Food Photography


Food Photography


Lesson Info

Shoot 3: Bacon and Grits

Let's look at how these guys are cooking the food she's leaving okay, so we're making the bacon this everybody needs to see bacon people are probably about to eat lunch or eaten lunch so we're doing grits next we're doing brits know we're doing great baked making and grits um anne's turning some grits right now we've got the banking ready making stays for a while so we don't have to worry about it it'll hold it's not going to die on us and she's turning the grits s we're going to a super sexy bacon and grits shot with on a kind of a rustic actually why don't we start propping this he's carrying around here? Okay, all right, well, we'll just start the conversation so did you see where anne was turning the grits and in that big pot? So we're basically going to do this food and preparation so we're gonna leave the grits we've already talked about this I'm sorry just not telling you about it s not gonna play that we're gonna leave the grids in a pot but we're gonna change the pot because t...

hat's not the part we want to shoot him and so kaleo pulled some cool cast iron pan's as if the grits were cooked in that think for scale and just yeah little splash of color we just sort of landed here we started with this one butts big it's a little too big yeah, I think we'll start with this a ce far is like you know the rest of it goes I mean if it's just bacon resting on the side or is it I think we're considering the bacon on the pan it might be a broken up on the side or something but cool so so that was better, you know, surface color and texture and so the grits are kind of brown they're yellow way talked about putting a party friday gone and cheese right? So the idea with this shot is to take the grits and kind of just keep it straight up with bacon and then punch it up a little with cheese and bacon and cheese and and then after that add a poached or friday friday wait we're talking about the grits in here yeah, what do you think? So you have the grits and in the bacon? Yeah, okay and then the egg do you think we need to go bigger? I don't know. Could this also be definitely yeah that's too big what are you thinking of plating it we could have played it way think what we did before we have, uh citrus shot we've just shown what we could do that here I just thought it be kind of cool the other option is kill ao pulled all these really beautiful wooden bowls but I wondered if that would compete with tone with yellow grits and goes whether it did and have some beers or well that's too much in tone you know what the bulls do we have a way cool sure can I ask you a question yeah what why would that be too much in town use with this this brown booth the one that you just picked that up this one let's go look at that so if you look at the color of the grits the grits are yellow so you put yellow and yellow it sze just gonna fall apart but let's look at it so you see it you can see uh right here so you put those you put those yellow grits in this bowl and they disappear there's it's just doesn't quite work and so you have to separate the food to give it because you're featuring it you don't wantto you want to separate the food this wouldn't do that so we have to find something darker or with color so where we at we're just considering this as you're under surface that could be cool yeah comment maybe black coffee way may not need it I mean the grits, bacon or just hot you're hot just follow me everywhere I go yeah, maybe it is just yeah but do we have a crust? You're bored chris you're you work fast, I'm cresting way just teo stay down preserving on the other side all right let's just try all right and if you think of something else no you're right. That is pretty crusty. Okay, sorry here let me give you some standing so karen's going to give us stand infusing a frame it doing exposure and we start to kind of see the photograph do you think do you think you'll fall off the edge of this do you want to put this down underneath? I don't know what this is this is cool yes this's cool kind of stuff yes, this is awesome. How cool is this yours from your house it is that's just a thing people say hey pani, I know it's like what strikes me is when you're doing this without all those here it probably is very little to do with words I mean, you guys were doing your shorthand back and forth so the fact that you're stopping to explain all this to us is a gift that's probably also a little exhausting it is exhausting today I actually didn't think I was gonna have to talk. In fact, I actually was able to see sleep last night because I was like, I'm just going to shoot I don't have to worry about talking but well okay, let me go put this on the prop table with every kind of critter this fork well that's gonna be grits and that's gonna be egg uh that's true would you do with smooth wave a crusty wooden spoon krusty again already? Well it's just a question you know I mean no, I think andrew is watching I don't know she's probably oh my god those guys she probably they're arguing nothing's changed school look at this yeah that's cool that's cool so we're keeping it pretty simple on set I think so I'll answer my own question they're