorizes the primary food by including items to compliment it. In food photography, a plain bowl of ice cream might look okay. Place that same ice cream next to small bowls of cherries, whipped cream, nuts and hot fudge sauce and you have a picture that can make the viewer’s mouth water. The food stylist and the photographer work together and plan out the photo before the food ever hits the table.

Creating The Mood Using Lighting

The lighting can make all the difference when photographing food and products. It’s important to get the lighting right using stand-ins instead of the actual food the photographer is using. Proper lighting ensures that the food we photograph is as fresh as possible. Textures can also be created using specialized lighting techniques. The correct lighting can make colors pop, which makes the food look more appetizing.

Food Photography Timing

Timing is critical in food photography. The item must be photographed as quickly as possible once plated. Doing this ensures the food is as fresh as possible. While the chef is cooking, the photographer and food stylist can use stand-ins to make sure the lighting is right for the photo. Proper planning ensures that the food will be fresh when it’s time for the picture instead of dried out from the intense light. If using cut fruit, wait until the last possible minute to cut it and then the stylist can use glycerin or ice to make it look even better in the photo.

Food photography is much more than just taking a picture of a dish. It’s a team effort between the chef, photographer, and food stylist. When choosing a photographer for your food advertising materials, you’ll want one that is experienced in photographing food and products.