Food Photography

Lesson 2 of 32

Food Porn

 

Food Photography

Lesson 2 of 32

Food Porn

 

Lesson Info

Food Porn

One of the best compliments, that anyone can give you, when you're taking pictures of food, is that made me hungry. This is a visceral response. We eat everyday. This is part of our lives. This is part of who we are. This is essential, to our existence. So, if you can tap into that part of this, that's why this art form is different, than any other, in photography. We're talking about life-sustaining, emotional kind of... It's got a gravitas. Food has gravitas. And maybe you're just, oh, it's food photography. It's good for the, no. Without food, we're gone, right? This is why it's so emotional for people. This is why people are so engaged in it, because you see something, and you have a reaction! You have a physical reaction! Your stomach growls. I'm hungry! That made me hungry! I love it! And we've kind of used this terminology, which I don't particularly love. (woman chuckling) I don't love the term, food porn. I really don't. I even actually feel embarrassed, sometimes, putting it ...

in as a hashtag, on my Instagram photos. (group laughing) But, it means something. I mean, it's, we have now turned something, that's an essential, the same way we do, with that other word, right? We've turned it into something desirable. We are tapping into the idea, that something, that is a necessity, is also pleasurable. And by tapping into the psychology of what food can do for you, and to you, as a photographer, you're, if you understand the audience, and you understand what drives them, you can make pictures, that influence how they feel. And that's what good photography does. It changes the way you feel. It's not just about making it look nice. It's about making people feel something. This is why conflict photographers are so important in our world, right? The people who are out, in the war zone, with bullets flying over their head, to take pictures, so that you can be there, right? I have a lotta respect, inspired by that level of focus. But, I don't compare what I do, to what those guys do. But, at the end of the day, their images are about evoking emotion, evoking power. Our images are about evoking emotion, but invoking desire. So, they're important, and this is where... Stuff like this comes in. There's somethin' about drips, and pours, and smoke, and flames. It's all really primal, right? It makes us feel really, really good, when we see it. It makes us want it, right? And the idea, of something like an egg, we all start there. Why are we so tapped into this? Because, it's just so, it's sexual, it's sensual, and it's somethin', that people really, really react to. This image, in particular, I lead off with. When I took this, it wasn't that, it wasn't that I was... Thinking, oh, that drip's gonna be absolutely perfect! I wanna try to make it look good! I know what I want to achieve, but there's something about that one little drip, that's just poised, (woman chuckling) that made it perfect! And the way we get this, really, is you poach the egg, you get the camera ready. You put your trigger release on, you focus it. You pop that yolk, and you hope. (group chuckling) Because, you're gonna do it again, and again, and again, and again, until you get it right! And then, if you're lucky enough to get it, when you're editing, I looked at a thousand of these! My God, we looked at so many of these, to get that right one, right? And sometimes, you get it on the first shot, and sometimes, you gotta work on it. But, you know, that's the idea, is that you know what you want, and you go and get it. So, the other thing we talk about, is this kind of... The way, that food kind of makes you feel, right? I was like, you're in a moment. You're in a moment, like, I'm hungry, and it's cold outside, and what can I do? And I kinda put myself in that place, when I'm tryin' to shoot. Sometimes, the environment is exactly what I want it to be. This was on a cold afternoon, in the studio, and I was freezin', and I was like, I want this to evoke what I'm feeling. I want it to feel... Like this is gonna make me feel better today. Again, that sensual, kind of... The thing, that makes a summer peach. What do you think about biting it? It's drippin' down your chin. It makes you feel like summer, right? And this was, this was one of the first images I took, with this new lens, that I'll show you, during the gear section. And it just blew me away, just how much detail, and how close, and how emotional, that it could be, from that one, that one little lip of water. And I show you these, 'cause I want you to see it, the way I see it. I think, it's important to understand, that the motivation behind what goes into making pictures, like this. The one kind of, that gentle kind of grab, with the chopstick, it's that one moment, in the meal, where you kinda just, if you're able to capture that tiny, little gesture, right? That tiny little bit, with the right light, with the right food, it's gonna also speak to your audience. It puts them in the mindset of, I'm there. I got that other spoon ready. I got my big, ceramic spoon ready. And I'm gonna pick it up, I'm gonna put it in there, I'm gonna eat it. I wanna stop that piece. I wanna put that image in their head. And that's why using utensils, and gestures, and things like that, also kind of places the viewer in the moment. This is pure food porn. This is ribs. All I wanna do, is pick that up, and strip that off the bone with my teeth. And then, I couldn't wait, for that to come off the set. (group laughing) I wanted to eat that, before it even, we were done. So, that was the emotion I had, at that moment. I was like, I can't wait to eat this! I'm hungry! I want this, right now! And I just wanted, there's no, there's nothing more here, than a cutting