Creative Food Photography

Lesson 7/8 - Culling Images


Creative Food Photography


Lesson Info

Culling Images

Alright we are going to move into what we shot today. And I'll find that in my Library. And that was the last thing we imported. So Lightroom has this great previous import function. Where whatever you imported most recently you can just click on that. So as you can see I have a million Lightroom folders here. And maybe I can't remember what I just called this, I just did it and I, So I went to Previous Import. So, okay. So this is what we have, so what are we doing first? We are thinking about the story we're telling. So the story that I'm telling is a story that's light airy imagery and I'd like a variety of views. So I'd like some close up shots, I'd like some movement shots, and I'd like some finished plated shots. So I'm gonna go through my initial sort and star all of the images that I think I'll wanna use. So here's a close up shot, maybe I'll want to use that. Going through I can just see, and it doesn't have to be huge thumbnails to be able to tell this. Because remember if yo...

u are doing this for social media you're thumbnails will be small when people see them anyway. So it's kind of nice to just do an overall scrolling through does that, in a small size do I like that? Yeah, I mean most of that can work but I think these are kind of boring in a small size right here. So, lets increase our thumbnails. Now we can really see what's happening in the image if we do two at a time. And go through and find something, until we like something. That's okay. But I know we did better. So, here we're telling something. Hmmm...That's alright. Now we're getting somewhere that I like. So I like that and I really wanna look and see okay, is that the best image of that series? So yes, that's the one I'm happiest with. And maybe I'll do a horizontal one just for you. Okay, we'll put that in there. And then I want to add a variety of imagery for the waffle shot. And I think that... Well, I like this one so I'll put it in my first sort. And what I like about it is this negative space is filled up by our model. And she has a pleasant look on her face. But I think we have something better down here. Oh, yep. I like, she's smiling a little bit. So I'll keep going because I remember she poured syrup over the waffles. So maybe I can find something with her pouring... That's great... She looks nice there... I can't decide... So now it gets down to picking something based on: do I like the pour, do I like her facial expression, do I like the way her hand is. So I'm picking a few right now and then I'll zoom in to look at those. So... I think that could be nice. That one might be nice. Let's keep looking. There all kind of similar, similar, similar. Great. Oh here we go. Now we have some close up hand shots and some close up pour shots. So we'll really pick the one that we think her hand looks nicest in. That's nice... The light here is really pretty and I like the curve of her arm, it's bringing the eye right around the image. That's nice too. We've got one of these to just play with and look at. Then we have, who made the breakfast. Which I like. Okay. And then we've got our granola shots and we really played around with those and I didn't love the final one but I think it could still fit in here nicely. And we can use this one too, to see. Okay. So lets see our selects. And how do they work together. Nice colors together. There's definitely a feel that its the same story line or at least the same, so I'm telling multiple meals. It doesn't always have to be the same meal but its cohesive. The colors work together. The palate works together. The lighting is similar. The props are similar. So it's a very cohesive grouping. So that would be a few days of Instagram, you could do that. So now I have so many images with my model that I really need to pair it down. And I'm going to pick one of each of these categories. So, what I'm doing now is going to, I'm going one by one. So, that's a close up of the cake and I love close up shots but I don't know that that necessaruly tells me anything. However if I crop in, it might be a nice texture to add. And I love textures. So lets see what happens if we crop and we straighten a little bit and then maybe we can do a little contrast. I am not going to do the punch because as you'll see that gets too dark and these are light and airy. So I'm doing a little contrast, I'm sharpening a little and then maybe I'm bringing exposure up a pinch. That's really nice to have. And you can see the cake, you can see the waves of the frosting, which I like. And so I might use that, maybe I'll put some text over it and I'll say... Birthday Party or I'll say Enjoy! Or something like that. And so that might be the opening of my series. So that's a great way to break up different Instagram stories and transition from color to color if you're doing a color block. You can do a texture image and write something on it. So, and you can write on it in Photoshop very easily. So, okay. I like that one. Now we're choosing. Do we do... Well, we only have one horizontal image so let's stick with the vertical so we can... Alright and now we have some choices to make. So this image does not have enough pouring of the syrup. I love the smile so we already know we're gonna get rid of that image for now. That's a nice smile but what