ignoring me so that's just standing it's gonna look way better than that hey, penny question so I see steam coming off the grits and I personally well, you know, steam I think it's hard to shoot times g wait for it to cool down I mean, I know that this is sort of stay dandan food well, you get it lit and framed and so on so you then like sort of, you know, wait for it to cool down so you don't have the steam or I mean it was a little bit of both if the steam really works well then yeah, we'll use it but it's distracting them we won't okay, but we're also going to put a magnet so um it it might not need that steam, you know, the thing about steam is it can distract from the subjects you just be really careful and you have to make sure that we've got we've got a light yellow and then steam so that might I'm not sure what that would add so like me personally I'm thinking that might really be distracting unless I shoot lower and I could break this team in the yellow a little bit does that make sense yeah yeah we're not gonna do the same crazy so when you put the grits and karen they always more formal anymore this's just for color you see if this is gonna work do you think we should use a bowl? Does it look a little weird to you or is it gonna look? I don't know let's try it looks it seems a little bit too contrived and it does I think it's just doable yeah, I think it's cute yeah, so let's pick a bowl so coolio this feels contrived a little bit so we're gonna know the skill it it just it feels a little forced yeah you wanna play it that humble abode but I don't know what bowl that's just I'm just gonna be shallow shallow that's I love this but we're not going teo forsooth something like this size because the baking booth what about it is too big, too small that's kind of think well there's that you know would be filled but you know, if you don't mind that your border border but I do like about this is thisbut I don't know the pattern will go away once yeah that I don't know what about those air to deep right we're just gonna make this work that's something of a booth yeah that's it for me like a girl that's from that way uh jason line it was something on the small diameter of the ball yes okay you make it as you can see that they're gonna like really smooth work work yeah no, I think that'll work that's in this and just kind of nice texture yeah no that'll work you know on the threats and realize the grits were so yellow well there they have white goods cheap it all they had was really and so the eggs white it should separate enough I think I think we'll be good cool I'm just gonna okay all right I think that's better so we need a surface where we're gonna put it back on that sheet pan right yeah yeah yeah no it'll be nice on this because you have brown ooh bacon do you think yeah, I think this is good enough you wanna go vertical horizontal uh let me look at it this's cool, good yeah that's gonna be great that is gonna be cool, so uh you know what I think we should shoot it horizontally yet, stuart yeah, like it's a loan that's gonna be beautiful. Okay, john, I'm gonna coming into the exposure of this e I know you read my mind way get brighter sun shining outside truck is there really? Wait, wait. This is just a test shot, obviously it's not it's gonna be way sexier than that. The camera is here. So, um okay, so, uh, so we're gonna put a fried egg on this right here, so and those grits or just standing so we just did a test shot. Um, got our exposure. We like the composition. So then karen's gonna swap out those grits, make some new ones were gonna play with the bacon, and then we're gonna put some parmesan on it some shape, and then we're gonna shoot that, and we're going to do a second version, which will be a fried egg on top. And then we'll shoot that, and then we'll probably break into the egg and get the yolk running and we'll shoot that. So we'll have three versions of this dish from there. Wolf. She will select our hero. I think that was good. Yeah. Super super. I mean, that's just like immediately, uh, just yeah, I love that, um, tray, you know, just a crusty tray. A little bit yeah so we should put a little phil on the left hand side of the vacant you know what john? I like the texture kind of fall off yeah no, I like that let's leave it we might have to cut it a little bit if the egg gets a little hot on the right hand side we might have to cut the light a little bit so we'll block it you have to understand those concepts cool I can take a question from the internet I've got one uh can you tell us how trends influence your your work? This was asked by hydrangea uh who wasn't asked by hydrangea hydrangea uh uh well I'm always looking at photography always looking at food so yeah, I guess trends affect how I and influenced for sure uh but there's I mean I wanted to be with in the same style in which that I in which I like react to um I hope that answers the question so yeah, I'm always paying attention to what other people are doing and how they're shooting it um I have a question from ko then not really sure how to say the name how do you deal with weird reflections on food and dishes? Food on dishes food and dishes reflect so will block the light we've had a wee so reflections