Food photography look boring without propping

May 28,2013

1-4pm

Today I did a food photoshoot for preserve24 restaurant which is located at lower east side.

Today photoshoot is the best example that we really need propping and styling for food photography. It is my first time feeling not right when I was taking the picture. I have been doing food photography for about one and half year now. I start to realize propping and styling is the key for a great food photography. Maybe that is too long for me to realize??

As for lighting, I brought different lighting set up than I usually bring this time. I usually just use umbrella. but today I brought the huge collapse diffuser. I believe it is 72x48inch, and then I put light behind it shoot through the diffuser. The purpose is same as use umbrella , to create soft light. But it give me more control on how to manipulate the light.

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Today only a few dishes need to be photographed.

01-IMG_3149 as Smart Object-1 02-IMG_3163_1 03-IMG_3185 as Smart Object-1 04-IMG_3204 as Smart Object-2 08-IMG_3255 as Smart Object-2_1 09-IMG_3262 as Smart Object-2 10-IMG_327407-IMG_3232 06-IMG_3223_1 05-IMG_3214

What is your immediate impression? Boring, right?

The lighting looks good. but the photo does not look interesting. I believe the reason is that there is no propping and styling. Also the color and texture of the table distract the food. I would rather shoot on white background than on this yellow wood textured table.

I also do not like that high rounded plate. That is distracting for the composition. They should just use flat plate. As you can see food photography is not that easy and simple. Many things need to be considered.

I really do not know. I just feel something is off, something is not right when I was taking the picture.

I think the cocktail looks better. For the cocktail shots, I added second light on the left side with snoot on it. You can see those highlight on the left side. It adds dimension to the subjects.

After this photoshoot, I am really convinced that we need propping for food photography. Actually you will see me start doing some simple propping in the future. and the photo just look more aesthetically pleasing. (because I am writing this article backward…haha)

Really when we look at those food photo in the food magazine, why they looks so great? One major reason is the beautiful propping and styling. No wonder they need to hire stylist for doing it.

Lighting sometimes I feel is simple. Most time just a big soft light will do the work. No need to over complicated it.

I need to read more food magazine for inspiration.

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