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02/23/2010 06:41:05 PM · #1
I have been asked to photograph food dishes for a caterer's website. She mentioned me shooting about 5 dishes and a headshot of her. I have never done this before so am looking for tips on pricing and also tips on photographing the food and making it look the best it can be.

I'm an avid gourmet food lover myself so have seen aerial perspectives in magazines like Bon Appetit so I will probably try a bunch of those...

Thanks!
02/23/2010 06:45:36 PM · #2
Food III

That may help you. Personally I haven't done much so I hope this helps even a little.
02/23/2010 06:50:57 PM · #3
thanks for the link!
02/23/2010 07:08:12 PM · #4
Virtually every 'Women's Interest' type of magazine has a recipe/food section with plenty of photos. A lot seem to use a shallow depth of field technique where only part of the image is in sharp focus - presumably the part you're about to sink your teeth into. Good luck.
02/23/2010 07:14:04 PM · #5
Been trying that a while ago, It's difficult to get a story in... Here was some long exposure with single colour. More product photography then food.

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02/23/2010 09:12:36 PM · #6
Originally posted by Michish:

I have been asked to photograph food dishes for a caterer's website. She mentioned me shooting about 5 dishes and a headshot of her. I have never done this before so am looking for tips on pricing and also tips on photographing the food and making it look the best it can be.

i prefer natural light, a tripod, and reflectors. find example shots you like, then practice making those happen. as to pricing, ask her what her budget is. something like this could run close to $1000, which shouldn't be a problem for an established business. otherwise, you might have to barter it out, maybe trading images for food...
02/23/2010 09:16:54 PM · #7
Lots of great info and examples of what people have done can be found in Strobist Boot Camp II Assignment #2
02/24/2010 06:26:52 AM · #8
There's also a Food Gallery on DPC.
02/24/2010 06:31:07 AM · #9
I remember that I bought a Martha Stewart Christmas cookie magazine one year, and it had absolutely spectacular photos in it--perhaps look up some of her magazines or books at the library. I wasn't even particularly in to photography at that point, and they still made a big impression.
02/24/2010 06:33:54 AM · #10
Check this out:

//www.foodportfolio.com/blog/food_photography/food_photgraphy.html

Some good basic info there. Google "Food Photography basics" for more.

R.
02/24/2010 06:34:25 AM · #11
martha stewart pie photo

She has some photos on her site -- here's a simple but effective, imo, pie photo.

here's a mac and cheese shot
mac and cheese

lots of high key stuff, but I like it.


Message edited by author 2010-02-24 06:36:41.
02/24/2010 07:10:28 AM · #12
Originally posted by Michish:

I have been asked to photograph food dishes for a caterer's website. She mentioned me shooting about 5 dishes and a headshot of her. I have never done this before so am looking for tips on pricing and also tips on photographing the food and making it look the best it can be.

I'm an avid gourmet food lover myself so have seen aerial perspectives in magazines like Bon Appetit so I will probably try a bunch of those...

Thanks!


For food images I do believe that ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Pawdrixmight be a good source of information.

Ray
02/24/2010 07:26:19 AM · #13
Try to get time & space, and provide for various color schemes & lighting. I did some shooting for a guy who was making a brochure & website fopr his catering business, and it's surprising how many variables that never occur to you there are in shooting food.

You have to make sure that the colors of the plate and the surroundings don't clash with, or worse, overpower the food in the drawing of the eye to the subject. If you can take someting to make a backdrop and set up the plate on a pedestal of some sort, that will be helpful. Once you get set up, you should be okay to experiment with how the presentation looks the best. Engage your client in becoming interested in the best presentation. I was happy that I had a very fussy client when I went to shoot as he wanted his product to look the best possible. He was most helpful in his efforts!

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It's amazing how being here at DPC will open you up to possibilities that hadn't occurred to you, and the amount of help you'll find. In my case, I have found quite a few endeavors that I know are not my cup of tea, but I have had a good chance to make the best of ventures I never would have tried otherwise.

Good luck!

