Food Photography, where do we start when photographing food, and what qualities do we need if any at all. The first thing to ask is do I like food, and the simple answer is most definitely “Yes” so we’re all good on that part.
It’s a strange way to look at this but food photography scares me. What I mean is I’m familiar with my subjects moving and interacting with me, talking about life along with taking in the world around us on the location whether it’s inside or out. Now put a subject in front of me that’s got no movement and no conversation then I’m lost. I mean I’m a talker and I “Love” to talk.
Love for food photography
I needed to investigate the art of food photography and how to approach it in a completely different way from lighting and setting up the subject (or at least try not to eat it before I’ve even started) so I decided to put myself on a workshop with what I can only describe as the most renowned food photographer in the industry in my opinion.
After weeks and weeks of research in to the food industry the name William Reavell was the photographer recommended and being a full time dedicated food photography he knew his stuff. After contacting William and missing the workshop he had already planned William kindly agreed to sort a date out that worked for me, this would be split in to two parts starting with a basic introduction followed by a full on shoot with a food stylist.
I was up at the break of dawn heading in to London for my first shoot with William that was held at his studio located close to Elephant and Castle Tube Station. There were 6 photographers in total, and the smell of fresh food being cooked was amazing, but thanks to the breakfast supplied hunger was not even a thought.
The morning started with a talk about food and the best way to capture it whilst showing all the details and juices. We also covered food composition and colours that work and don’t. Time to start taking photos and the first part was on cooked food (Pasta, meat and vegetables) I was teamed up with a food blogger named Alex, so off I went with my partner in crime for the day to selected our props.
Myself and Alex spotted a bowl we both just fell in love with before even picking the food, but the rest just fell in to place from little mats to wooden planks for making a table top. Filling the bowl and taking the first shots really got me excited for the rest of the day, and from the shots below I’m sure you will agree there good enough to eat!!
The afternoon was all about deserts, and boy did we have fun with the cakes. We even got to eat the chocolate brownies at the end of the day with a well earned cup of tea. It was the cakes both myself and Alex struggled at, as we gassed over a big square brownie wondering how to take photos that will make you want to eat it. We turned it around changing angles but nothing, then I cried for help!! “Help” over came William and explained perfectly how to approach it.
Out came the knife and we cut up the brownie starting to add props, and before you know it we were bouncing around taking amazing shots of cake. The funny thing is, our work station got taken over by a fellow photographer, and I don’t mean by choice. she loved our setup so much she left her own work station and crept over to ours. But how we see it, you’re all welcome, so we took over their amazing strawberry sponge cake.
I had an absolutely amazing time, making new friends and cooking up a storm whilst learning new tricks on capturing food at its best. I’ll be heading back to the studio the following weekend for part two “food styling” and working with the food stylist creating mouth watering shots.