Food Photography

 

Lesson Info

Post Demo

If you see here that I have my little card reader icon here, this is the card that we shot earlier and I'm gonna click on it and I see that, here's my files. And this EOS55D file is the one that has all my files in it and I can click it open and you can see that there are CR2 files. That means Camera Raw, that's what that stands for. And I'm gonna drag this folder into Lightroom right here. So Lightroom is going to open up. So at the top before I even start to look at these photos the first thing I'm gonna do is deselect everything, so it doesn't copy everything I want. And I look and I see, "Okay, it's coming from the right file." What I wanted to do is copy as a DNG, because that's my workflow, that's what I'm comfortable with. And then I'm gonna look over here and it says, Macintosh hard drive, which is the hard drive that I'm saving to in this particular instance. And its got me, my desktop and cL Pics, so this is the cL Pics folder that I created. And when these copy in they're go...

nna copy in as a DNG. So what I want to do is quite possibly double click and see how it has a little folder there that says DNG, that's where they're gonna end up and that's where I want them. So then from there, now that I know that the path is correct. Go ahead. Was this to the hard drive? Yeah, this is the laptop hard drive. Because I do all my initial work on the computer. So I go from the external hard drive or the card whichever because I have the backup, so now I have them here and I'm working and I'm gonna save them to my hard drive on the computer. Then from here when they're finished they'll go into the externals and for backup. So remember I deselected this so I don't have everything selected. So now I'm gonna flip through. And I'm only gonna pick one today, we're not going to do a full edit. So I'm gonna flip through and I already kind of had my eye on one from earlier. And I think it was that one. So it was one of the last cupcake shots that we did. So I select it, so I put a little check mark on it. And from here what I want to do is I want to, let's assume that this is my final edit, I've chosen all my pictures and whatever and this is what I want to do. So from here what I want to do is I want to work in Camera Raw, I'm comfortable in Camera Raw but I will show you something. In Lightroom you can have the, you have the option of... I'm in the developed mode. So I have the option to go down here and I got file renaming, you can rename the files. You can apply these kind of developing settings directly to the files before you even import them. So if you have like a standard kind of steps that you put in you can actually pop them in. We're not going to do like a full Lightroom kind of demonstration here because it's really not, quite honestly it's not a workflow that I'm, it's a newer workflow for me. It's a good one but it's definitely a newer one for me. But they do have the tabs in here that allow you to put all the metadata into the picture before we do. I think we'd have to go up to the... Center, apply during import. It's in here? Yeah. It's edit. Metadata, here it is. So here, we can put the keywords in right here. So what we're gonna say is Creative Live, and I can't spell, creative lice, that's not good. And we're gonna put my name and we're gonna put cupcakes, I'm gonna put Kate. Cupcake was named, what are you gonna do? Okay, so you get the idea. So now whenever I'm looking for this, well since the Creative Lives is the client. And then the photographer's name and then what it is. And then from there you can really expand out, you can put like sprinkles, you could put pink, you could put any of the things that describe the image that we're working on. Because when you're looking for something, somebody comes up and says, "Hey, you got a picture of anything with sprinkles on it? "We're doing a story about sprinkles." I gonna tell you, it gets this... So the more you can pop into here the more you can define this, the better it is. And the other thing is like for internet optimization, you know like when you're on your blog and the more information you put, the more that gets fed into the search engines when people are looking for pictures as well. So it's a good way to get comfortable with doing those things. So here's what I could do. I'm gonna grab this image and then drag it... Actually, no. I can go right here and open in... Why is my file different than it was before? You need to import. Where is it? Oh, okay. There it is. So now I'm back to my main menu. So I'm back in the library menu and from here I highlight this and I can go open in Camera Raw from here, somewhere, where is it? Edit. All right, well, this is being problematic, so I'm gonna drag it right in. That's the beauty of all these these things is that whether or not you're comfortable in them they're fairly intuitive and there's a million ways to do everything. So these programs are kind of an abyss. There's so many ways to do everything. There's a million tabs, there's a million shortcuts, there's all these different things that you do. So the idea is that you find the workflow that you're comfortable with, so that when you're doing this every single day you can repeat it and do it all over. So here we are and what's the first thing I notice about this image is it's a little dark. So I'm gonna try to correct a little bit by pulling up my exposure. So we're almost a full stop off on that. Because we were shooting and we were looking at that screen and that's what happens sometimes when you tethered as well, so we're gonna pull that up a little bit. Now here's some of the basic stuff that I do. I have like a kind of a, we're gonna go, and you kind of do a little push and pull with these. I like to look and see, pull them all the way up and pull them all the way back and try to find a spot that catches my eye. Again this is sort of interpretive in a way. And I pull it up to where it catches my eye and then I usually back it off by about 10% and I get to someplace where I want to be. Now my shadows on this, see? You