on food and dishes so if something gets a little hot right basically so john has cut it he'll cut light I don't know if you noticed that we did in two other shots and we had an overhead kind of camera angle of it so the light's coming in from here and we'll cut it with like a black card or a white card um and you can you can block the light really well, especially with these windows and kind of drop your exposure by like a half stop pretty easily on something like this and you can localize it based on how small your little card is um I hope that makes sense but we could do a sant we can show them to you let's just block a little bit of this light so that they can kind of get an idea do you wantto can you first tell me when you're ready hold on okay, so first we're gonna do like a transparency do you see that? So go back, john all right, so now that that's normal and then that's can you put it right so that would be blocked? Eso you're diffusing the light a little bit you're cutting it by a stop so that's without infusion that you got that you got that difference their local areas yeah so you're blocking just one section let's move let's just move this offsets so you can see basically here where you're cutting like just slightly I mean it's very subtle it's like a quarter so maybe maybe you have stopped it's just minor things like that and so when you're building a set sometimes you can have these little black cards coming in with on little arms and you could have dozens of um um you know and just build it out you could be that you know all about your photography if you want to yeah so you can you can punch light back in with thiss your punching you know, if we felt like we needed to do that we could but this drops off so nice tonally that it just kind of gives it a really nice mood it kind of feels like morning yeah so there's that and then you could do it again with with white you see that difference and these air totally collapsible so you can throw these in a camera bag and then you know, backup what was your question? Do you have any mirrors get highlights that you know yeah, I mean that's totally feasible I just haven't I don't use I haven't had a chance to use a lot of I mean, an essence, those reflective surfaces, our mirrors basically basically yeah, I mean that's definitely like if you're if you're wanting to get like, super strong spectral totally that's told me you wanted to keep the tones because it felt more like morning dew certain can you describe how certain light or certain tones of food might reflect different times of day mood kind of day that you would be eating or news well I mean, you know this necessarily you wouldn't eat this necessarily for breakfast but when you mean I'm just kind of putting this in that context so the light drops off and it kind of gives it more mood really and I like that so I think it's okay to have shadows it can give something definition and I also think um you know that's making a decision because the light can add mood so it's one thing to expose it perfectly and then it's another thing to incorporate shadows because it gives the photograph a little bit more dimension um and so those are things you just over time realized that you could do so we could cut the light here to give it a little bit more mood uh if we felt like it was just too bright um am I explaining that? Well yeah you are I was thinking like morning or evening you have a low raking lighting get longer shadows that posed the lunchtime more questions take into consideration the angle of the white house for cast shadows settlement yeah, you know I'm thinking it's brighter it's cheerier it's cheerier food is you know yeah I think it's honestly it's an artistic decision okay it's how you want it what you want to communicate? Um I think I like it a little moody here. Um I think there's space for brightness for sure, but I guess this just feels I don't know if it has the potential to be a little moodier and so that's why? I like the shadows kind of falling off in the left in the light, the light falling off on the left but that's my choice you may decide you want it to be brighter and that's completely acceptable. Also, a lot of times I'm not deciding, so I want to get better and get able to god s o I mean, you could what? So what you do is when you get in that situation, you just play with it. Um so like john and I at one point we thought you should we fill this and then I looked at it and thought, no, I like I kind of like it falling off it just feels nicer if we fill it it starts to fill two perfect. Um, you know, I want to feel more real. Yeah, um and maybe just a little moody and, you know, I think it gives it a little bit more emotion, okay, um, you know, I like that I like that answer it's good to get it I mean I think that's hard to do with food you know I mean the idea is yeah I think it's hard to put emotion and food and so this is one way you do it you you look for shadows you accentuate the shadows or you accentuate the highlight you cut light and you learn that you know and I'm I'm I mean I'm constantly learning and because every food is different and I have not shot every type of food so when you have a chance to play with it then you can but uh yeah I