board, and the ribs. That's it. And sometimes, that's all it takes. The food becomes its own prop. It becomes its own composition. The interesting part, about making photos, like this, is it takes you by surprise. I mean, when I was taking this, I, first of all, I didn't even have time to filter the light. We put these on the grill, and it was outdoors, obviously, and that is very, very sharp, harsh kinda daylight, that I don't normally shoot with. What I was doing, at that moment, was getting my scrim ready, and getting ready to balance that light out. And I saw that smoke comin' up, and I said, well, let me give it a shot. And I got in there, and I put the camera on a fast shutter, and I ripped off five or six really quick shots. And then, I moved on with the day. I didn't even think about it, until I went back to edit. And then, I saw that curl. And it's just, that's the thing, is that sometimes, the best things that you find, in your photos, are the things that you didn't plan. Who woulda thought, raw chicken, right? I don't even think about the raw chicken in this picture! Because, my eye goes right to that curl! And that's the thing, about recognizing the elements in your shots, that are going to be the things, that resonate with people. And sometimes, like I said, it's raw chicken on a stick. (group chuckling) If you think about it, from that perspective, it's raw chicken on a stick. But, the idea is that, shooting things, through the process, also, is a great way, to capture things, that aren't repetitive, where you start at the beginning, and you push your way through, and every time you see something beautiful, stop and shoot it. I mean, there are times, when I'm at the stove, in the studio, watchin' what's goin' on. And I'll say, stop, run that to the window! 'Cause I shoot in the studio, where the kitchen and the window side are on opposite sides of the room. Get it on the table, get it on the table! And we'll run it over, to the table, and I'll shoot it, before it's finished, bring it back, finish it, and then plate it, and dish it out. So, sometimes, the idea that everything has to be planned, and plotted out, yes, but there's also an opportunity, sometimes, not to. This, again, was a situation, where I wanted this particular image. I went to this cafe, on the corner, 'cause I knew the guy who owned the place, and I was doing a story, about crepes. And he happened to have that big, black, traditional piece of steel. It's this thick. And it was dark, in that room. Really, really dark! And I pushed the camera as far as I could go, and this was before the newer cameras. This is a fairly old image. And it's not a great technical photograph, 'cause it's a little outta focus, and it's a little grainy, if you blow it up big. But, the idea, again, is that it evokes the emotion of what's happening here. The thing that's great, about going to the shop, to see this happening, it's there! It's where it is! So, sometimes, even the great, the non-technical photograph, the thing that you didn't get a chance, to get the best setting, or you had to push it really hard, in post-production, sometimes, it's worth it. Because, the idea is that, the composition is what's selling the picture, not necessarily the, the perfection of the technical part of it. And this is why Instagram, and all these other things, is so great! Because, a lot of it is really spontaneous, and having that kind of spontaneous advantage, of taking a picture, when it's beautiful, where you can't control it, there's something really great about that. This is a story. This is my, the friend that I was telling you about earlier. That's his mom. So, they go through this thing, every year, where she's from Pisciotta, in Italy. It's a really, really mountain town, and they had to make this sauce, for the whole year, in the fall, because nothing grew, later in the year. So, they would do this every year, by bushels, and bushels, and bushels. And I'd watch them do it, year after year, 'cause she still did it, obviously, when she came. It was her family tradition, and all the sisters would come, and they would all do it. And I watched it happen, year after year, without photographing it. And I said, I have to, eventually, save this! Because, this is not gonna be around forever. And we went there one day, and we shot it. And there's a lotta images, from this scene, and then it was a whole slideshow, and a written piece, that I did for the Times, at the time. But, it's this picture. Knowing Grace, her name is Grace, knowing her, knowing her family story, knowing and watching her do this, from the time I was 17, until now, this is the shot. This is the one, that made me remember her, the way I wanted to share her with the world, and try to give them the vision, that I had of her. And the steam says everything here, because it's about how hard she works, and it's about how beautiful it is, and it says three or four different things, at the same time. And the thing about this was that, it was also a tribute, to my friend, you know? He was the one, who taught me how to take that picture. So, there's a lot of emotion, that goes into it. So, if you personalize your work, taking pictures of my daughter was one of the things that really sparked me, to get back into photography. And it was, the thing that made me realize, that I'm much, earlier, in my career, I was much better suited, to macro photography. 