is she holding in her hands... Ah, syrup. Okay. Syrup. But that syrups touching the flower. Right, that's a tangent. So I know I have a better image because I remember shooting it recently. So lets look, oh yeah I do. Okay, so we won't use that one. But that's pretty nice so we'll keep this for now. Do I want more foreground or not. It depends. What am I doing in this, am I writing something down here, am I focusing more on the waffle or more on my model. So in this image I think you're seeing more of the model and this image its more of the waffle. But if you think of rule of thirds, I like this one better. So, I'm gonna keep that one in and this one I will let go of for now. I already have one of her pouring that I really like, so I can, now I'll just toggle back and forth. I like that one, I like that one, do I like that one, do I like that one... And sometimes you make a choice and then you're like ooohhh I want that other one and you have to go back tomorrow, you know, you never know. So, okay. Do I like her expression now we're looking at hands and at facial expression. I like the smile, I like the softness in this one though. And the pour... I like the positioning of the cup better in this one. So this one I'm gonna let go of for now and go to this. They're virtually the same so lets... Okay, eyes are closed. Okay so now we have a close up. Do I want, we have the hand like this and I think the fingers, my attention is completely just on the hand right now but like this, my attention is on the waffles. So I'm getting rid of this one, choosing that. That's a nicer pour because its from a little bit higher. Okay. Great. That's blurry. I don't like looking right into the pour, that's kind of awkward. And then we have our hostess, very sweet look on her face and... I prefer that one because in this one she's a little bit blurry so... Little too out of focus I think... No actually, I kind of... I prefer the... I'm gonna let you guys vote. Okay. Raise your hand for A and then raise your hands for B. Okay, A. Okay, and then raise your hands for B. Oh its a tie. (laughing) Okay. For this story I'm going with this one. Okay. Great. And then we have our berries... Oops sorry, I meant to go with the other one. Great. And then we have our granola which wasn't finished and that bothers me but I think that the napkin and the spoon is more of the cohesive story that I've already been telling rather than this. I don't think it has enough elements for the rest of what we've been doing, right? So, but if I change my mind I can always get it back. It's not deleted forever. Okay, great. So now we have one, two, three, four, five, six images. Lets look at them together. In our grid. That looks very nice. It's a lot of our model and not very much of the other items. So what I would do then is I would look at this and I would know what I needed to shoot to make this a cohesive Instagram story. And what that says to me is, okay well maybe I would do some images of just the silverware and maybe I would do an image of someone blowing out the candles or hand cutting the cake, I think. I need more close ups of hands, I'd like that balance. And fewer images with the model. I like these three so I'm going to fill in and have a few detailed images like, maybe one is just the flowers and one is just the silverware, one is just the candles. So I'm really going to fill in that. And also I don't think this makes sense in that story. I like the cake and I like the waffles. So maybe I go back and re-shoot this image and add in a little bit more of the pink because everything else is so soft and pink. So, the berries maybe they're too jarring and I put in peaches instead, which would give that really beautiful color to go with the peonies that are in here, right? So.. this is more of a peach tone rather than a bright pink tone. So I think I would go back and use some peaches. But maybe I don't have time to do that and that's okay too. You know, it doesn't have to be perfect all the time even though I like it to be. (laughing)

Class Description

Great food photography is all about showcasing the dish’s best traits—from its colors to its textures to its subtle details—so you can inspire the viewer to want to take a bite. But shooting food for social media and blogging takes different skills than shooting for commercial and editorial purposes. Join food and travel photographer Liza Gershman as she walks you through the steps to create and edit food images that will get you noticed on social media. She’ll cover trends, styling, storytelling, lighting, composition and editing so you can strengthen your compositional eye and perfect your scrumptious images.



Liza Gershman is not only an amazing artist, she is an excellent educator. In this course, she goes beyond teaching the basics of interesting composition. She factors in the connection between food and culture, and the role that it plays in storytelling as a visual artist. She demonstrates how to draw upon the story of a dish, to showcase it with an authenticity that will set you apart and elevate your art. This was a wonderful class, and absolutely worth owning! Thank You Liza!

Alex Navarrete

The title of this class doesn't really do it justice with the very insightful things Liza says in this course. She really does a good job explaining the type of mentality one should be aiming for when taking pictures too.