could see how they come in and out when you pull it up and back and you have a lot of control there. So I want to be a little bit moodier, so I'm going to pull it, it caught my eye all the way up so I'm gonna pull it back. I'm gonna pull back half way. Now your whites, this is where you get that pop and that brightness and your blacks. Now sometimes you run into a problem with these things when you don't have a black point to work from, when you don't have a lot of black in the image. So you have to kind of have a push and pull on the feel of that. Some people actually take a little piece of black tape sometimes and put it in the frame, especially when it's a lot of white, so that you can click on that when you're editing and then you could take it out and post or crop it out for sure. Now that's the regular tab. And now let's just talk about the light temperature a little bit. So this says 4650 and as we get bigger and closer and we get past daylight it starts to get kind of yellow and orange. And if we move back this way it gets kind of blue. So that's the kind of range of the color temperature that we're talking about. So where we were talking about earlier about 2800, obviously that's way too blue. And then if we go up to I'm still not comfortable with that, I still think that's a little too warm. So I'm gonna pull it back to about 5000, I think we're comfortable there. So I'm gonna click over here. So this is kind of our histogram of the highlights and mid-tones, the lights and the darks. So again we can start to kind of push and pull a little bit to get a little bit more refined with where we are. Now you can work with the curve if you're really comfortable with the curve or you can work with the sliders that adjust the curve. So now you can see if we pull up on these highlights it gets a little crisper. So it caught my eye at around 50, so I'm going back it off and do about half of that. And again the lights I'm gonna keep it up around 20. The darks and you go in the other direction, now we start to see that contrast popping out. So now those really vibrant highlights are kind of becoming more defined because we're adding a little contrast. So you could see that if you pull it all the way down and then just try to inch it back until it starts to feel natural. And again this is an interpretive kind of art. You and your style will dictate how you do the post-production, so you know ahead of time. And I think the other thing you can do is kind of start to build the idea of what you're gonna do in post-production into your photographs. So you know that you want more shadow, so you're gonna add shadow but you're also adding the opportunity to be more flexible of your shadows in post-production as well. I'm looking at this and I'm finding that maybe it's a little too shadowy. Maybe I'm not as clear about what I'm seeing on my screen as I want to be, so I want to bring... I'm gonna keep it there but I'm gonna come up to my highlights, I'm gonna push it up just a little bit more to maybe there. So now sharpening and detail. These are already preset at 25 and 25. Typically what I do is I pop them up to 50 and 50, that's my particular workflow, that just about all of my pictures I do the same thing whether it needs it or not. Now this, the hue and the saturation. Now I don't go too crazy with this because the idea is that this is where your pictures can start to look over processed, where you start to encounter colors that are not normal in nature or not normal in food and you start to be able to be recognizable as highly processed. You can definitely tweak these a little bit and you can see how you can lighten up or darken up that pink by pulling the red because it's in the red family. So I say, I would just kind of leave it where it is for the most part and maybe even settle on around there. Now the hue is adjusting the shade of color. It's the shade of red, it's the shade of pink, it's the shade of blue. The saturation level is how much of it is really going to be there. So now that we've settled on a pink that we're comfortable with, you could see that if we push that hard it gets a lot more red. So it's the same shade but it's a much deeper richer shade. Now these are very helpful in food. Especially when things get a little washed out or whatever, you can pop it a little bit but without being overwrought and without being over processed and without being dishonest about it. You kind of just, you make the image the best it can be within the idea of these are the colors I'm working with. What we don't want to see is that become an orange cupcake. You want to do that for... I wouldn't say it's not something you want to do all the time. Let's say you have a client that has that cupcake and they want to run it on their website but they use five different types of icing and you know how to change the color out and do all that. Okay, that's fine. But when you're talking about the editorial kind of or cookbooks and these kinds of things, where you want to show the people who are looking at your pictures real food, you want to keep it pretty honest. At least that's from my perspective. And then now that we've gotten through those things. Now we have a lot of other things here, and here's another way to kind of play around with the hue and the saturation levels. Like I said, these programs are sort of an abyss. The deeper you go down the rabbit hole the more and more you're losing touch with what you did in the camera. So why I say I want to use a light touch with these things, because they're necessary and they're really important to your workflow. But don't go down the rabbit hole because you will definitely start to get into all kinds of crazy things that take you further and further away from being a photographer and more and more about being a technician. So I think that, again my perspective on it. See this here down here, this is your color profile. And for the web in particular you want to be at sRGB. If you're shooting for print these Adobe and ProPhoto RGBs are usually the kind of standard. You need to ask your client