'Cause, I liked gettin' really close, and filling up the whole frame, and looking at really small details, and seeing things like that. So, again, as you personalize your work, take pictures of the things you care about, and when you're able to translate that, to something that means something to other people, where you can share your emotions through your images, that means, you know, like bein' a man, you don't have to say much. (group chuckling) You just... (chuckles) I got almost a whole female audience here, so... (group laughing) You gotta know your crowd! Alright, enough about that. Again, a great story. This is a barbecue, that happens every year, in Scott, Louisiana. The man, who runs it, and you can barely see him, and his little, white mustache. His name is Sir Barry Ancelet, because he had been knighted by the French, and the (speaks in French), for single-handedly resurrecting Cajun culture, in Louisiana. He's a professor, at Tulane, and he is, and this, every year, they bring in... All of the people from, it's a potluck. He does the (speaks in French). He does the pig roast. But, everyone else brings traditional Cajun food. And they bring their instruments, and they party, for three days. And it, and I was lucky enough, to be invited one year, 'cause I know people, who know people, and they invited me. And I was able to capture it. And this is, again, this is just a snapshot of a moment in time. But, I didn't need to tell you that whole story, for you to start to create a story around the picture, right? And I think, maybe, even the story that you kinda create around the picture, might even be close to the story that you, hopefully, it's about. Because, it becomes a personal kind of documentation of the world, of the things that are important to you, and in food. So, it's one of those things, where... Glowing coals, and flames, and fire, from the caveman, who kinda sparked up the thing in it. Everything, to where we like to sit around, and look at the fire, either in our fireplace, or out in the backyard. There's something about it, that's very primal, and when you put that and food together, you have a great combination, and we got a couple of pictures here, that kind of evoke that. I didn't notice that wisp, kinda vapor wisp of that shot, until, again, much later, when you're, 'cause you're in the midst of this. But, the other reason I include this picture, is not just about the flames, and the vapor wisp, but also the setting. But, it's also about, how did I get in there? Where was I, when I took that shot? 'Cause, I think that's the thing, that people ask me sometimes, when they see this picture, like, "How did you get in there?" They're like, "Where were you?" That chef's a big guy! (group laughing) He's a lot bigger than me! He's the chef, at Bobo, in Manhattan, and this was a farm-to-plate, that they were doing, up in Claryville, New York. And I got over there, and I got to know him, and we were talking, and he liked the fact, that I was shooting. Because, I wasn't there, professionally. I was there, as a guest. I actually got back in the car, went back, got the camera, and came back to the farm, 'cause I didn't realize what was goin' on. People were like, "Oh, we're gonna go eat." Okay. I show up, I'm like, you coulda told me! (group laughing) It was just, it was idyllic. It looked like one of those Hillshire Farm commercials, which I really like. (group laughing) I wanna shoot one of those one day. But, I said to him, I said, hey, can I get right under your arm? And I nudged him over a little bit, and I got really close. And he's like, "Yeah, whatever you want! "Whatever you want!" And I got in, and I got that shot. And it was like, if you were afraid, to do that, if you didn't feel like you had a rapport with the person, or if you didn't feel comfortable doing that, I woulda missed out. So, you gotta be bold sometimes, too. You gotta really be the person that says, I wanna get that shot, and go about getting it. Now, you don't wanna be rude, and you don't wanna be intrusive, and you don't wanna stand on a, I wanna say this to the Internet. You don't wanna stand on a chair, in a restaurant, to get a picture of your fettuccine alfredo. (group laughing) You really don't wanna do that. And then, flash as well! Let's flash, too! But, you gotta be bold. You gotta be willin' to get in there, and get a little dirty. Okay. And using olive oil here, where it's that little bit of glisten, that little bit of suggestion, of dripping an oil, and... Those little, tiny details here, also, with the, if that was just the white kind of, I guess it's revuelta cheese. Oh, I want that right now! (group chuckling) But, those little details in the shot, those little criss-crosses of oil, and the little bit of... Lemon zest. All of that kinda pulls it all together, because white on white can get a little weird, and it's kinda plain. But, that tiny glint of light, that comes off of liquids, and we're gonna talk about that, when we're shooting a little bit, that tiny, little glint, it kinda sets the eye, in a way. And really, like I said earlier, what your job is, as a photographer, and we do this through many ways, through composition, through selective focus, through propping, and styling, is you wanna direct the eye, of your viewer, to exactly where you want it to be. If they're looking at anything else, in the image, then you failed. You need them to see your vision. And the way to accomplish that, is through all of those things. So, I want that, I want the concentration of the viewer, to look straight through that image, from the glint, up. And I think that's where, that's the thing, that I like about that shot. Also, you know, this... Is a breakfast item. It was shot, in the middle of the day, and I wanted to have morning light. So, where you, how you stock your light, and I think that's, I'll talk about that again, later, in that we, somebody said that to me one time. I was on a cookbook shoot, in a big room, like this, and the stylist said to me, "I've never seen anyone do it the way you do it," and I go, what do you mean? She's like, "You stalk the light. "You walk around, with your camera, like a hunter." And you go through, and you look, and everything, and you try to find that one thing that you want. And that's what this shot was about, too. It was about the idea, that I wanted to find that one angle, that told me, that this was a morning shot. So, you can't be stationary, as a photographer. I really believe, that you need a tripod, and you need a camera stand, and you need all that stuff, to kinda stabilize your camera at times. But, you also need to find the angles, in the light, and the other things that you want, to make your style, and your pictures, exactly the way you want them. So, you have to be, and then, later, you have to learn how to recreate that, in any environment, which is, that's the professional part of professional photographer, is where you can do that, anywhere. Not just in your controlled environment, but any environment. Or, at least, get close. Oh, ice cream. (group chuckling) Do you need to say anything about that? 