Sunday, February 28, 2010

Food Photography

Food No. 5

Since Jenn and I have bought our new house, we've been working almost non-stop on making improvements.  We've had a contractor do quite a bit of work, such as replacing windows and plumbing, but we've also been painting, decorating, organizing, landscaping... pretty much everything.  Home Depot loves us!

One of things we've wanted to focus on in the decorating department is displaying our own work around the house.  Jenn is a very talented artist and photographer, and I have a gi-normous collection of prints that I've taken over the years, so rather than go to some trendy art studio we decided to save ourselves some money and decorate our house with our own works.

For our kitchen, we decided we'd like to have some nice prints of food so we set about creating our own.  One nice thing about doing your own work is, you can shoot exactly what you want to see, with the colors, subjects and composition of your choosing.  Another nice thing for me is, I've been able to use all of these shots in my stock photography gallery on iStock ...double bonus!

One thing I've learned about food photography, is that its almost always best to backlight your subject and fill from the front.  This creates wonderful texture and shadows that you can easily manage, giving a more three dimensional look.

All of these photos were lit with a single Nikon SB-800 in a Lastolite Ezybox softbox from behind and I used white copy paper as reflectors up front for fill.  This is a surprisingly easy setup and yields really nice results.  I really like using the softbox for food photography as opposed to say an umbrella or bare light, because it creates a nice, directional, soft, wrapping light which pretty closely emulates window light.  I found I get the best effect by moving the softbox in as close to my subject as I can, then I place my reflectors directly across from the softbox.  In this example where I was shooting chocolate chip cookies, you can see how easy this setup is.

These shots are only a few that we have done so far, and we've had so much fun doing this that we are planning on shooting more.  We still haven't decided which photos to use as prints because now we have even more ideas on subject matter.

Its a fun project though, and is a very cheap way to add nice artwork to your own home.  Plus, it gives you a little sense of pride knowing that its your own creation, and you get the added bonus of being able to advertise your work when friends stop by.

So if you're a photographer and need some art prints for your own home, be sure to consider doing your own work.  Its fun, fulfilling, can be profitable and a cheap way to decorate your home.

Check out more of my food photography HERE!

For more inspiration, tips and tricks on shooting food photography, check out these links:

Joe Glyda
Lou Manna
Food Photography - Strobist


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