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Design Your Food and Setting

Lesson 3 from: Food Photography: Capturing Food in Your Kitchen

Philip Ebiner, Will Carnahan

Design Your Food and Setting

Lesson 3 from: Food Photography: Capturing Food in Your Kitchen

Philip Ebiner, Will Carnahan

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Lesson Info

3. Design Your Food and Setting

Next Lesson: Light Your Food

Lesson Info

Design Your Food and Setting

Ok. So let's talk about prepping your food and your setting. Um, the big thing here is to kind of make sure that your food doesn't look alone and we kind of busy it up with a story. And so that means like accenting it. Um, adding some depth when we start to shoot everything here, we found at Phil's apartment. So that's a big thing for us today, right? We're just kind of using what's available without having to go out and spend money. Um, but still creating something that looks nice. Um, at your home, you may have a different style. So everything may look a little different. And the big thing is to kind of find things that are gonna work with the dishes that you're gonna be showing. Um, we're gonna start with a bunch of different dishes, but for this lesson, we're gonna be making a salad, um, shooting the salad throughout and then we'll shoot a bunch of other stuff. So everything you see here is what we'll be using in. Um, most of our configurations, we may add some other things that we...

find. Let me show you some examples of what we've got here and what we found around the house. Um We found um this nice wood uh cutting board that he's got, it's got some nice grain and texture. Um Along with the table, we found it is a small table. Um But it's what we got. So we've got two types of wood that we can shoot on. Um In addition to that, we found some silverware, um that's very shiny. Maybe we'll make a milkshake or put a beer on it later. Um We found some limes and lemon um that we can use to add some color to some of the shots depending. Maybe we'll do Margarita. I don't know. Um We found some really cool looking wood coasters that we use, we can kind of spread these out. Maybe they'll be out of focus. Um The key again is texture. Um We found these really cool um, salt and pepper shakers. I mean, we found them, they're on his dining table. Um But I think they have a nice shine to the light. You can kind of see how reflective they are. These are some napkins that Phil just had uh in his house. Um Again, it's thing that you wanna use that works cohesively with your story and what you're trying to tell. Ok, so let's get into setting our setting here. Um We've got our salad that Phil created with some toast on the side. Basically, we're going to place this down and figure out what looks the best around this particular food item um for you playing at home, go ahead and take your dish, whatever it may be. Um And just try to basically design a world around it that tells a story and applies itself. Um Phil and I are obviously not um world renowned chefs. So what the key thing to do here is just make your food look as presentable as possible um and as clean as possible. So let's go ahead and figure this out. I'm gonna go ahead and place this down. I think we're gonna stick with this wood board because I really like the texture. Um And let's see what makes sense here. Um We will take out the milkshake spoons and probably take out the knife. Um Let's put those aside here. Um Obviously the lemon isn't really fitting as well. So let's take the lemon and limes out. Save those for something else. Tomatoes look good. The, the oil and vinegar also look good. Again, I'm shooting this direction, the lights coming in this way and we wanna create kind of a sense of background, a sense of texture. Um Everything that we can do to kind of just tell a story, create an atmosphere and, and just really kind of try to accent everything that's happening on the dish itself. So I'm using the kitchen as sort of a background, but also using the setting as a background when we shoot from this angle we don't have or need a background. Whereas when we're shooting this angle, it just depends on the type of food that you're shooting. The salad. It's a little bit different. We'll get more into that in compositions. You can pick out a little color here of napkin just to kind of set the scene. I think I'm gonna go with this. I don't wanna overpower the salad, the yellow would probably overpower it. This is a little more diffused. So let's let's go ahead and use that. Make it as presentable as, as, as possible. Yeah, it looks nice and then we'll take a fork, put it there and again, I don't wanna focus on these things like they're gonna be out of focus, but I just wanna add, um, atmosphere story. Um, make it look appetizing. This looks like a nice place where I could sit down and have a meal. So one thing real quick on the salad and the white dish, we kind of selected a white dish and that's kind of typical practice. Um, I mean, you can probably tell most professional restaurants are gonna be serving things on white dishes really to accent the color of the food. And so it doesn't get lost in like a dark or black dish. Um, the cool thing about this also is when we put it on our wood and put it in our setting, it really does, um, separate the food itself from the background. Um It's kind of like having a white canvas with colorful um painting. So white dishes are really nice and they also look great with really diffused, soft light. So again, the idea here is to create a photograph that's really gonna be appetizing and kind of warm and inviting. You can see really quickly if I just pull some of this stuff to the side, just AAA plain plate. It's, it's pretty like, it's a nice salad but it really isn't, you know, it's not inviting. It's not like, hey, uh, I, I come sit down for dinner and join us. Whereas as soon as I start to add things, it really is more of a setting place, um, for you to kind of be invited to and have friends over, you know, it's sort of a, a nice invitation, sort of, sort of thing. I know it's a little silly to say, but you can kind of tell this is much more inviting, more homey, less sterile. Um, it's, it's much more inviting. It's like, hey, come sit down and enjoy it. Um, a nice meal and that's what you wanna do with your photographs, right? You want them to be appetizing. You want them to be inviting, you want someone to look at it and be like, yeah, I'd sit down and eat that salad. So now you can see that all of this together in this nice storytelling atmosphere. It's more inviting, it's more sit down and enjoy the salad. There are plenty of other styles of, of settings, you know, it could be, uh, you know, a wood, a different type of wood. It can be a different type of food. Um The idea here is to just create your style and have it be, um, as appetizing and as inviting as possible. So that's this lesson we're gonna move on to, um, how to light next.

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