Food Photography is a passion
Food Photography is a passion that is for sure. To begin a session there is so much prep work. Finding a recipe, buying the ingredients, deciding what props to use and the colour scheme. This is all before deciding on the lighting and the lens.
Today I started a session with the sole purpose of finally prepping some old crates and wooden boxes which I purchased from a swap and sell ad. They are a little worn and tired but I could see the hidden gems.
Everything I have I try to serve a dual purpose. Whether it is a napkin that has two different sides. Or a bowl that can serve as a stand as well. These boxes were not strong enough to serve as a seat or to stand on so I decided to make them multipurpose backdrops. As you can see from the photos below I had fun creating a range of surfaces to hopefully support many future shoots. I did’nt even sand them back or hammer in the loose nails. I thought it added to the rusticness. This first image is of a delicate little box and I think you can just make out the stamping in it. It is an old ETA table margarine with vitamins box. That made me giggle. Margarine with vitamins. The other one is quite a bit bigger. So one side I painted a solid grey blue, one side I oiled and the other a white wash.
I want to create something I could eat afterwards but also used elements from our garden. The lavender at the moment is just beautiful, so when I saw the recipe for Lavender Poached Pears in ‘The Detox Kitchen Bible by Lily Simpson & Rob Hobson’, I knew what I was going to make.
Part of the appeal of food photography is actually the cooking as well. Smelling the aromas and feeling the textures of the different foods. Crafting the way the individual elements play like making the lemon swirls so they effortlessly spiral and sit eloquently on their own weight. It is also nice to connect with nature by using items from my garden. It gives a whole mean sense of appreciation to the shoot. When I look at an image I can remember what grew in my garden. The individual lavender stems I chose for their strength and the tiny little flowers on each one. The delicate petals which I knew would dress the cooked pears.
The house just smelt devine as the hot syrupy water poached the pears and released the cinnamon and lavender perfume mixing with the sweetness of the honey which glazed over the succulent pears in the bowl.
Setting up the set
I knew exactly which backdrop I would use for this set up: The freshly made white washed box. I loved how the edges framed the image and supported the bowl and allowing a dimension to the surrounding lavender and cinnamon props.
I like using my continuous daylight strobe as it allows me to see immediately where the light is falling and what reflectors I need to bounce the light around. You can not see it in this shot but I did have a large white foam core sheet on the opposite side to bounce the light under the bowl lip. I always like to go 1/3 – 2/3 a stop over as I prefer brighter images than the dark and moody. And I feel the whole set deserved this approach as well.
So what do you think? I am very happy with the result.
If you looked at the dark set up and the rooms lighting I am even surprised at how bright and airy these images have turned out. I love how the syrup is just glossing all over the stems and the fruit. mmmmmm