Sunday, October 04, 2009

How I do food styling when I'm in rush...

I am going to draw the subject away from cooking this time :) Please let me state clear, I'm not any professional, but since we food bloggers probably have more or less the same limitation on equipment and resources, our experience in photo-taking could be more relevant to each other, I think ?!

How our photos coming out involve way too many topics, so this time I just limit to one area - food styling especially under the condition of no time.

Before I start, I already have the mood (of foto) set in my head. Like this one - very brown and warm; I got such feeling during the baking :D

I start taking photo before the sun is getting strong (harsh), for me usually at 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning.

The biggest enemy when we do thing in rush is stress. So here below I show you how I do it quick and how I deal with the stress...

Step 1 (left)

Work on a small table, like 50cm x 50cm. Bigger space requires more props, more planning on position, light source and such (meaning: time)

And use small plates (like saucers or decorative plates for candle are perfect), food got to be small as well.

Don't place all the garnish at once... do the basic/ minimum first (like my case just power sugar); as garnishing can be very tricky, what you think 'should be' can look like a road-kill in foto.

Position the food in the most safe/typical (or call it uncreative if you like) way, to let you have a few photos at least technically corrected. Later you can go crazy, if nothing works out you still have some decent photos on hand:D

Step 2 (right):

Then proceed more decoration to enrich the picture. I added one more spoon, and dropped the chocolate pudding on the brownies.

I wanted to focus on the second brownie, but that scoop looked so unattractive... so I either re-did the deco or swifted to focus to another brownie. I chose the latter

Step 3 (left): here I accomplished another batch of decent shots... up to here it had took me about 15 minutes. From now on my pressure was off, so I could play around the decoration, not to worry too much on ruinning it.

Step 4 (right): I tried placing a tiny, a very cute eating chocolate on the pudding... oops, it looked stupid :P

Step 5 (left): so I broke the chocolate, much better to me.

Step 6 (right): in between I also took some close-ups.


Step 7: Finale...

For me to make thing intricate or surprising got to be spontaneous. So I messed up that oh-so-predictable-straight-line-position, and causally dropped the spoons behind.

This shot turns out to be my favorite. All the food and the spoons are forming a circle, seemingly call me to 'dig in!!!' Hope you agree with me :D



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great tips, thanks!



ChichaJo said...

Thanks for sharing those tips! Very useful!

But the photos are setting my tummy divinely chocolate! MMM!

Deeba PAB said...

Lovely...I love food styling posts. Those brownies look divine!

Callipygia said...

Gattina, what a great post. You do such a professional job photographing... so it is fun to get your blow by blow steps. I actually liked the one with the big chocolate slab on it. But you're right the last one just nailed it! The creative process is always trial and error, eh? XX

anna said...

As someone who has never really gotten into photography and relies on the macro setting and natural light, this is pretty much how I shoot EVERYTHING. It's great to see it broken down.

Anh said...

Love this post! I like to see how you 'see' and 'think' ;)

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

I so loved this post!!!
Thanks for those usefull tips!!

Beautiful pictures & ideas, as always!!

Rita said...

Your photos are always so beautiful, thanks for sharing the tips:)

Tuty said...

Beautiful photographs and thank you for sharing the experience and tips

baby cribs said...

Thank you for the tips! This is going to be useful for me who is always in the rush.

rabbit's cookbook said...

thanks for sharing your experience!
i've turned out that i also do most of these steps, but nevertheless i enjoyed reading the article)

Ravenous Couple said...

wow!!! great tips!!! just discovered your site and it's fantastic!

Darina said...

Thanks so much for sharingthese tips. I can use all the halp I can get. The photos are beautiful; the food just jumps off the page. Recipes sound delicious, too.

Cynthia said...

Excellent tips that have been bookmarked.

Edith said...

Thanks for sharing. Really open up my eyes.

Hope you will have a chance to swing by Singapore. Would love to have a cup of coffee with you.

Happy New Year!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

What a fantastic post...with great tips! I also try to think about my photos, long before I take them! I write I don't forget things, esp if I have to cook a lot/photograph a lot. Thanks