While staying at Blue Inn On The Beach, Yankee Magazine arranged a wonderful workshop full of food photography tips with Krissy from Cottage Farm. (If you haven’t seen Krissy’s work, go check it out immediately.) The team at Yankee Mag brought lots of wonderful products from New England. Think crackers, cheese, chutneys, and desserts. Krissy was tasked with showing us how to style food for a great photograph.
I learned some great pro tips during this workshop that I use to this day.
1/ Use natural light
Nothing beats natural light. If you’re going to take a picture of pretty much anything, especially food, use natural light. I’ve tried to use my camera flash and light devices I bought off of Amazon to help, and nothing is ever able to mimic natural light. During this workshop, we had this all set up in a room that had lots of windows and was filled with natural light.
If you want to take a picture of your food at a restaurant, go during the day, and if you’re not by a window, either ask to sit by one or bring your plate close to a window. I promise it’s worth it.
2/ Play with your food
Food isn’t perfect, and your photos shouldn’t make it look like it is. I recently styled my own shoot for Dietz & Watson, and figuring out what works in the photograph is half the fun.
Rip off some bread, dig into the cheese, cut the fruit, open the jars and add a spoon, and if you drop some crumbs on the table, take advantage of it. Playing with your food is critical when it comes to food photography.
3/ Good ingredients are key
Like any good recipe, the ingredients are key. If you are styling a food photography shoot, buy a range of items that bring in different colors and textures. Here we used bread, cheese, cornichons, and chutneys. The colors and textures help make the scene pop.
4/ Don’t forget about the dishes
Using utensils and dishware that also brings dimension and texture is important. You don’t need to run out and get anything new…or antique. Use what you have. Mix and match. See what works.
If you are in the market to get some antique dishes and flatware, secondhand stores are great and so is eBay.
I usually only photograph food that I’m planning on eating. We devoured this spread after we photographed it. And same here as well.
If your subject is something that you’re excited about, it will likely help your pictures.
As a someone who loves food photography, this workshop was a dream come true. Thank you to Yankee Magazine for bringing your Best of New New England food award winners. And thank you to Krissy for sharing your food photography wisdom with us. I can’t wait to join Krissy at one of her workshops in the future.
A million thank yous to Blue Inn On The Beach in Newbury, Massachusetts and Yankee Magazine for generously hosting me! If you’re interested in staying at Blue, visit their website at www.blueinn.com or www.larkhotels.com. To learn more about Yankee Magazine, visit their website at newengland.com/yankee-magazine. If you’re interested in following Krissy at Cottage Farm, her website is www.cottagefarmblog.com. All opinions and images are my own.