Food Photoshoot Behind The Scenes Of A Light
Food Photoshoot Behind the Scenes of a Light
Food Photoshoot. So one of the beautiful things about food photography is that you technically don’t need anybody else to do it right. I can just go to the refrigerator bust out some pimento cheese and start taking photos, and that’s what i’m doing here today.
I also was inspired to do this read because of a big major purchase i just made, and i wanted to share with you that and just take you behind the scenes, so, let’s jump into it, what’s shakin bacon, i’m joanie simon, welcome to my studio.
This is where i do food photography and the goal here is to improve your food photography skills, so you feel confident behind the camera and, like i mentioned today, we are going behind the scenes of a shoot. I got inspired because i was at the grocery store and i mean i’m sure this has happened to you right you’re, like oh, that looks really delicious, but i wouldn’t otherwise buy that.
But if i photograph it well, then that’s a tax deduction. So clearly, i need to purchase this thing. So that’s what happened here with the pimento cheese today picked up some crackers. I’Ve got some little mini cucumbers, and i want to take you behind the scenes of this photo right here. So with any photo shoot.
It always starts with sort of that basis of inspiration that kind of causes the shoot to happen, and so, like i said i was at the grocery store. I saw this pimento cheese, i’m like oh, that sounds so delicious, get some everything bagel crackers right.
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So you got all the flavors going on and two just from a visual standpoint, those crackers it just got all the texture going on all the little visual variety and crumbs they’re perfect for food photography and then we’re also doing kind of that light and airy thing. When it comes to artificial lighting, especially, i get a lot of folks who are like how do i get the light and airy look, and so, if somebody is asking me like, a client is asking me to do light and airy.
This is many times at this point in the game: the go-to setup that i’m going for to create that sort of like ethereal light very soft shadows. Very soft lighting. Look so just to walk you through the little bits and bobbles here in the scene. Some of the particulars in terms of propping so this plate right here, i generally am more of a round plate kind of girl, but i’ve been adding some more square and rectangular pieces recently.
Just because i think you know it’s good to have a little variety in your press collection, and i really love this particular piece. It has a great sort of matte texture, but enough, like texture there to make it interesting, and so that is serving as sort of like that anchor.
That’S really helping to frame our subject and then the little cups that i’ve got the pimento cheese and then also those little cut up pieces of cucumber in the back. Those are two little bowls that i got off of etsy and, of course i should not go on etsy.
I just end up spending all my money and getting in a lot of trouble, so i love betsy. Now one of my favorite things in this photo is actually the surface, and this was my husband ryan who you’ve readn in previous reads before i came to him. This is probably about three weeks ago and i was shooting for a client doing a test shoot and i needed a white wood background, like with larger slats.
I have a white wood background with thinner slats, but i needed kind of that thicker sort of look and i was like babe. Can you pull this together and well? As you know, mr simon is very handy and he said i can make that happen. I was like by tomorrow and amazingly enough.
This is what he came up with now. Of course, he having done this is like. Oh, i’ve got some even better strategies to improve on it. So what we’re gon na do is, over the next couple weeks, he’s gon na improve his process related to those wood backgrounds, but we’ll definitely share a read with you very shortly on that diy process for wood backdrops. So obviously i was very intentional about selecting all white and light colored props, just in order to get that light and airy sort of look.
It’S also really important. If you’re going for the light and airy one of the places where i read people kind of struggle is in picking a background that maybe is too dark or too colorful that if you want the lightener, you really need to go with a white surface. Maybe a cream surface, but what that’s doing is that is creating a reflector in essence on the bottom of your scene right.
It’S just bouncing that light right back up filling in all the shadows. Creating that light and airy look all right. So moving on to everybody’s favorite topic is lighting and, of course, lighting is key in food photography and key in all photography.
But if we’re going for that light and airy look, we need to remember back to many reads that i’ve done, but specifically the artificial lighting. Video, where we talked about the foundational principles of lighting and how light behaves that, if we want those super soft shadows, then i want to start with a really large light source.
So, in this case, of course, i’m shooting with my strobe my go to my godox ad600 pro and i’m shooting that, through my four by four, so four foot by four foot, westcott scrim gym. I love this. It’S real, versatile! Now, there’s plenty of people out there who build their own frames, i’m kind of lazy and not necessarily super industrious, and so i just bought the one that west cup makes which is awesome, and then it has velcro diffusion material on it, and i have selected the Full stop diffusion material.
