Pushing the Limits of Food Photography

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Food, Photography | No Comments

It’s been about a year since I took food photography seriously. I think I’ve improved greatly but lately I hear this buzzing in my brain that’s getting louder and louder. As I continue to try to improve as a food photographer, I find less and less inspiration. There seems to be a certain standard that food photographers reach and then they stop. I want to push that limit. I just don’t know how.

Spoonful of Blackberries

I think a lot of people dismiss food photography because they can go to a restaurant and take a pretty decent picture of their food with their phone. This may be true but these people did none of the work, the restaurant did. The restaurant cooked and styled the food to make it look as appetizing as possible. It’s part of the restaurant experience. I believe that to be a really good food photographer you have to know your food and even better if you prepared it yourself. I’m just getting ready to put these white chocolate chip and blueberry cookies in the oven. We’ll see how they turn out.

White Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Cookie Dough

Knowing and preparing the food is what makes food bloggers such great food photographers. However, it seems that most photographs are about the same – using natural light, in focus, and appealing composition. Once you’ve mastered these elements, there is no effort to do more.

Breakfast for Dinner

But is there anything beyond? I read an interview with a professional food photographer. When asked what set him apart from other food photographers, he replied, “I work well with others.” My only thought after reading this was after you reach a level of competence, there is not much to distinguish one food photographer from another.

Thumbelina Carrots #2

I refuse to believe this is true. Let me smash some Oreos to vent my anger and frustration over this.

Smashed Oreos #2

I tried some different things over the past month to quell the buzzing in my brain.

I’ve been working on a ham recipe for the blog, so for one of the pictures, I used black and white to create a more artistic feel.

Preparing Ham #1 - making the aluminum foil bed

This approach only works sometimes, usually when food is not the focus.

Of course creating food worlds is another unique form of food photography.

Contemplating a cupcake forest

This photo was a test shot to see how cupcakes stack up in comparison to a small action figure. Once again, it’s limited in use but definitely an alternative to standard food photography.

My last attempt at something different was to fit the food to a certain setting. As you may know, I’m a Fallout 4 addict. For the past few weeks, I’ve had an idea to create a food photo from the video game. Here is the result – dirty water and Yum Yum Deviled Eggs.

Fallout 4 Meal - Dirty Water and Yum Yum Deviled Eggs

I hope to do more of these photos!

I don’t think I’ve figured out what pushing beyond the standard food photography is yet. I guess the important thing is I’m pushing myself to be a better, more innovative, food photographer. I’ll just have to see where this idea takes me.

Love, Ana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *