I know I am late this week in posting on Food Photography and Styling….the reasons are many….Rather than listing the reasons….I am straightly moving to the post. They are some food bloggers, food photographers and food stylists whom I cherish to my heart. Nisreen of Kitchen Maestro is of them. Her work is truly inspiring and awesome. She is a sweetheart who will never say NO…though it is a guest post for Ramadan or on a topic like food photography and styling….which she has never spoke on till date. Food photography and styling is a never ending journey…that thirst to learn more made Nisreen what she is today…..Over to Nisreen….
3 years back, I have never thought that I will be a food photography and food styling passionate, never expected to get a great support from my friends, readers or followers on my blog or my facebook page either! Increasing number of questions and requests asking me for food photography advice.
Although I do not claim that I am an expert here in any of this (food photography, styling) but I own some information that I gained through passionate experience searching and reading a lot ,feeding my eyes with professional food photography which will hopefully make me brave enough now to share what I have learned with others who might be still new and seeking to learn more in the same way I was before. Indeed, everyone starts photographing with no experience and little technical skill.
So, enough talking and let’s start the passion 🙂
Food photography and styling I see is an art, and when you create art you need to know basics, and Light is one of these basics ,in other words, photography is the art of capturing light, finding the right light will allow you express the emotions through a photo. For me, I tried both natural and artificial light, and natural light is my favourite,,90% of my food photography shooting was with natural light coming from my balcony doors. You can play with light to deliver the mood and story you want to express in your photos.
Walk around your house, and search for the best light, check windows, balcony, bedrooms,…ect. Remember this, the best time to photograph is usually at early mornings or evening when the natural light is soft and using some reflectors will complete the job. You don’t want to take photos when sunlight is bright, because it will be a harsh light, and we don’t need that unless your story needs that ,but if you have to shoot in the middle of the day, my advice is to use a sheer curtain or and soft-light white fabric to help soften the light.
Now, you have to determine which kind of light angle helps to power up your food even more! side lighting, back lighting or front lighting? Which one helps to give more depth, and show more details.
Telling a story
Think?! What is your purpose? What scene you want to deliver? What type of food you are capturing? What mood do you want to achieve? Do you want soft airy light mood? Or harsh light with strong shadows will enhance your setting? Or maybe a dark rustic mood ? You need to answer all of these questions while preparing your photograph. Composing a scene requests defining your ideas to set everything in the perfect way, that means; everything related to your recipe, kind of props, textures, utensils, ect. Try to play with your food, to see what you like and what you don’t like in creating food photos, add this, remove that! Keep a napkin, take a way that spoon! And see what suits you more. Mmm maybe some herbs here and there will do it just right?! J Create and enjoy your time. Remember that props doesn’t have to be only kitchen stuff. It can also be books, flowers, old newspapers, or anything else suitable for your scene. So, try different styles each time, with new techniques. I am sure, you will soon find the style that suits you best.
Am Sure you noticed that I am a backgrounds fan! I like to play with backgrounds, various textures with different colours. Rustic,woody,metal each can be used according to the mood in your photograph.
Now, maybe you will get surprised if I told you that all my backgrounds are printed A3 Paper, for high resolutions textures images that I searched for on the net! I save on them on my laptop with the maximum size available, then I go and print them out using Hp printer. Indeed, too many readers thought that they were real backgrounds! but is a good way to save your money and store space. Isn’t it? 🙂
Colours are also important in food photography, matching colors help emphasize your food and give more attraction to your photo.
I highly recommend the colour wheel to really make the most of using colour in your photographs.
Another point to be mentioned here, always remember that want your readers to get that feeling of Yumminess in your food photography, be sure to let your food look mouthwatering and yummy! Good styling should emphasize the beauty and yumminess of your dish. At the end, your hero should be the food and everything else in the scene have to complement this point.
For camera model, mine is Canon EOS 550D,(old version I know hahaha 😉 I usually use 2 lenses in my food photography, the 100mm f/2.8 macro and 50mm f/1.8 . If I choose to shoot from a high angle from above I use the 50mm,while for lower angles I use the 100mm macro.
At the end, one last advice, it is you who will create the master piece ,what your eyes see, what your heart tell follow them and let the passion in you get out ,,having a new expensive camera will only make you a camera owner.
Thank you Nisreen for coming out of your comfort zone and giving my readers this wonderful post.