November 4, 2014

Student Interview- Questions on Food Photography

Every now and then I get contacted by a student or someone breaking into the business of food photography. Honestly I wish I had time to answer everybody's questions and help everyone out, but the truth is that with shooting alot, running a business and having a family keeps me a bit tied up. I did manage to sneak in some time to respond to a student's inquiry. I thought some of her questions were pretty good and some of the "interview" was worth sharing.

Hey Leigh, these are the questions that I have for you:

What do you think makes a good food image?  An image that has appetite appeal- you want to grab that food and shove it in your mouth- evokes an emotional response.  YUM!

What type of lighting techniques do you favor? I am a daylight shooter- which doesn't mean I don't know how to use different studio lighting when needed.  Over the years I have learned to manipulate daylight to do whatever I want it to do- and sometimes that is to just let it do what it does naturally!

Are shadows desirable when it comes to food photography? Really depends on the message of the shot and the kind of food you are shooting.   Shadows are a detail to help communicate something about the context of your shot.  Warm and cozy?  Sunny and outdoorsy?  Clean and fresh?

What type or style of food images seems to be the most popular in
today’s market? Ones that communicate well.  Right now you see food images in a few different styles and lighting scenarios - but I think overall what is popular is approachable and delicious.  

I love the fact that all your images are so sharp and inviting.
What kind of camera do you use? Which do you believe is more important
the styling aspect or the type of camera that is being used, or do
they both go hand in hand? Is there a particular beginner camera that
you recommend?  I shoot with a Phase One camera that is somewhat unapproachable for anyone who isn't an established shooter.  I invested in it because I have some very big clients who use my images in many different ways so need huge flexibility.  Other than that, I think that the Canon cameras are very good for professional use and are more cost effective.
What recommendations would you have for an aspiring food photographer?
What do you think about my blog?
I like the way you are trying different lighting for different subject matter.  At this stage shooting a lot and looking at a ton of imagery- figuring out what you like and then applying that to your own shooting is a great approach.  Also doing what you are doing- asking questions.  In NY there is an event called Photo Expo-that you should try to attend.  There are many workshops offered.

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