think I think it's important teo I think that is the goal to make food moody you know, to get some emotion and I mean that very sorry that it's best that I mean when I think about the photos that iraq two they're the ones that feel kind of like they have energy and emotion in them that's all uh you know and you know when you're looking at those pictures you want you want you want to eat that you want to make it you know and that that's that success that's you've done your job it's hard to look at a plate of food and intentionally decide how do I tell the story of this plate of food you know, without having human interaction so the lighting obviously yeah that's one way you do it and then you do it with props and textures on lighting yeah, thanks. Yeah, totally uh okay, I'm ready when you are here fifteen minutes. All right, we've got a rapid hey, penny can I say I just love what you said about the food looking to perfect and it's all sort of like there there's there's a static miss to a lot of photographs of people are taking when they're first starting blog's they're starting to trying so hard to make everything so pretty yeah, that ends up not being about the food at all it's always about the photographer or the little setting, you know? And I just love the fact that you said make it really make it messy I wish every blogger could hear what you just said e I just is everybody else hungry? Yeah, ok. I mean, I'm staring monitor that way the internet and the internet is officially hungry. Wei have a question. Yeah, absolutely. We address maybe for you or for the stylists about cooking the food. Like how would you cook it differently for a photo shoot? What choices might you make other than being in your own kitchen? Karen and I'm gonna let you guys eat would you ever put it like syrup piece of meat like and it's completely wrong on the inside, but it looks good talk to us a little bit about that just to make the outside liquid um pants on if you're cutting into it or not that tall that's all the factor also of how you cook meat or ah a lot of times the style now with photography and food editorially is they wanted to be his natural is possible so you kind of cook it as you would at home like if you're doing a steak and you're searing it and you're going to cut into it I would just cook it as I was going to do it if I were to eat it if they wanted a medium where are rare steak just want a nice sear so it's almost like you want it to be really brown and look really almost over brown because it tends to lose a little bit on camera so you just sort of exaggerate down a little bit and girl mark's exaggerate but I think with me and I pretty much for editorial try to cook it yes as if I were going to eat it you know, with the parameters of what the client wants in that particular meter are but chicken could be a different thing turkeys or chickens sometimes they're not cooked all the way through because they look too surely looking so sometimes there under down a bit but it just depends on the client so yeah, I don't that answer that okay? Um karen's um zintan also would like to know how do you get started as a food stylist adding a little bit of hot sauce? Karen that's another question question from zen pon would like to know how you get started as a food stylist. How did you start? I have no culinary background I'm all self taught and actually assistant props dollars before our assisted assisted food sauce maybe half a dozen times and they just sort of jumped in there my jobs for a client got progressively more difficult they just tell me maybe cut some ingredients up and then it progressed to maybe serious steak and then it just just just kept adding on and I just kept researching it because I didn't have any culinary background and of course food for photography is different than food from if you go to culinary school it's not completely different but they have different parameters, so I just entered it that way I just sort of decided I liked it without even realising it and now it's twenty years later and I never had a career picked out and I guess this is my career now so that's how I entered it I just was sort of just flying by the seat of my cats and doing it and I just love food so I think that's to keep doctors you really have to enjoy working with food and I have some patients with it because it's a it's a live animal and it it doesn't always cooperate the way you want it to but that's the fun of it too so yeah flying by the senior pants good way to live I'm sorry I said flying by the seat of your pants good wayto live there yeah, well yeah that's what it is every day I guess almost ready nice perfectly frying in way got a couple of perfectly fried eggs you see this to get our egg heroes so we'll swap those in so a lot of you probably don't realize this so you'll make the eggs they'll stay for a while and then you know you make you kind of get your perfect egg and you'll stop it in so this is actually a great trick. You probably never done that before, have you? Why don't you guys answer that? Why do you make multiple eggs? Because they have different characters and sometimes they're let's say we break into this egg and we have to reach we have to do another one we have to have