a lot of times what they want in color profile, if they even know. Because it's a fairly technical thing to ask but some of them will know and they will say I would. And if you know it's a web only client, do sRGB, because that's the only colors that the web can read. The Adobe RGB and the Pro RGB it's information that's not even necessary because the web can't read it. Yeah. For graphic design is pretty much the standard is do you work-- I have, it's such a pain. It's not something that we do that often anymore and I know exactly what you're talking about. But working CMYK is like you can't even recognize the colors when you're working with them anymore, you have to be really specifically skilled. And I actually have a guy that works with me who is a retoucher. And there are times when he was working for a newspaper and all they did was CMYK and he would come home and he'd be like, he wanted to pull his hair out because it was really difficult. And it's so far outside of the normal workflow for digital photographers at this point, that it's a struggle, it can be a real struggle. So, here's my resolution. This is what we were talking about 300 dpi, whatever. So here's where we're gonna be, we're gonna be at 300 dpi. Now we're at the maximum. This is the maximum for this camera and this file, the biggest file I can create. I don't necessarily feel like I have to create a file that big. But if I wanted to, just for argument's sake we're working with a client that wants a huge file and for argument's sake we're working with a client that wants to use it in print. So we're gonna go to Adobe RGB and we're gonna do it at the biggest possible file we can make. And we're going to do that maybe 350 dpi, which is gonna again give us the opportunity to make that as big as they want. So we got a cupcake client who wants to run that picture on the side of the Empire State Building. Now we're prepared for it, because now we're making that file as big as we can. We could even bump the resolution even higher which it's okay. 350 is plenty big in these settings. So now we're set there. All of this is all where we want it to be now for argument's sake. We're gonna go through and just double check some of our settings. Maybe we want to pull some shadows out a little bit, maybe we've felt it all the other things. So I'm gonna just kind of lighten those up just a bit, final little touches. And now my next step is I'm going to open it in Photoshop. Do you not remove lens distortion? Do you not remove lens distortion? No. No. I mean it's something you can do but it's not something I typically do. I really do try to keep it as true to what it looks like in the camera as I can. So now we're in Photoshop. So now we've jumped from Lightroom to Camera Raw to Photoshop, all Adobe interconnected programs. So now from here I can do what I want to do as far as my final image. So all I'm gonna show right now is I'm gonna create a new layer, duplicate layer. So now I'm creating the same layer of what I've just worked on. So now this is my edit layer, so I'm gonna do whatever I'm gonna do to this file now on this layer. So now let's say I make a mistake or I don't like what I did, I could throw the whole layer away and I still have the original. If you work on your original in Photoshop and you make a mistake then you gotta go back. Now, the program makes it easy enough to go back, but it's better to work in layers and then at the end you flatten the image so that everything that you've done is all consolidated into one thing. So we've got this. So now what I typically like to do is go back and check my white points and my black points so that I get exactly what I want. So this is command M and I go to my curves and I go to my white point and I find the whitest white in here, this is kind of what I look for. And believe it or not that whitest white might even be here in the pink somewhere and you see how it reads. Now you make that one little half step away and it becomes something else but there are whiter whites in here. So I'm kind of comfortable with that. And now I go to my black point. Now this might be more difficult because I don't see a lot of black here, I see some right there. So what I might want to do is zoom a little. Well I'm gonna go to it. Whoa, that's crazy. We don't want to do that. So again this is where one of those cases where, and you can always go back from where you were. Oh, you got to get out of this first. But the idea is that this is where that little piece of black tape might come in handy where you want to tap on the black. But I'm comfortable for the most part with the black that I have here. Everything looks a little green to me. I don't know if it's just the screen or whatever. So I can go back and check that white point one more time and just see and make sure that if I click around if it doesn't change at all. See that it's a little better to me. Click around on the white points that you see. I'm not gonna spend all day working this particular image to make it exactly perfect for what I want, the idea is that this is where we're at. So we have this. If I've said okay 99 times during this. Okay. Okay. Question. Is there a reason why you didn't do any of the initial changes adjustments in Lightroom? No, it's preference. Just for yourself. Yeah, again Lightroom is new to my workflow and I'm really comfortable in Camera Raw. And quite honestly you do the same, it's the same adjustments, it's just different tabs and things. So if you're really comfortable in Camera Raw rather than that before you go to Photoshop, that's cool too, Andrew. Yeah. Question from snapshots. Do you ever isolate an area and adjust just for that part of the photo and if so, how is this best done? Yeah, if you go back in Camera Raw, if we went back to Camera Raw, there's a tab at the top that has this kind of looks like a bullseye and you put the bullseye over one particular point. I guess I can go back to it. Let me just finish this and then I'll go back to it, because basically I'm only like one step away from finishing this. Sounds perfect. For argument's