'Cause, everyone's got a story in their mind, the minute they see that, right? Whether, it's real or fictional, right? The idea of the dripping ice cream cone, is just so evocative of so much of our culture, and not just the, not just American culture, but western culture, in general, is that there's just, and honestly, that picture... Was something that... I waited on. We built it, I sat there, and I waited. What a way for it to melt. And when I started drippin', it was, at that point, it's shootin' fish in a barrel. It's not hard. But, the idea is to have the patience, to wait for it, to, and then, after that, of course, you got 30 seconds, and then it's dead. Then, it all melts, and it's gone. But, the idea, is that that timing, and understanding how to time out your shoot, and know exactly how you wanna play it. Those ones, in the back, didn't matter so much, 'cause I knew they were gonna be outta focus. The one, in the front, was the last one we placed. Set the camera beforehand, sat there, and waited. And then, let it happen. Just let it happen, in front of the camera. Translucency is something that we, I really try to achieve a lot, with my photos. I like when we backlight food, particularly food, that has the ability, to have light penetrate through. And by doing that, you're creating not just a lighting environment, but also, you're giving another perspective on the food, that... You may not normally get. Pushing light through citrus fruits, or pushing light through kinda viscous liquid, and things like that, it really had that, honey, and all those things really just makes, brings out the little bubbles, and all the stuff that's there, that's really pretty, and beautiful, and you start to kinda focus on color and shape. Gary Ungers is from South Africa. Wow! Yeah, this is great. The CreativeLive community is so fun. That's terrific. And Gary's question is, "If you're photographing a dish, which you do not enjoy, "does it affect your final images?" No. Really? Not in the slightest, because I can appreciate the way something looks. And quite honestly, when I'm working with food, a lotta times, I see it as an object, before I see it as something to eat. And a lotta times, I don't eat it. It's funny, that when you work with food a lot, any particular dish, particularly a hard dish to shoot, at that point, I'm resentful of it. (group laughing) I don't wanna eat you! I'm done with you! Gone! Yeah, I don't let that affect me, because there are plenty of foods, that I find beautiful, that I don't necessarily have the palette for. So, I guess that's the simple answer to that. Like eggplant, perhaps? What? Like eggplant, perhaps? Eggplant's my favorite! Is it? You're an Italian, from New York? I'm an Italian, from New York. You could feed me eggplant everyday. I'll be happy. (chuckles) Okay, so, a couple of questions, from Zig, from Canada, and ILoveFood, from Trinidad, two similar ones. "Do you use any artificial, non-edible glazing, "for your photographs, "and that would render the food inedible, "after you're done shooting them?" I love that question, 'cause I've been gettin' that question, since the day I started this job. Never. Oh, brilliant! The answer, is never. Again, because of my affiliation, with the New York Times, and their very, very strict... Reality standards, meaning everything has to be up, on the up-and-up. I could never do those things. It doesn't just apply to post-production. It also applies to original production. So, all of the food you see, in my photographs, can come off the setting, and be eaten. And anything I use, as a glaze, or a glistening agent, is olive oil, or water, or water with oil in it, or the sauce, that came out of the dish. But, I don't use anything, that can't be eaten. FashionTV, HighFashionTV, from Singapore, asks, "Before you shoot, "do you give specific instructions to the chef, "on how you want the food prepared? "If yes, what are they? "And are there items, you prefer uncooked, "during a shot?" That's a great question. That really is, and it speaks to some of the things, that we're gonna talk about, when we talk about food styling. There are definitely specific instructions, always, on a food shoot. Even though, when we were talking about how we were gonna prepare for this... And nobody felt to ask me that question, because you don't do food shoots here. And I said, I want the food done X, Y, and Z, and I need it to be done this way, or it's not gonna work on set. Yes. How vegetables are chosen, how, I talk about shopping, chopping, and propping, right? And all of those things go into the idea, that until you start putting your plate together, all of those elements matter. So, I like the meat, sometimes, to be really crispy, on the outside, but if you leave it in the oven too long, it's gonna get, it's gonna start to sink. So, sometimes, the food is a little undercooked, in the beginning. And then, once we're done shooting it, throw it back in the oven, and then we can eat it. Or, yeah. I