Now they have different thicknesses. I also have the quarter stop, which gives me kind of a more harder light, look which i shared with you in last week’s read. But in this case i want that really large light source with the 4×4 and then i’m getting additional softness.
Then, by some really nice thick diffusion material, and so you can read, then i am positioning that in such a way that i’m getting this really glowy back lighting, and i thought you know just in terms of we’re working with this pimento cheese, which is sort of Mounded up inside that little jar right that right in that little bowl, and so just imagining this scene.
I thought it would be really beautiful for the light to come in from behind, but because we’re dealing with some really super soft light and the subject itself isn’t super tall that that light is just gon na wrap around it, but still be able to reveal some Texture because of course, pimento cheese, if you’ve never had pimento cheese got ta highly recommend it now.
Obviously, we’re like on some sort of cheese streak. I shot cheese last week, i’m shooting cheese again this week. I don’t know what that says about me. I love cheese, but you can read that we’re really extracting that texture so that we can read like those shreds of cheese and those little red. Pimentos, just really shows off. That texture also shows off the texture of the crackers, where it’s just kind of raking across that crackly cracker texture and that we’re getting those little crumbs that are just nice and scattered there in the front.
Now one thing that i did do that is really fun to play with in this situation, where you’re shooting a light through a scrim as opposed to a soft box, is that we can move the distance of the light from that scrim. We can get closer or further away, and one of the cool things that i like to do a lot of times.
If i want just a little bit of extra definition, i want to add a little bit of moodiness to this light and airy look is to physically move that light closer to the scrim, because what’s happening, then, is that the light isn’t fully spreading across the surface Of that scrim it’s creating kind of a hot spot, and so that in essence, is creating a smaller light source right and so in that situation, then it’s going to create a bit more of a dramatic shadow as opposed to.
If i pulled that light a little further away, it would spread that light more evenly across the surface of that scrim and create an even softer, less dramatic look in those shadows. So if you have this kind of flexibility, this kind of setup, where you have a light and you have a scrim or a diffuser reflector, whatever you’re working with – is experimenting with that distance, because it really will impact the look of those shadows.
Last but not least, what brings it all together and what i’m excited to share with you here today, although i’m also a little nervous to share this with you, is that i’ve recently added a new camera to my collection. I bought a new camera and i’m over the moon about it. I’M super happy with it. It is making things much easier for me and it’s it’s the perfect camera for me now.
The reason that i say that specifically and i’ve talked about this in past reads is that there is no one perfect camera for everyone. Right like there are different cameras that are better for different people in the kind of work that they do. So there was a lot of research that went into this decision.
There was borrowing gear. There was trying it out. There was a lot of intentionality in this particular choice, and i say that because i also don’t want you to read this read and think, because you don’t have this camera, you can’t create great photos.
You know that’s a lie. Right, like you, can create amazing photos with an entry-level camera and a kit lens, and i’ve showed you that in past reads, i’ve got one linked down below if you’ve missed that one. But i just want you to know like i don’t want to incite any insecurity about gear and sharing this with you, but i also want to celebrate it because i’m also very excited about this particular camera and this lens and how it’s helping me here in the Studio to do the work that i do, and so this particular image and a lot of the images i’ve been sharing over on social media.
I’Ve shot with my brand new camera, the nikon z7. Now, for those of you who are the mirrorless fans out there, you’re like thank you joni welcome. Welcome to 2020
Congratulations: you’ve joined the mirrorless world, yes, yes, i have, and i’m super excited about it. Like i said there was a lot of research that went into this decision. It was also a really big decision to move over to nikon, because obviously i have invested a ton in canon now to make the long story short effectively. What happened was it was maybe about nine months ago.
I was talking to a friend about how i just felt like in my photos. Sometimes i would really struggle with the reds and the oranges and the yellows in terms of editing them that it just didn’t, feel right to me and i felt like sometimes i was fighting with the photos and he said well, you know you might want to go. Try out nikon that nikon colors are going to be different and sony.