sake I'm comfortable here. And I want now to... I'm comfortable here and I want to go to my... Where am I? Filter. I want to go to my filter here and I'm gonna go to a high-pass filter, this is the one I was talking about. Now this is affecting the background copy of what I made. So now this gives you this kind of gray looking thing that goes over the image and you could see sort of the pixelation and you could see that it starts to bleed through a little bit, you can kind of see the edges. And that's kind of like where you want to be where it doesn't get too crunchy, where you can kind of just barely make out the image underneath it. See if you push this up really hard it goes a little slow, that's the whole thing, hold on. You could see that, you see how it's kind of like ghosting through, you want to just kind of barely see that. So if something like a four or four and a half pixel radius in this particular image is going to be sort of where we want to be. So you click OK and then you go here and you click on overlay, and this overlay is that filter right over the top of the picture. And then from here I go to image, I'm sorry. Where is it? There. Oh, there's more here, there we are. We go to flatten image. So now what this does is it merges the two images, the background copy and the one that we worked on and puts them together and now it's one complete background picture again. So now from here I go save as, I want to change it to a JPEG, I want to find the folder where I want to put it. There it is cL Pics and we're going to save it. I'm going to save it at the maximum file size and then when I'm done with this I'm gonna close it and I'm gonna quit and now I'm back in Lightroom. When you put the high-pass filter on, do you put it over the whole image all the time or do you just put it over the focal-- No, it's about the whole image for me. I mean there's ways that you can kind of specifically highlight certain things. Do it with the mask... Right, again with Photoshop, that's what the thing about this these programs is that everybody finds a particular workflow that they're really comfortable in and a particular, depending on how far you want to go with it, you can put masks and you can put filters and you can go crazy with the post-production. What I just wanted to show you is just a basic kind of XY and Z of where I go and the kind of slight touches that I give it before I put it, before I'm comfortable with sending it off to anybody. So I think... You got a couple questions? Absolutely. First question I wanted to ask you is if you personally edit all of your own photos? Do you ever outsource or if you have someone on your team that edits for you? I don't have to professionally outsource because my wife is a professional editor. So does that mean you do not edit most of you photos? I do some but she does a lot. Do you do your favorite shot from every shoot? Well we do it together. The thing is that we look at them together and then she'll make a selection and then from there she'll say, "What's your favorite? "Where do you want to work from here "and then we'll work on it together." It is a little bit of a team effort. Cool, and she'll do a lot of the Photoshop work, dodging and burning that kind of... No dodging and burning. No dodging and burning. I think that there is a good portion of it if, she's better at it than I am, let's put that way. As far as the team the team effort is concerned that's where she carries a bit more of the weight. Gotcha. So Andrew, we've discussed a lot about workflow as a photographer. I have a curious question about a little bit about your workflow as a chef. Maybe a couple of your go to pans or knives and can you talk just briefly a little bit about that? Sure. I think that there's certain equipment you're comfortable with in every aspect of the job. I think that when we use, when we're talking about how to prepare food I like to use non-stick pans because I feel like that's always one of those problems where you're trying to take a piece of fish out or you're trying to, and things are sticking, and I have nonstick for everything. Nonstick smooth, nonstick grill pans, all that kind of works really well when you're talking about this. I use professional chef's knives, keep them really sharp and I'm really kind of conscientious about doing that because I think that the safest knife in the drawer is the sharpest one because it's doing its job. If you're trying to force knives through things that's where you end up getting hurt. The knives and the cookware those are the kind of babies of any person who calls himself a professional cook. I use a professional grade cookware, professional grade chef knives and stuff. I don't want to start throwing brands around but that's pretty much, yeah. This conversation kind of draws the line between the foodies and the photographers. I'm like, "What are they talking about? "Pans and knives and..." Do we have any final questions in this segment from anyone in the audience? I'll ask one more question then. Ot sog would like to know if you could talk a little bit about processing batches of photos if you ever do that like batches for exposure or color balance. The only time I really use a batch process in Photoshop is when I'm resizing and formatting pictures for the web once they're already finished. I really am not comfortable with... Let's say, if I had selected like 10 pictures and dragged it into Camera Raw and they gave me the opportunity to set certain points on that that would be appropriate for all the pictures. I would do that just to save keystrokes meaning, remember I said I jumped at the sharpening and the other one up from 25 to 50, I would select all in Camera Raw and then make those the ones that I put on every picture, that's the only time I would batch it. And then if I'm using batch for like Photoshop it would be to resize stuff or something that's appropriate for finished images. But as far as trying to completely process images all at one time, I find that impossible, there's too many color variations, there's too many light variations.