Message edited by author 2010-02-24 07:38:42.
02/24/2010 10:11:06 AM · #14
Shoot the food while it's freshly prepared -- things dry out or get greasy very quickly.

Note also that every little spot and speck will show up, but since you aren't limited to basic editing, you should be able to clone those out. Still, save yourself some trouble by having something (and maybe someone) there to keep the area and dish edges clean.

If you want to take a look at my recent efforts, feel free. I was pleased considering it was a first outing. Photoshop saved my ass with these as I was able to considably brighten the dull gray photos that came out of the camera!

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02/24/2010 10:30:15 AM · #15
Here's a fabulous site for inspiration: Food Porn Daily
02/24/2010 10:33:37 AM · #16
Originally posted by citymars:

Shoot the food while it's freshly prepared -- things dry out or get greasy very quickly.

Note also that every little spot and speck will show up, but since you aren't limited to basic editing, you should be able to clone those out. Still, save yourself some trouble by having something (and maybe someone) there to keep the area and dish edges clean.

If you want to take a look at my recent efforts, feel free. I was pleased considering it was a first outing. Photoshop saved my ass with these as I was able to considably brighten the dull gray photos that came out of the camera!

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I just cruised through your gallery ... very well done ... making me drool!
02/24/2010 10:34:38 AM · #17
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The three things I would say in a nutshell that will help you immeasurably if you study them by looking at hundreds images on the internet...

1. Watch your white balance. Conflicting light sources on the food will give either yellow/orange or blue-ish casts over the image or in certain spots, especially visible on plates, white areas and reflections. Not good/
2. Back-lighting is a standard technique with reflectors pushing the main light source back onto the front of the plates/food. With your light source, create a window with the light breaking down on the food like a Dutch painting (Vermeer).
3. Shallow depths of field give the food a dreamy look. Don't be afraid to shoot in close at f3.5-5 ...or even shallower.

Message edited by author 2010-02-25 00:43:02.
02/25/2010 09:51:55 PM · #18
thank you everyone for your help/links/examples!!
02/25/2010 09:56:49 PM · #19
also, i asked her what she wanted her overall look/feeling to be, and she told me she wants some "rustic" and some "sexy". any help there?
02/25/2010 10:04:26 PM · #20
Originally posted by Michish:

also, i asked her what she wanted her overall look/feeling to be, and she told me she wants some "rustic" and some "sexy". any help there?

Oh, those are *so* two words I use in the same sentence all the time! LOL!!!
02/26/2010 07:20:28 AM · #21
Watch out for reflections in glass
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If you look closely you can see my light tent in the base of the glass

Oh yeah make sure there's no mold on the food, it's never a good thing lol (yes I know except for cheese)
02/26/2010 07:23:40 AM · #22
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by Michish:

also, i asked her what she wanted her overall look/feeling to be, and she told me she wants some "rustic" and some "sexy". any help there?

Oh, those are *so* two words I use in the same sentence all the time! LOL!!!


Conjures up some images eh lol
02/26/2010 07:46:38 AM · #23
Originally posted by Michish:

also, i asked her what she wanted her overall look/feeling to be, and she told me she wants some "rustic" and some "sexy". any help there?


FWIW...Rustic...I know the shot is a little cluttered but this is what I did to convey a rustic feeling...*off to find pic* ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/962/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_745357.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/962/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_745357.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

As for sexy, hmm maybe include a jar of edible body paint? Or get Nigella Lawson (or whoever the current hot chef is) to eat it? ;-)

Message edited by author 2010-02-26 07:49:27.
02/26/2010 08:58:22 AM · #24
Originally posted by Michish:

also, i asked her what she wanted her overall look/feeling to be, and she told me she wants some "rustic" and some "sexy". any help there?


have you ever seen any of the Marlboro cookbooks? Those are the first thing that comes to mind when you say 'rustic' ... fantastic images ... here's a few: linky
02/26/2010 12:22:23 PM · #25
Originally posted by snaffles:


As for sexy, hmm maybe include a jar of edible ...


My eyesight is fading... what were the words after edible? Heheheheheheehe :O)

Ray
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