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Professional Food Photography

Lesson 3 of 5

Shoot: Apples and Pears

Penny De Los Santos

Professional Food Photography

Penny De Los Santos

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Lesson Info

3. Shoot: Apples and Pears

Lesson Info

Shoot: Apples and Pears

Normally when we enter a set, no one ever collapse for us. So it's really awesome that you are. OK, so here's the deal. This is we're gonna do this like it's a real shoot. Aaron and I are gonna have a real live conversations. They've actually blocked us from being able to talk about this. So we're just gonna were gonna This is a shoot. We have a client, and we're gonna try to do three sets. Three different sets of different images. Um, so we're gonna start. Okay, So Aaron has sourced all the props, and she has sourced all the food. We didn't have a kitchen and we didn't have an oven, and we didn't have. We basically didn't have any kind of cooking way to cook at all here. So we we made this shoot happen, and we picked things that didn't require anything to be kind of made on set or while while we're shooting. So those influenced our choices. And then in the in the in the same tradition of what I talked about earlier, we decided to just pull ingredients that were just beautiful right no...

w in season. And so Aaron had a friend that had an awesome apple tree. So we sourced some beautiful apples. But we'll get to that. So we're gonna start shooting first thing. I'm gonna shoot. I'm gonna show I'm gonna light it. I'm not gonna shoot. Naturally. Even though I do have great light here, we're just gonna pretend like I don't or we're gonna pretend like there's only gonna have, like, 30 minutes of nice light, but I'm gonna like this. Okay? We're gonna start our conversations. Please interject with any questions. You have anything I can share any any pointers I can give? I'm going to kind of just keep my head in this photo shoot. So do what you gotta do if you need to ask me anything, OK, So we want to shoot the apples first. Right? Okay. Uh, why don't we show them the apples? Okay. You want to talk about how you source dumb etcetera? Well, I think I can remember somebody asked about with styling and sourcing. They're two different things prop selling and and the actual food. But I think you need to be a really good cook. But you also I think that took about food styling. Really is to know where to find the best ingredients on how to keep him. So this morning, because we wanted to keep the whole theme as fall and the season. I went to a friends. My friend's mom has an orchard and I went there and I picked apples. Um, and the leaves start to get crinkly. You know, 30 minutes after you, you pick them, but I think you kind of wanted the images you show me. Everything was sort of like food that's starting to be a little bit dead or that kind of moodiness to us. So I think it works really great. And we just have a variety of pears, Asian pears, and two kinds of apples. So okay, this is actually really beautiful if you guys could see this just the way they're on this pan. So if I was, if I hadn't already, if we hadn't already decided that this was a shot, I would say, Let's shoot this. It's beautiful. So I want to try toe. I want to try to do the three angles overhead, 3/ and then into So we're gonna shoot these beautiful pears, apples, pears. Um, we're gonna shoot him side on into with a background. Talked about background. Yes. Okay. And we kind of talked about this. There was a little small preproduction. Alluded to do a little bit a little bit. So, um, I just brought props from my own collection. And, Penny, I don't want to speak for you, but this is what Penny was drawn to was just just a denim fabric that's from a local. Somebody asked. Also, it's from a local fabric shop. And so you're gonna Yep, we're gonna This is so this is gonna be our background and our surface. So, John, we're gonna shoot this, Uh, I want to put the surface, are the linen down, and then I want to sweep it with this arm, and then I kind of want the background to go darker. So can we put a nap a V flat? Maybe Right here. So that light starts to drop off behind the seen and then you and I'll put this down So normally Erin would have an assistant. Everybody. Would it all be assistant assistant up? Assistant it up. Assistant it up. That makes sense. Is that English? Um, yeah. Super Long and I think the wrinkles are really beautiful. So? So it's just so so again. This is like we obviously we don't really know what we're gonna get from this. You're finding out as we are. Drape it over here. So one thing is there an apple box and a spare one. Okay, So one thing I wanted to show you guys, when I learned this, I thought it was the coolest thing. So there is this other language of photography. You guys ready for this one? Blow your mind walks right. May not put your mind. It blew my mind. Okay. New York. You know it. This is Chicago. This is L. A. John. I want the surface New York. He's gonna put him like that. It's the skyline. New York. Chicago. So you got some direction, See? And had anybody ever heard that before? Pretty cool, right? Yeah. Film people always, you know. Yeah. Okay, so then we'll take this up. Higher dunk. Do you want to make with wrinkles like Yeah, totally. With wriggles. A nice kind of I mean, yeah, keep going up, John, and then you can pull back that apple box. So again, I'm shooting with the mark three because, um, they wanted me to. I'm gonna pull us back. Okay, Surgeon, let's put some stuff on the set. John, I'm gonna move this camera back. Just the sun stand is a little wonky, and I'm, like, sandwiching an apple box. So, Aaron, let's pull it away from the background so more. Were you more like up here? Yeah, that's pretty. Can you talk a little bit about Len's choice with food photography and what you're using now I'm using that. What am I used in the 24 to 1 of 24 to 70? Um, is it 2.82 point eight? Ah, you know, I love this lens. It's what I shoot travel stories with because I basically never have to change