*whew* Where did that last week get to, eh?
So I ended up taking a week off from the SG Photo Challenge while the work was piling up. It happens to everyone, I'm sure. But I'm ready to get right back into it and pick up where we left off!
And to help inspire the next challenge, I recently did some shots for a friend of mine, Kathryn O'Brien, at her Collective Kitchen. It's an amazingly helpful thing she's got going where she leads a group of people in cooking several nutritious meals in mass amounts. Then at the end of the cooking session all of the food gets divided up between the group so everybody goes home with an assortment of dinners for the week. It's a blast and you get fed with really great (and great-tasting) food. Check her out at Evolve Nutrition. I really, really cannot recommend her enough. If you're interested in finding better ways to fuel your body with the right stuff, drop her a line.
Back to the challenge! So we all take pictures of our food, right? But what we want to be doing this week is taking GOOD shots of our food. Have you seen the effort that goes into a professional food photography session? It can be exhausting to see the scale of such a shoot, not to mention the attention to detail. But be careful not to go overboard.
So when approaching your food with your camera, here are some tips to consider that will differentiate your food shots from every other person's Instagram feed:
- Shoot it while it's hot! As much as you may want to dig right in, when the food gets delivered that is the time to take your shot. Hot food will add steam to your pics which is a big boost. Not hot enough? Toss it in the microwave for a few seconds. It makes a difference.
- Consider the environment. Think about the plate it's being served on. White plates are usually the best since they don't distract from the food with colours/patterns. If you go with something else, make sure it compliments the food. The food should stand out on the plate. Also, what kind of surface is the plate on? Your nice, clean kitchen table with a white linen? Or on your countertop with a few cooking utensils still nearby to tell the story of the food preparation? Or on a wooden cutting board that brings some gentle warmth to the image? It's your call.
- Natural lighting vs. Flash. Pick a seat by the window and let the sun be your friend. Natural light coming through a window is usually the best and sole light you'll need to get your shot (during the day, that is). Using a flash straight-on may be too harsh and direct, so if you need it then try bouncing the light off of the ceiling, wall or reflector.
- Composition. Place your plated food in frame accordingly. Dead centre isn't always the way to go; remember the rule of thirds and try placing the food off to the right or left. And then consider the negative space you've created. Do you want to show empty space on the table next to your plate? Do you want to place some props close by? Utensils or some of the raw food that went into your food can help here. Does your food have garlic loaded into it? Then place a bulb of garlic nearby.
- Perspective. Remember to change up your camera position every once in a while. Bird's eye view straight down...up close and personal...change your perspective often to see what other possibilities there are.
Submissions should be in by Noon on Sunday June 8th. Post this challenge around to show people what you are involved in and invite them to join, as well.