another one ready and you know, as the nature the eggs aren't always gonna look the same or fry up the same and we may not like the shape of one and we decided to use the other one is the hero so we always have to have multiple you know of anything bacon it's all different looking so just so that we have the options of having something that will work on set so that's why we're doing it we're only gonna be for them this time. Okay? I'm ready to make a photo you guys close penny question from the internet from earlier who pays for the food how does that work? Oh in this case the client would pay for the food so the client would give us a food budget on with that wei would have to stay within those constraints to create the dishes so uh you know, you combined by your budget obviously that's always the case in photography so you know, we had a budget we knew our dishes we wanted to make so well first we knew our budget and then we decided on the dishes were gonna make s o the client always pays for that it should be that way I can take another one to while these guys kind of get finalized what makes a perfect egg I'll default to these guys is far photography for photography or just yes for food photography um just the way it looks I mean just what they decide that is a open question it's it's up tio the aesthetic of the photographer and the stylist and the word what big it's going how it's going to be shown so and did you have anything I don't know I'm not really fresh with you that's that's a great answer the farm fresh yeah will make a difference they had asked about you might have been pouring off some of the white huh they asked about that oh that's because they if you fry it and you don't want to keep it a bit contained the whites tend to spread out all over the place we would end up with very thin which is not bad it depends if you would like that but we're working with this bowl which has a certain surface area and we need the grits to show and the other components of the particular dish so I poured the white softest too keep a white sort of you know within the boundaries of that particular dish so that's that's why I'm trying I'm just trying to sound time they're karen's rocking on the egg dialogue for sure but I don't want to distract her because we got to make a photo too she's got to do a great job cool there any proper questions there was a proper question how much does the prop person get involved? They just bring the props and then you organise actually involved in the shoot it depends on the chemistry depends on the client depends on a lot of things in this case I talked to penny on the phone and we've had e mails and looked at tears and stuff and way definitely have to be aligned on the front end before we see anything in front of the lands as faras character and texture and color and it also depends on house swap the food's palaces tears different different photographs listen, you know that suggest what we're trying to capture so sometimes it's really hands on sometimes it's setting up kind of a buffet and just standing back yeah, I tend to like the input from the people that I work with I mean to me that they were making the picture better but it has to be the right chemistry I wouldn't necessarily way have a good chemistry I think we're all wanting to make really great images and I want their help so yeah, I think and it's also you know, this is a new relationship I've not worked with pending before and so I don't want to be too presumptuous and you know I also want to see where she's going with direction you know she falls into yeah, those things tend to develop over time to um okay close oh god those are gorgeous that's kind of nice. Yeah, I like that calio can you push that plate evolves have karen wants to push it up a couple so we are going to use that glass? Yeah like it actually is it is not so oh yeah it's perfect, you know, screen actually moved it sorry but I think three close where was this why have different bacon because it depends on how it's going to fit in with the second uh yeah three we need three right three bacons well for three I'll take six but no way lots tio let's do it um want vertical yeah just vertical kind of maybe eleven forty five and hey this way seven thirty yeah you've got bad with numbers but like that yeah that's not no I don't like this that that edge there looks like a big x so let's just try it yeah and everything you tilted that way just this guy you just just let me know you're right but I would just slide it insulated yeah let's just see that okay and then we're gonna we're gonna put a spoon in it right I don't think I want to do the cheese on there might be crazy but what do you think what is the cheeses of parmesan no parmesan and I have a white cheddar yeah I don't think we need to know what it's the same tone it's white and yellow it's pretty those I have hot sauce yes hot sauce would definitely that's great okay that's a great idea I should probably put the screening because it's going yeah it's already getting let's dio here we're here let's do this food between two forty five I'm joking right here right here yeah right there here yeah coming down down this down yeah and then open double omen yes you get a little messy