Food for thought
I’ve been photographing food commercially for several years now, but every shoot is always unique and fun to do. I do simple lighting and as much as possible work with natural light. With my shoot for Crepelato Gelato in NCCC, I made use of their bright glass window that takes in a lot of sunlight.
My ingredients for a good food shoot: Light. Composition. Mood. Color.
With the mood, you set up everything from props, background, the whole drama. The object is to make your viewer’s mouth water. Composition will have to be with the help of a food stylist, to arrange your elements for you, leaving you to concentrate on your shooting alone. There are often times though, when you have to do everything by yourself, so you rely on the chef to bring you the best presentation there is.
Color is most important in food photography. To make the dish look mouthwatering, the dish has to retain its real color and texture, and the colors have to blend harmoniously with the background. I don’t relish capturing food on a dark plate, unless it is needed. Of course, if the food looks gross, you can find other angles to make it look delectable (horrifying exotic street food I captured will be another topic soon).
Since the food is your star, simplify your composition to keep the focus on the “main dish”.
While many creative attempts are done to keep the food looking fresh, hot, or yummy looking (we once did a beverage shoot using red-orange food coloring), I certainly would like to eat my food afterwards. It’s such a waste to spoil a work of art if not heartily consumed and appreciated by the palate.
So how do you shoot your food?
Food shoot at Crepelato Gelato in NCCC, Davao
Food styling by Gerlie Bagsarsa
Photography © Jojie Alcantara