mean, it's, and undercooking the vegetables, so they don't get, they don't lose their moisture, and start to break down, in color, for sure. What was the other part of that question? The other part, well, about the items being preferred uncooked, but basically, just the instructions, that you give the chef, and what are they? Oh, yeah! Definitely! And then, also, certain vegetables always look better raw. I mean, certain things look beautiful, raw. So, it's, so there are things, that I prefer uncooked, sure. Cool. J Scott, Hello, from Cescascun, (chuckles) asks, "Andrew, you have me salivating already! "When you're working alone, "what are your strategies, for balancing, "shooting with time-sensitive foods?" The drying out, that kind of answer. Can you address that, please? These are fantastic questions! Absolutely, what I try to do, is pick my props, set my set, get everything ready, set my camera, because obviously, I can't shoot, so I can't shoot freehand that easily, to start. So, what I wanna do, when I'm working alone, is get the safe shot, the one that I know I can use, the one I know will be publishable, immediately. So, if it's an overhead, or it's a table perspective, I want that shot first. Get it in the can, get it outta the way. Then, I could see how long the food is gonna last, on set, and then take the camera off the stand, and work freehand. So, the set is set, the props are picked, and it's already marked. I'll mark the table, with... Gaffer's tape, so that I know exactly where the plate is, so that my focal point doesn't change. Then, I'll take the plate, plate the food, bring it back to the table, shoot that safe shot, and then once that shot's in the can, then we're ready to go. And I could take the camera off the stand, and shoot the way I really like to shoot, before the food is not able to be shot anymore. So... How's that? Great. Do you wanna do one more, before we-- Yeah, let's do one more. Okay. Sam Coxor, is from Loveland, Colorado, and says, "Andrew, do you ever take black and white pictures of food? "If so, what are good subjects, or compositions, "for black and white food images?" You know, I've already, I wrote an article for First We Feast, about two months ago, about iconic food images. And some of the pictures, that I named, in that article, were these black and white photos, that were taken. I can't remember the photographer, off the top of my head, but they weren't even published in a food magazine. They were published in the Atlantic Monthly, 22 years ago. And they're these black and white images, of this winemaker. It's about, actually, it was about Robert Parker, but the images weren't of him. And there's this one picture, of this guy, holding a bottle, with his feet, and with an old-time, wooden-handled corkscrew, and he's pulling the thing out, and I think lifestyle food, in black and white, is really, really beautiful. I don't particularly shoot for black and white. Sometimes, when the stuff runs in the paper, you don't have any control over it. What you wanna do, if you know it's gonna run, in black and white, is run high contrasts, so that when you, in post-production, you can really distinguish detail. Otherwise, it just kinda goes gray. But, I think lifestyle stuff is, lifestyle food is really beautiful, to photograph... In black and white. I don't necessarily recommend shooting real food, in black and white, because the beauty is in the color. I mean, that's the whole point of it. I mean, unless it's something really graphic, you know, something that has real shape, and isn't, is really definable. But, for the most part, lifestyle. Cool. Yeah. Question? How much time do you spend, in setting up props, and so forth? Well, it all depends. I mean, because the idea is, sometimes, something needs a lotta propping. And sometimes, it doesn't. So, sometimes if, like the ribs, right? What was that? A cutting board, and rib. But, there are other things, that really involved, lots of, and it depends on the client, as well. So, if I'm art directing, I get to choose how I wanna present the food. But, if the client is art directing, then I have to kinda fit the needs of the client, into my preparation. So, my last shoot that I did, with Eating Well Magazine, was all about... Chili peppers, right? And so, I had, and it was a Southwestern theme. So, I had to find props, not just in my own collection, but rental, and purchase, that fit into the themes. So, it took three or four days of preparation, to get the five dishes, that we were gonna prop out. So, it could range, from a couple of days, to a week, to I reach over, out of my rack, and pull somethin' off the shelf. So, I think it's a matter of... Who your client is, and what your end goal is. If it's very specific, if you have a very specific art direction, then it takes a lot more time, for sure. Paola? To the preparation, do you have a vision, in your mind, before you start the shot? Have you sketched it all out? How much preparation have you done, beforehand? And are most of those shots, things that you... Thought you were going to achieve, or do you then start experimenting, or... That's great, because I do, at times, sketch it out. Physically sketch. I don't report to be an artist, in any way. But, I will draw pictures sometimes, when I'm talking to other people, about what I see, as how I wanna see that picture. I think, that helps me, with storyboarding. I think storyboarding is a really, for visual people, storyboarding is a really good method, to go through, and you don't have to be really good, at drawing anything. You really don't. I'm not. I don't know how to draw, or paint. I never studied drawing, or painting. But, I know what I want. I know, that I want this shape, and I wanna shoot it vertically. So, I draw the vertical frame, and I draw where my light source is comin' in from, and I