Editorial Food Photography

 

Editorial Food Photography

 

Lesson Info

Bonus Video: General Q&A

You know, earlier in my career the whole the whole industry was seen seemingly feminized everything was kind of geared towards kind of home entertainment which was geared towards a certain demographic which was martha stewart's demographic it kind of felt that way and also there wasn't like a concerted effort by the whole industry early on and food photography to make the food look delicious. It was really more about making these kind of scenes which evolved slowly over time and I think part of it was that it became more about real food and less about kind of the artificial looking artificial actually artificial you know where we also made the movement from hot studio light and a lot of cases steady, light not even stroke to doing more natural light which basically is muchmore appealing look for food I mean, we don't look at our food under fluorescent lights normally, you know it's it's not it doesn't flatten out to our vision, you know, but that's what it looked like old food photogra...

phy, stratton strobe or hot light photography everything was in focus, there was no depth of field, it was really flat, so we're lucky that that kind of those trends kind of unwound over time and in more modern times you know that highly feminized look the martha stewart demographic has changed the foodie demographic is a very it's not specifically masculine or feminine so there is definitely room for both of that and then wei go through trends now we're a little bit more masculine so we've pushed to the other side of that spectrum where darker moody are you know, the depth of field things changing to where we were working on very shallow depth of field and now it's kind of coming back a little bit where we're getting a little bit more focus in the plate and more of the environment but not quite where it was in the beginning where everything you know from the grapes at the front of the think of all the way to the back wall were all and we're all in focus so we're still you know, we've pushed from just a little tiny uh no get a focus to make basically the whole plate is in focus now so that's kind of a nicer trend and it looks you know, it's a little bit more realistic yeah, they really persist I mean, it was something that even early in my career I got a lot of questions about you know is the ice cream mashed potatoes you know is the cheese wax is, you know, he's spray lack or on the food we used to get a lot of these questions and and to some degree there are some people from certain generation those those myths persist and I I answered those questions a lot, you know, like and even in the session we just wrapped up you know, there was a question about how editorially honest is the food you know, if it's a vegan cookbook and you can't tell the difference is the food still vegan? You know and thie answer for me was yes it's not always the case but the reality is that you know, analog ing things out if anything now if we're you know using an analog for something it's another food item that's really close rather than using like lard to mimic mashed potatoes under hot lights so they don't melt so you know, I think in commercial food photography like for a mcdonald's commercial or something like that there's probably still some of those old tricks going on but to reality is the technology so good that they could just composite the images anyway? So there's no need to really use fake food items and artificial colors and dies and all these things when you could just do it in photo shop if you really wanted to be you know if it's more about the product than it is about the reality, so but this they persist to some degree, so the piece of equipment in my studio that's probably the most expensive in the most indispensable or irreplaceable is it's called a focus stand phobia is the brand man photo makes them as well it's basically a big camera stand where the has a big cross piece that goes out this way where you could catch the camera ahead to to the end of the arm and then angle the camera down completely and it's rock solid because it probably weighs a couple hundred pounds when you know it's on it's on it's off its wheels it's basically made to do those type of things it's basically a giant tripod but be able to do an eight foot overhead and have that camera b rock steady and be able to shoot at slow showed short of speed that's an essential piece of equipment for me and it is very expensive and they range from you could probably spend about for a professional one like somewhere between three thousand and twenty thousand dollars for one of these the one for twenty is kind of ridiculous because it's all like elektronik and it talks and makes coffee it does it's italian you know, but I before I could afford one I did have, like kind of an analog system to do the same thing. I had a large tripod, you know a tripod that would stand maybe seven or eight feet high off the ground you know when it was fully extended in the neck was extended to the top not a super expensive piece of equipment but not you know not cheap, either, you know, maybe a three hundred dollars four hundred dollars tripod, and then put an extension arm on it, where the head can attach, so can hang over the table. So it's, an affordable kind of, you know, substitute for the big piece of professional equipment. But the problem is once you've worked with a focused and you never want to go back, so that what is what happened? I was working with my tripod set up, you don't sandbag in it and doing all the things you have to do to make it, you know, steady, so you can climb up there. And then I worked in a studio with a phobia, and from that point on it was there was a done deal. I had to go by, so I broke the bank and I went and bought one and that's kind of where I'm at.

Class Description

Every successful photo doesn’t just capture an image; it tells a story. Conceptualizing and photographing that story is both a daunting task and an essential skill — especially when it comes to shooting food. Join New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani for a 90-minute workshop on how to tell a story, from beginning to end, in 20 photos or less.