that's it oh my god I can't wait to show you guys this but you want to do this let me just get one I don't know should we should we just so that that glass needs to just come in like a half inch just directly in the eye this towards the plate yeah yeah you know what I'm sorry um yeah this is gonna be great let's just put the hot sauce on it no let's let me do one on me I don't want to I don't want it getting too excited okay here we go I'm going to set going to film so let's go okay you know I liked it let's just turn it like a quarter inch counterclockwise sky yeah it's almost too yeah wait so that that piece of bacon that is the bottom one can we break that edge on this side just bring it out so even pull that one yeah I kind of want to see it yeah just a touch yeah that's great that's it that's yet yep yep done that's really great hot sauce you know what that the black on the bacon just pops oh that's beautiful that looks great okay let's put some hot sauce and looks great karen you're definitely on the edge to you so I'm just gonna get one from you so much like seven one and two hundred for the internet shooting in about five hundred. Okay, it's a pretty bright room. You guys seen that yet? Okay, I think we're good. We'll go to the egg. Yeah that's great. You know, it looks like an s um you know what I love karen it see how starting to run around the edges there that's great. So I just wanted to look like an s I like the water on the edge of the oh god right here. So you community you another way just break that a little bit so far put it out. Not towards the asp it away from salinas? Yeah, something? Yeah, just so it doesn't feel like a letter that's great it's just water to make it look like it was just no poured that I just put it in there and it was hot. It gets a little bit of shine, so okay, yeah. That's it that's it that's nice. Okay, very cool. All right, so now we put an egg on it? Actually, yeah, that bacon he's hot. That bacon looks great. Okay, so what do you like? Really? Yeah, like this we're all hungry, so where do you see this way I see it right in the center of the center dead on it I'm on a salt pepper route you know I don't like that so much to do with this guy that this guy yeah right in the center uh oh my god so okay it looks like a happy face smythe which we want to let's take it up yeah try that. Yeah. It's like a plastic okay let's just try it you know salt pepper you know what karen what it looks like looks like a clown smiling I think you see that this is like the nose and that's like a smile I was like what are you talking about on the way here so yeah muck that up a little bit yeah breaking on that break in in the bottom there is that hold yeah yeah way sorry got folks clues no, you're doing great. Okay, pepper what's all too yeah, you know that the eggs kind of funky a little bit but you said okay that it's kind of like no just on the yoke it's starting to look a little spent while you want this other egg in there you know it's too big though. It's too big for the little one more little people watching you have another now I think you gotta break that edge so that is gorgeous look thiss just feels it what's that just just break that way you get a great way yeah, it looks great all right let me just make a shot of that and let me get the other yeah let's just try it here's the list for many many, many wait let me make a shot of that real quick aaron and then we'll go to that little trying hold on so good maybe I'm being teo cleo quickly it's that that was the first second when I did so let me try a either one of these yeah that's let's get the other one in their way all right wei will so and you know what's up with the salty it'll start spackling like that so I won't have it okay not like we have a ton of time anyway but tends to make it get weird okay wait let's break into it no one second lucy that comes up yeah yeah looks great right that's our hero yeah friday got a cheeseburger last right that looks great I'm gonna shoot a hero and then we're gonna crack into that okay okay she wanted more okay wait I'll just go with four yeah be nice if the yolk ran this way well I think it's gonna go down yeah yeah great I think it's died but weii done e great job thank you and thank you karen kalu oh my god. Okay, so uh that was really cool piece of bacon all right s oh are we going to lunch now? I think okay, cool so we're going to break for forty five minutes for lunch. And then we're going to go for another set. And you want to come back because the next one is really, really hot. It's muscles with freaks. So it's gonna be amazing. So come back for that, for sure. I'm not gonna. I'm not gonna shoot from overhead so

Class Description

Join award-winning photographer Penny De Los Santos for this 15-hour course. When you think about food photography, it's not just about what's on the plate. It's about everything around it. The details, the scenes, the people, the culture, the history, the geography, and especially the moments. Food connects all of us. Food photography is the crossroad, where culture, food, and people come together.

Supplement this course and master your post-processing skills with classes from the Lightroom and Photoshop tutorials series.