Shoot: Granola - Simple to Complex


Creative Food Photography


Lesson Info

Shoot: Granola - Simple to Complex

For the granola, we're using this surface that we used for the cake, and then we'll use the background that we used for the last shoot, the waffles. And that's keeping it simple, right, that's like you're at home, you have a wall. That's three different looks with only two changes, so it's really simple. Okay, granola. So we have some basic regular granola that you can find not too expensive in your grocery store, and then we're adding some elements to make it look kind of gourmet. So we have these nice clear bowls. I'm actually gonna take the spoons out, because I don't think these spoons are nothing great, right? I mean, no offense to the maker of the spoon, but. (audience laughter) Oh perfect, thank you. Okay, so we're adding some seeds, some nuts, some berries, and you'll see, you'll see. Some apricots. I don't know what these little yummy things are, but it's pretty, whatever it is. You probably know. Poppy seeds! Great, great, great, great, great. Some other berries. Okay, so we ...

have our deconstructed granola, and does that look like it could be a vertical shot? Not really, and I'm already set up for a vertical shot, so I'm not gonna photograph it yet this way. First, what I really want to do is photograph a vertical shot, and then I'm going to change my setup, because I've got my tripod, and I will photograph overhead the deconstructed granola, right, because it's really better not to go back and forth between your setups. So once I have my tripod set, I wanna line up all my shots that are vertical or horizontal, and then all of my shots that are going to be overhead, I'll do later, so I'm not constantly switching back and forth, because that's time consuming, particularly if I am on a set and I need to move through a shot list. So, I know I have my bowl of granola, and I have these beautiful stacking bowls. I really like we're sticking here, again, with my pink and white theme to make it a really cohesive shoot. Okay, so I know those'll be in the background to give height, and I have my simple just the regular granola, and in that, I'll add, I like the color of these, so I'm gonna add just, yep, that looks nice. It's not a science. And then I love the berries, so I'm gonna sprinkle them in. And then I'll add a few more of the blueberries, I'm liking. And then I wanna bring the pink back in, so I'm adding raspberries. Whoops. Okay. And I won't use these items. We'll just put them back. So I really like the blue bowls, and I really like the blue in the berries. So I'm bringing in a blue napkin this time, and this color blue does go nicely with all that pink we were using before. This napkin has a little line of blue in it too, it's white, so here we've got that. Okay, so we have our highlight side, we have our shadow side. Those bowls of berries are beautiful. I'm gonna mix these berries, because I like those berries, but I don't wanna see this bowl. Okay. Alright, let's see what the camera sees before we continue. It's kind of flat, it doesn't look very interesting, but let's just get a sense of what the camera's seeing. So I don't really like that very much. There's so much space up here. I can't really tell what anything is here. So I have an option, I could go three quarters, so let me see. I could still be on my tripod, and just raise it and tilt over a little bit. That's really easy instead of shifting all the way to overhead. So let's see what three quarters looks like over here. Okay, we're getting closer to something that's working, right? So because I wanna focus on the berries in the granola, and a little bit of the granola beneath, three quarters is working, and the background, it's not important. It's not really sharp, so I'm gonna take another one instead of moving around like this. And then I'm adding in some additional elements to tell a story. Are we having breakfast? Is this part of the other stories? Is it a color story? Let's see. So granola comes with milk, right? So let's add some milk. We have this space over here. I'm gonna work with. I'm filling the space, but not too much. So we're gonna play a little bit with this one. I'm bringing back in these stackable bowls, because I wanna show that the granola, it's not just one person having breakfast, it's multiple people having breakfast, and I'm bringing the pink element back through so that it coordinates with our other imagery we just did. Thank you. And I also am not showing, you'll notice, I love these bottles of milk you can get at your grocery store, I think they have this wonderful vintage look, but I'm not showing the label side, right, I'm showing the label-free side, so it's not distracting in the imagery. I'm not shooting for that client right now, it's a portfolio shoot, so we just don't need the brand imagery in there. So I like the elements that are in here, but I don't like the placement, and I didn't know that until I looked through the camera, because the camera compresses, this lens compresses. So I need to bring this forward, and then see what happens again. So let's fill up some of that foreground space, and also let's mix, you can't see the granola, it really got lost, so I'm gonna mix it up a little bit, being careful not to smush the berries. It's okay if I make a little bit of a mess, because I can clean it up. Okay, that looks like a fun breakfast. We can just put that in there, we're not eating it. Okay, let's see what happens now. I'm gonna try my three quarter view again to get right in there, into the berries. It's a little bit much for me, but I do like this mixture better. Don't you think it really brings your eye around that? So what I'm not liking is that the bowl looks distorted a bit, so I have to come back straight on a little bit. I do like the milk, I think I wanna move it a little bit. And we probably need a spoon or a napkin, at some point, so let's see here. That might be a better angle. This is why a tripod is really important, because I wanna move just an element, and now I have to kind of figure out, where was I standing again? So I like that much better. It's still a little bit too three quarters for me, which is really hard to fix without a tripod. So I will remember that I'm right about here, and I'll grab my spoon and my napkin. I have my napkin, spoons. Okay, we have a couple of pretty spoons. They don't have to match. If you're doing something that has a vintage look and feel, mixing and matching is totally okay. So remember, you can go and you can get this one for 10 cents, and this one for 25, it's totally fine. So I really do like the blue of that, but I also really like the blue in this one. And look, I got a little berry on it, so I'm just flipping it. Here I go. Hello to everyone at home, by the way. Okay, and in my image, alright I think that if we are looking at this image, we could put, that has a lot going on on this side already, right, so let's remember Marilyn, and if we're adding anything here, let's just maybe a hint of a napkin underneath this side of the granola, because we wanna balance things, we don't want everything to be on this side, unless you're planning to write some text over here. Okay so, this is out of the scene, so it's okay to leave it right there, it's not blocking the light. Although the metal might be reflecting, but we're gonna squeeze that in in a second. Okay, let's see what that's like. We can add our spoons. And it's okay, again, to not have the entire bit of cutlery in the shot. This is the last pic. Okay, great. So let's try it and see how it goes. The camera's over here. Alright. What I would do is I would move this over a bit. This tangent's not working for me. So it still needs a little fussing, but it's almost there. And I am bringing in the element to say it's breakfast, it's more than one person eating. It's very close, but I'm a perfectionist, and it's not perfect. So I would keep playing with it for a little while longer if I were at home.

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.