show where I want my reflector cards, and I kinda visualize it, and then I can share that, with the people I'm working with, because then, they know what I'm thinking. And I do, everything I do, kinda comes out of the idea, that as soon as I see something, or I read something, I immediately have a visual image in my head. That's why I'm a photographer! Because, that's the way I can express my thoughts best. So, absolutely. I think, preparation, in that regard, is really important. You had something? [Woman In Audience] Yeah. How often, do you shoot tethered? Only when there's a client on set, or I have the camera in an inaccessible position. I don't necessarily like it, because of what I talked about earlier, because you're really locked into one particular setting, but when you have a client on the set, whether it be an advertising client, or an art director, from a magazine, or whatever, and they want to see what you're doing, then I'll work tethered. But, it's not my favorite way to work. [Woman In Audience] I was gonna say, it's probably not-- Yeah, because it's a little constraining. But, I can tell you this, it makes the job go faster. It really does. Because, when you see it on a big screen, you know when you got it. You know when you don't, yeah. I really think tethering is a great way to work, and I probably should go to a wireless tethering setup, and then I could do it however I want. But, it helps, for sure. I just wanna say that, Bob, who is our behind the scenes chat moderator, had posted the photo, that you talked about, the black and white photo of the wine, in our chatroom, so people were checking that out. He found it? Yeah, he found it! Wow! (group laughing) Bob's a resourceful man! I gave him enough information! You did! That's awesome! That was very cool! It's a cool shot! And there's a couple of shots, that I posted with that article. It's... There's one of a guy, spitting the wine into a slop sink, and I think, in color, it woulda looked really ugly. Oh, yeah. You know? I mean, it wasn't, but the idea of it being, in black and white, it kinda gave you the feel, that it was... The feel of it, the whole feel of the article, that made it seem older, than it was, and I think black and white gives that kinda nostalgic feel to things, that may not be necessarily old, and if you really wanna go that way, it's pretty cool. Okay. So, those are my hands. Now, how did he do that? (group laughing) As a teacher, I had eyes behind my head, but I never have an extra set of hands. (group laughing) Okay. So, I knew where I wanted here, and I set up the camera, on a tripod, and a timer, right? I was working, I was gonna work alone that day, and I was workin' on these lobster rolls. And then, so, it was somethin' I wanted to try, to get that one moment, that kind of neck, that one step, before we go to the bite. So, I set up the camera. And you could see, that the focal point is a little bit soft. The focal point is really on that one claw, that kinda slips out, and you could see, that my hand, my thumb, is in focus. And that whole area, where the drip is coming down, is a little outta focus. But, like I talked about earlier, it's not about technical proficiency, with a shot like this. It's about the emotion. I don't think having the focal point, right on that drip, woulda changed anything about this picture, as far as how it made you feel. Now, as a photographer, you might sit there, and go, it's a little outta focus. That makes me uncomfortable. But, for the most part, that's the way, to set that shot up. And I know we got a lotta questions, about the idea of working alone. And I did it for a long time. I worked alone, for a long time, and I built a lotta photoshoots, alone. So, the idea, that it can be done, using the equipment, that's available to you, but also understanding, that there are limitations, to what you can, and can't do. Yeah? At what point do you decide, that you're gonna do a shoot, that's with movement, versus a static image? Is there something about the type of food, or... I think so. I think, sometimes, you have to kinda look at the food itself, and if it's something that's iconic, and has a process, that's iconic, and people can relate to, I kinda go to that, as a fallback. Like, a lobster roll is a sort of an iconic summer, New England-y kind of a feel. And this was for Guilt, and it was Guilt Taste, when they first launched their site. And I wanted to evoke that, because this is also, in some ways, a sales job. Because, Guilt isn't really about just tellin' stories, they're about sellin' product. So, the idea of kinda putting people in that place, and understanding that it's part, the process is gonna be part of, buy this food, make this food... And then, the action. Yeah, exactly! Put them in the action, that they're gonna undertake. How New York do I sound? Do I sound really New York today? (group laughing) You're in New York! What are you gonna do? Okay. This macro kinda treatment on this too, is I, this is where we kinda get into that really, really long kind of macro lens, the 100 millimeter, getting super, super close, and kinda doing that abstract treatment, on foods. Salads are really hard! I don't know how much you've tried to shoot salads. Salads are hard, because even the slightest bit of brown, on a leaf, or the slightest bit of, kind of crumpling, or folding, or whatever, it's really, really difficult! So, sometimes, you know, going, again, playing the emotional card, in food photography, will help you kind of adjust the expectation of what it is about. I don't think of a salad, as sensual. But, this helps. (man chuckling) Yeah, see, I like that. You see, that's the whole, that's what it's about! (exclaims) (group laughing) I like that! I don't wanna say anything about that. You don't need to. That's it! That's all we had to hear, right?

