These days, we Instagram our lunches, snap photos of our lattes and set the stage for what we eat. But how do we do it well? Over reading week, I made my way over to Le Dolci Cupcake Shop with camera in hand for a photography crash course. The workshop was led by Brilynn Ferguson, the photographer behind the Rock Lobster Cookbook and Yuli Scheidt, Fat Girl Food Squad's resident photographer.
Here's what I took away:
Flashes are evil and natural light is king. If you’re shooting at a restaurant, it’s best to go during the day and jostle for a window seat. If the lighting is low, you can always use items on the table to stabilize the camera. Water glasses make great temporary tripods.
Humanize your photos by showing people in the frame. If the photo is flat, see what happens when you add your hand to the shot. If the burger is boring, take a bite out of it. The best food photos tell a story.
It’s easy to feel self-conscious staging a food shot in public. Someone in the workshop commented, “Maybe you just have to pretend what you’re doing is important.” To that Scheidt said, “No. Believe what you’re doing is important. Because it is.” Some may call it playing with food. She calls it photography.
I left the course empowered to get the shot I want. To move things around. Stand up and take an aerial view picture. Ask to sit near the window. Tell a friend to put their hand in the frame. The best food photographers do all of these things. So why shouldn’t I?
If you take photos of food, what are your tips?