Food photography for beginners continued….


butterfly cakes

Hi there,

Well, I can’t believe it is Friday again. This week has gone so fast and I have been completely engrossed in food photography this week. In the evenings I have been glued to You Tube videos trying to learn as much as I can about taking that perfect shot!! I am getting there but food styling takes so much time!! In the first place you have to make the food, then you have to set it all up, move it around, set it up again and then try and deal with the light!! It is not at a ll straight forward, but I am finding it very rewarding and enjoyable. I think since last time I posted about it I have got my head around aperture, shutter speed, ISO and a little bit about f stops (which I think is the same as aperture). To be honest the best way to learn about these theoretical things is simply to take photos. Then what happens is you look at a picture and think, hmmm that is too dark, or that is too bright and then you have to quickly work out what to do to change it. This has been true in other areas of my life. You can read for days,  but until you actually do it you don’t really start to figure it out.

I have been watching content by this fantastic American guy called Andrew Scrivani. He is a commercial food photographer and director and takes images for the New York Times!! He is very down to earth and speaks as though we are all on a level playing field, all artists together. I never ever considered myself to be an artist, but maybe I am???

If you watch this video he talks about finding your style. His style is either bright pops of food on a dark background, or lighting food from behind. I think my style,  and that preferred by many food photographers is from above, or down low with a degree of depth of field (aperture). Although I have yet to completely master this. I know when I look at other food photographers work I always enjoy the work from above. I like how clean it looks. I like how the view presents as you would imagine seeing it on the table and how the props all tell the story. I have yet to get my props sorted, but now that I understand their importance I can feel myself looking at every piece of wood, every plate, every napkin wondering if I can use it to style my food!!!


Light and controlling the light is certainly difficult. Today, for example, I wanted to take some more shots of my beautiful butterfly cakes which I featured in my last post,   ‘Simple, tasty baking…ready in a sprinkle!’, but of course the light today was terrible. It was a dull, wet and rainy day here in North West England and even though increased my ISO (speed of film) it still didn’t quite make my image bright enough. I maybe should have increased it further. Especially when you compare it to the image from my previous post – I quite like them both but the experts will say that the top image is far too dark and the bottom too bright!! Never mind, it’s so much fun getting it wrong, after all if we didn’t get things wrong we wouldn’t learn. Right?


The daylight was very dull which shows in this image.

butterfly cakes

However, this was taken in bright sunlight, without any diffusion.

Despite my poor exposure/lighting I was quite pleased with the composition. The overhead shot looks really good in my opinion and once I source a few extra backgrounds I think I will quickly master the art of preparing a dish and styling it well. So, there you have it. My latest musings over food photography and I am sure you have realised I am completely loving every minute. If only I had a few more minutes, but the minutes I do have are so much fun and my kids must think I am totally bonkers walking round with my camera and shuffling cakes around a chopping board.

Have a great weekend and see you all next week for more yummy recipes and photography news.

Thanks for reading,




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s