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

  • <p>This was one of the best workshops I&#39;ve ever taken in my life – in person or digital.</p> <p>Andrew is a fantastic teacher – if I hadn&#39;t known his first career was as a professor, I would have guessed it based on the quality of teaching. He had a casual attitude, sense of fun, and easy-going manner of speech that made him immediately accessible, and a joy to watch for the entire sixteen hours (which I completed in just under three days).</p> <p>For me, the main value of the workshop was to be found in the first day. Andrew went through his artistic process, dropped tips along the way, and gave a real sense of how his brain works when thinking about a scene – everything from creating the food, to styling, to composing the shot. I happen to love his use of light, and getting an insight into how he crafts his backlighting and bounce was very useful.</p> <p>Day two had some nuggets of wisdom – and some great hands-on – but much of the tool tutorials and post-production workflow aspects will be less useful to those who are already professional photographers looking to branch out into a new discipline. Still, one of the standouts to me was seeing just how little he does in technical post – a good reminder that incredible shots can be captured 90% in camera. The segment with a food blogger, although not relevant to me, was captivating and insightful, and the rapport between Andrew and Shauna James Ahern was delightful.</p> <p>Day three was great for anyone needing a refresher on the business aspects, and some of specifics of the food photography business were good to hear in detail. For those already selling their work, who are familiar with licensing agreements, copyright, stock, etc., this may be redundant, but it&#39;s always good to be reminded of these things by an expert at the top of their game.</p> <p>Andrew&#39;s conclusion nearly had me in tears. He is obviously an incredibly passionate, giving, and humble artist, who not only feels blessed in his own life, but feels compelled to pass on some of his good fortune. That&#39;s a wonderful thing to see, and honestly gave me a nice boost of motivation to up my personal game.</p> <p>Throughout the workshop I found Andrew&#39;s lesson plan spot on. His in-studio students asked great questions, and the questions selected from the online audience filled in a lot of the blanks. While I may have liked to have seen a bit more hands-on from Andrew – just to get more of a feel for his process – all in all I felt like this covered everything I was hoping to gain from it. </p> <p>I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to get into food photography – whether you&#39;re a complete novice or a seasoned professional photographer who wants to explore food. Whether it&#39;s for advertising, editorial, stock, or blogging, he really covers it all, exploring both broad concepts and very specific practical applications.</p> <p>I can&#39;t rave enough about this. If you&#39;re at all on the fence, buy it. You&#39;ll be glad you did.</p>
  • Day one was a good investment for me. After that... not so much. Not sure this is really about photography. For sure, Andrew is an artist, he's great at communicating the art of the food, the art of proping, but explanations about how to make images is very simplistic. For instance he makes a pretty big blunder explaining the "math" of photography. He says his favorite setting is f4/125th, at iso 100. His grasp of lighting beyond window light and reflectors left me a little flat. He does a good job of explaining his style -- which in spite of it all -- I like. And to be fair, Andrew is an editorial food photographer. If you're interested in opening a food photography studio and doing product work -- this may not be the class for you. I think this is a good class for cooks and bloggers who want to make images of their food. If you're a beginning food shooter, you will find the information about styling and proping useful. Having watched some of Pennhy de Los Santos and Andrew, the editorial people seem to over simplify lighting and camera and lens work. At the same time, there seems to be a theme emerging in photography and that is that it's really almost better to be highly versed in another discipline and come to photography through the back door... (e.g. a rock climber who picks up a camera, a conservationist who decides to document the changing landscape and wildlife, a cook who just so happens to like taking images). Photography, for its own sake, seems to be a thing of the past. At the end of the day the class is $129 -- so... not like you have to take out student loans to get something out of it. This guy is likable, and sincere, and makes a huge effort o be helpful to anyone interested in shooting food -- and it's hard to ignore his personal success.
  • 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.