Class Description

Learn how to break into the world of professional food photography with the world-renowned commercial photographer, stylist, and NY Times columnist Andrew Scrivani. During this mouth-watering workshop, Andrew will introduce students of all levels to the essential food photography tips, lighting, styling techniques, gear, shooting styles, post-production processes, and fundamental business principles needed to turn your hobby into your dream job.

Using his wealth of experience gleaned from working with industry-leading magazines and cookbook publishers, Andrew will take you step-by-step through the basics of recipe selection, food prep, and prop styling. On the second day of the workshop, Shauna Ahern (of Gluten Free Girl blog and book fame) will join Andrew to chat about food blogging, recipe writing, and how you can use food photography to make a beautiful blog that will grow your audience.

Whether you are a seasoned professional photographer looking to expand your skillset, or a novice holding nothing more than a smartphone, this workshop will provide you with the strategies, tips, and techniques needed to stand out, and land that delicious food photography job.

Reviews

Kalissa Tozzi
 

This course shares great knowledge and information on food photography for people interested in doing this as a profession or as a hobby. I always had a curiosity to learn more about the topic because I love cooking and I love photography, but I had no idea about what it entailed. I think Andrew does a great job in covering the details of what food photography is all about for people who are new to it. He covers all the basics, and gives a very good foundation for students to take the next step (either to build a business or just have fun). Andrew comes across very humble, friendly and motivating which makes watching the videos and learning much more enjoyable and less intimidating.