Colors are different as well. When i did that comparison, read shooting the same scene with four different cameras. You saw that there were variations and differences in how they handled the colors, and so he said just give nikon a try and read how you like it. I borrowed one of his nikons. I was like. Oh, there is something definitely different here and then i went out and bought a used. Nikon d750 bought that from b h and i started to fall in love like i just really felt like for me personally.
The way that nikon handles color really just rang true to me and i felt like i was fighting with the photos, a lot less now. That being said, there are people out there who absolutely adore canon colors right, and so that’s fantastic. So that’s why i’m sitting here saying like this is not the camera for everybody. This is the camera for me and perhaps i definitely know a lot of other people too, who love this camera, but it’s definitely working for me and my own just desired.
Aesthetic there’s also some really great things just in terms of workflow, that are a lot easier, the way that it tethers to capture one is really seamless and fast and easy, and i’m loving that it’s also freaky how quiet the camera is. You know if you’re coming from the dslr world and you’re used to like that major. You know that slapping sound right when all of a sudden you hit the shutter and right that that’s not there anymore in the mirrorless, it’s so much quieter.
I’M like did. I take a picture, did it happen and the other big thing that i’m so thrilled about? That was something i could do in canon, and so when i started shooting nikon on the d750 and i couldn’t do was i was frustrated that when i was shooting tethered and in live view mode on the computer, that i had no ability to control the camera. Like the shutter button didn’t work, i couldn’t manipulate the controls.
I couldn’t read on the lcd screen, and that was something i was used to, that you can do in pretty much all the canon cameras. So i was like what is this but the z7.
Luckily, i have full camera control while i’m tethered like it’s the it’s the perfect scenario for me, so i’m super duper happy about it, so it definitely was fun to shoot this lightning scene with that fabulous z7 and i did spend the extra money to which i’m, Like oh, you know, this is where we lose all perspective on money right, like in real life to plunk down that amount of money on anything i’d be like that is so expensive, but in caramel world i’m like yeah, it’s totally reasonable right, but i will say It’S a beautiful lens, it’s the 24 to 70 millimeter, f, 2.8 s lens and again this is not going to be the perfect lens for everybody.
This is a perfect lens for me because again, if you follow me on instagram – and you read my camera settings and i’m pretty much always sharing what lens, i’m shooting with you’ll read the theme that, like 90 of the time, i’m shooting at 24 to 70
It’S just the focal length that i enjoy. It’S very flexible. It’S easy to work with it. Moves from overhead to side shots to. You know closer ups to the wider angles, all very seamlessly, and so it’s the lens that really again suits me in particular, but i’m gon na tell you that’s not everybody right.
So don’t go plunking down twenty five hundred dollars on a lens that you don’t know is going to be the perfect lens for you in terms of the camera settings decisions in this particular situation, again we’re going with light and airy and so a lot of times Light and airy, i’m generally going to go for a more narrow depth of field, so a wider aperture. Now this lens can go all the way out to f 2.8, but i tried f, 2.8 and it was just it was too narrow.
We started to lose the subject taking it to an aperture of f4 allowed me to get enough of the subject in focus, while still creating sort of that blurry bokeh feel that kind of blurs out those little cucumbers in the back. It creates that sort of extra softness and really accentuates the overall feeling of the image one other little note something that i was definitely conscious of in setting up this photo is that i shot this at the three-quarter angle right.
So we’ve got sort of that view where you can read the side and the top of it, but we’re not doing overhead and we’re not doing straight on the straight on we’d really kind of lose the back of the scene and it wouldn’t make as much sense.
I could have done an overhead, but, to be honest, i’ve been doing a lot of overheads recently and i’m like we got ta switch this up and sometimes you’ll find that like, if you just start to look through your images and you’re like i do that, every Single time or you gravitate towards like a particular like you’re, always shooting vertical shots, you’re like let’s change this up and do something horizontal or i’m always shooting overhead.
So maybe, let’s you know, play with three-quarter so always looking for those opportunities to change things up, challenge yourself, try something new! So thank you so much for joining me here in the studio. It’S always a treat to have you along and to walk you through the process, because it’s just just me hanging out here so it’s nice to have my friends join me. Definitely if you feel inspired the next time, you’re on that grocery store aisle pick that thing up, take it home and shoot it, and i hope you have a fantastic day. You stay out of trouble i’ll read you soon. Okay, bye,