Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Food Photography Tip and a Recipe for Your St Paddy's Day Feast!

by Linda

Food photography seems like it would be so easy. The plate of food in front of you looks so good so you snap a picture and meh, not so good.

Once that picture is taken, you have lost at least 2 things. One is you made a three dimensional object into a one dimensional, at best two dimensional object and you lost the smell. Losing the smell is huge. Now you have to make you picture smell good! But how?

Of course, as with all things photography, lighting is key. Food pictures taken in dimly lit restaurants make you wonder why you actually ate what you photographed. It didn't really look that bad, did it? And some types of food just don't photograph well no matter what you try to do to them. Ice cream and mashed potatoes are two that spring to mind. Because they are white, they generally look like blobs in a picture.

Food looks best on plain, white plates. Not sayin' other colors/patterns won't work but white seems to be best.

Having as much of the food you are photographing in focus as possible helps. Sometimes a shallow depth of field works but you have to be careful that the food not in focus doesn't look bad.

Getting close to the food is a good idea. Focusing on the detail of the food will allow the viewer to identify what they are looking at and imagine the food is in front of them.

When you are photographing bread or cake, get close enough to show the crumb. (crumb is the word bakers use to describe the texture of the bread/cake, tight crumb, loose crumb. velvety crumb, etc) If you can see the crumb, you might conjure up memories in your viewer of something similar that they have tasted and you might just make their mouth water a little from that memory. It's not quite as good as actually smelling or tasting but if you can get your viewer to imagine the smell and taste, you have done a good job!


I might get a little carried away each year preparing a St Patrick's Day meal, (Guinness beef stew, chocolate stout cupcakes with Irish cream cheese frosting and this bread pictured at the top) so I thought I would share a simple recipe I got many years ago that I worked very hard to adapted to serve with this meal. It is so easy, you will want to make it for other meals as well. And it tastes pretty good too!

Beer Bread

3 cups Bisquick
1 tsp sugar
12 oz beer (Guinness, any leftover beer should be consumed straight away)
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 375 degrees
mix all ingredients together
bake 1 hour

brush with butter when removed from oven


May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
~Irish Blessing



Dotti said...

Linda, this does look good! Your tips are so simple and straightforward it makes me wonder, , 'Now why didn't I think of that?' And simple recipes ... The best. Thanks for sharing.

AFishGirl said...

I am SO making that!

kelly said...

yes linda I think you've shared some excellent advice for food photography...and seriously going to make that bread. oh I can practically smell it now. :)

Kim Stevens said...

Okay, that bread sound so, so good....too bad St. Patty's day isn't a little closer to the time we'll be passing by on our Spring break (wink, wink). Food has always been a hard thing for me to photograph, anything in my house really!

Carol said...

Food photography is very hard for me, and Kim Klassen uses a lot of food prompts in the class I am taking. So this is very timely advice for me ! Thank you for the tips!
BTW - this is a great bread shot - looks so appetizing!

Cathy said...

Yum! I make a beer bread too, easy and so good.

terriporter said...

Ooooh, that bread looks positively mouthwatering! Thanks so much for the recipe. I'll definitely be making it and NOT waiting for St. Paddy's Day to do it! Great food photography tips as well. I agree, the light is very important. It takes a lot of trial and error to do it well and it looks like you've mastered it!

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