Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Dark Side of Food Photography

by Kelly

It's official my friends....I've gone to the dark side.

In food photography that is.

I've been a fan of the dark and moody style for a while, but have only recently started embracing it in my own food photos.

This style of photography is quite popular right now - you see it all over social media.  A quick search on Pinterest produces a vast variety of dark and moody styles.

Instagram also has a wealth of dark and moody food photographers.  Three that I find particularly inspiring are:

1) Beth Kirby ~ Local Milk

2) Marte Marie Forsberg

3) Eva Kosmas Flores

As far as I can tell, the two main hallmarks of this dark and moody style are directional light and deep shadows.  In my own experience, I find that shooting next to a window and underexposing my shots produces the best results.  Also helpful is a dark background like a black poster-board.

In the following photo, I set up my shot on my kitchen table with the light coming in from my south-facing French doors (lower right).

One of my favorite things about this style is the drama and mystery created by the deep shadows. I also like the top-down perspective.  

In terms of composition, I think the main idea is to draw the viewers eye into the story you are trying to tell...invite the viewer to come into the scene and explore the details.   To that end, choosing 'props' that add to the story and moving these elements around...experimenting with various compositions... is a really fun part of the process.  I find it incredibly liberating to know that there is no real 'right' or 'wrong' way to photograph the scene.

For me there's a coziness and intimacy to these kinds of photos.   A nice change as we move into the darker, cooler months of the year.   And definitely something to embrace this time of year with all of the festive family gatherings that are fast approaching.

This month, as we explore food and food photography, we'd love for you to share your food-related images in our FOL Flickr Pool!  Show us what you're cooking up both in your kitchen and in your photography!

Until next time,



Dotti said...

How beautifully you've done this, Kelly! These photos are all stunning and are making me hungry. While I ooh and ahh at other people's moody food photos, I've yet to attempt it. Maybe because I so seldom really cook. But you have made me hungry and now I'm off to find some breakfast.

Carol said...

Thats what I love about you, Kelly! You are always learning, and challenging yourself, and you do it So Well! These are really beautiful!!

terriporter said...

You do this type of food photography so well! I'm sure you are an inspiration to others on IG as you are to me. I do enjoy the leisurely arranging of items for still life photography and moving things around for varied shots. I just never seem to have the time! But I think as winter sets in (although the term "winter" is relative here) I think this would be a fun activity. Pull out your stuff, bake something and take photos of it at the same time. Sounds like a win, win!

Linda said...

I love your pictures, Kelly! I like dark and moody food photography because it feels so old to me. Vintage. Like I'm in my grandmothers kitchen. There's something so comforting about it. Thanks for the inspiration!

heyjudephotography said...

These are all beautiful Kelly - you seem to have mastered "the dark side!" I agree with Linda, there is a vintage feel to these, and I believe the lighting is key to this feeling. Love this!

AFishGirl said...

I'm with Dotti, hungry! Your enthusiasm is always so infectious, Miss Kelly. It's a joy. I may photograph my sink for you and some food. In my moody Nova Scotia kitchen. Yeah. I can do it!

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