February 6th, 2009, 11:04 AM #1381
So.. whats the secret behind food photography?
I'm part owner of a company and one of the divisions of the company is restaurant consulting. Part of the restaurant consulting division is menu development. (if you're interested, you can see the restaurant consulting's website at Alpha Omega Restaurant Solutions)
Well.. one of the part owners of my company is being really stingy about this, and is taking his own food photography for the clients. He is NOT a professional photog... He sets up his lights, goes to the restaurant, and comes back... however, I don't like any of the photos. They're soft focus, and the food just doesn't look too appetizing. Its my job to put them into menus so the client can say, "I like that, go to print with that.. order 10,000" or whatever.
So I go into the menu design (or rather, I design the menu's) for proofing for the client. Well... like I said, I don't like the photography at all.
Here are some of the photos he took:
So what are the secrets to making this look right and making it look appetizing? Glenn... I love your still life stuff, and I really like the pepper you just did.
Is it equipment? (I think my "partner" (although I own 25% of the company and he owns 8%) is using a Canon Rebel XT)
Is it a lens thing?
And how much would it cost to get someone to shoot food professionally?(Or at least to shoot better than my partner is shooting...) I'm just concerned about the product that we're putting out. My end is nice (I take pride in my menu designs), but if the photos are not too hot, it lowers the overall look.
February 6th, 2009, 11:23 AM #1382
Originally Posted by FlyBoeingJets
Dude. That's hot!
(Seriously though, great shot.)
February 6th, 2009, 11:27 AM #1383
It looks like the lighting on the food is flat. You want to get light coming from the sides at different intensities to make it more 3-d looking like it's coming out of the page. Glenn's shot has light on the top of the pepper with NO light on the bottom which is a little extreme for a plate of food but makes the pepper pop.
February 6th, 2009, 11:31 AM #1384
It's all about the lighting ratios.
February 6th, 2009, 12:35 PM #1385
As everyone has said, the lighting is very flat. Food is also hard because you what to show moist, succulent foods without them appearing greasy (this often, but not all the time means either small-ish light sources or feathering the light off a large source). Showing translucency (with backlight) also is a big part of it as it helps to "lift" the food off the plate a little and make it stand out.
Lastly, having a food stylist really, really helps. Have a "stand in" version of the food to use during set up, and once you get all your lighting, set dec, and camera is all squared away, bring in the hero food, that way the fats haven't congealed and the lettuce wilted.
Here is an interesting walk through of setting up a shot, kind of fun to see the little tweaks. Food Photography Process explained
There is a fantastic food photographer who has a really nice site, but I am in the middle of switching computers at the moment, and the link is residing on hard drive which is doing its best impression of a brick a the moment, but it I find it I'll pass it on.
February 6th, 2009, 01:52 PM #1386
February 6th, 2009, 02:00 PM #1387
I so very rarely go to restaurants that have pictures of the food in their menus. In fact, the only place I can think of that I go to frequently that does that is a sushi bar.
Originally Posted by HeShootsNScores
Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Bullets are cheap. Life is priceless.
February 6th, 2009, 02:21 PM #1388
I should have mentioned... the major clients are restaurant franchisee people, usually owning some sort of chain of restaurants, from 2, 5, 60, you name it.... so the menu's are actually to-go menus. Not regular menus, although that is listed as one of our services.
Originally Posted by FlyBoeingJets
February 6th, 2009, 02:44 PM #1389
Well the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for"...
February 8th, 2009, 06:03 PM #1390
Food porn is huge on LAist.