the last. And I think, you know, I don't really zoom with it. I mostly I mostly just moved with it, but it's a great ones and, uh, you know, a super versatile and it it's a fast line. So that's what I That's my preference. Everybody kind of has their preference. This is what I This is what I do. Thank you. Okay. You're doing vertical, right? Yeah. How much of the frame are you getting? Um, not getting that much. I can pull back some. Is this what you guys feeling? All right, This is gonna be interesting. Too much leak we might want to pull. So I'm blocking the light so my background goes dark, so it's camera stand. Okay, lets see. We might need Teoh. John, you may need to sweep that more, but let's see, I want my background to go completely out of focus, So I'm gonna open up a little bit and let's dial down the lights. This lighting set upon what? What you do have going on here? Okay, so I'm bouncing the light into into the windows, and so I'm trying to simulate natural light. It's just that easy. And I just kind of set him up, and I put a mid, you know, like, eight. I'm, like, not paradox fully and probably a stop and 1/ down from full power. And I'm just gonna starting there unless you're going to get I wish you guys didn't get to see it first. Here goes, and we're gonna have to edit this a little bit more, but let's just start here, too, Just because you were up? I'm not sure. So, John, we're going to pull back background. We've got, like, the folds when we just go flat with the background and I'll cut the light more in the back. That makes it just I would just Let's just make it flat Erin and I'd sweep it further back. John, there's enough to it. Let's push it back, like, three feet. And then I think we should just Smith keep it smooth. I mean, not too smooth. Yeah. Yeah. And then I would pull out more. You're doing that? Are we going for it? Can tell us again. We're going for a still life shot. Is that the pretty, pretty still life with, uh, some pears and apples? Yeah. Just try to make a pretty photograph. This can sometimes be challenging to I mean, it's a matter of taste. It's what you think. Looks good. Um, not everybody would agree, but I think it could be really pretty. So let's see. So, Aaron, I'm feeling like the's air. I think more. They're just so gorgeous. So maybe why don't we just I think I like Phil. It is too much So why don't we Just what? We just focus on these. You can. Because while I love the apples, maybe maybe we just have something come in. But in comparison, I feel like that so much stronger. I mean, that's pretty quick, do you? And cut, like, just maybe shoots. Just keep it simple. What's that? The kiss method. Keep it simple. There's another s. You can substitute whatever you want for that. Okay, Let's see. Okay, John, I'm gonna take this down a little bit. Well, there it iss okay. It's not so bad. This is So what's weird is I will have a monitor here. It's It's a little cumbersome, but new when you're ready. That's good. Just go down. I'm gonna just this right there. Yeah, it's good. Okay. Okay. Aaron, we're gonna tweak this a little bit. I just want to check my life. That's already better. Right? Looks pretty, right. Okay. I feel better. We have that funky line in the back, but let's not worry about it. I mean, if we can worry about it, we would have to iron it. But maybe that's not an option. More because we have We can lose it. Yeah, let's try to lose it. And then the only other thing I'd want to adjust is I wanna block light John. After we just this I want to put another V flat or just another just a little too bright. My eye goes that lighter spot right away before it goes to the pair's. So I love this some. It's materials. Awesome. How we doing? We're doing great. I think people are really enjoying watching the two of you work together as well. Okay, So one thing I'm wondering about is you've talked. You talked before about creating tension, men and image. What do you mean? What did you mean by that? Uh, where it's Maybe it's the way you're cropping it. Or maybe it's, uh you're you're it's not perfect. There's something in it that I don't want a perfect picture. You wanna You want something that just, uh it gives it a little, um, we can energy. It just kind of puts it in a different space. That makes any sense. Like a question mark. Like there's Yeah, I don't I have said this before, and I think it sounds funny, but I don't want to make a pretty picture. I want to make a beautiful picture and that there's a huge difference. I don't I think there's a fine line between That's cute, and that's really beautiful. Um, because food can go cute really quick. And I just I don't want to do that. I want you to feel something, So Okay. Thank you. So what? I'm not crazy about that front foreground light, so I'm just gonna block it. That's one thing I could do is I can put this black card there. The other thing I could dio is I could put this apple box there and we could put Do we have, like, a bottle of wine? Someone got a bottle of wine, right? We could just put some object That kind of puts a shadow down. Let me try that Product placement. So it was just your So I like, you know, you'll see this in a lot of shots where it's just it's gonna create like a little show. Makes it that much more riel. And then John, I want that background to fall more. So might have toe. I'm gonna cut this flight a little bit. Watch your eyes Okay, So I don't know if that's gonna give me enough shadow, but let's see, we're getting You are sweet. That already feels better. See, how can you do a side by of the one before? And this one? Yeah. Okay, so we block that light kind of. I also dialed my light back down a little bit. Actually, I'm gonna block it a little bit more because I want one a little bit more. Let's just see what this does. Okay. Ready? Everybody smile. There we go. Can you do side by that one of the one before? And then I just love the box background to drop a little bit more. Maybe we have to sweep it a little further further back. Aaron, what do you feel? How are you feeling about the pairs, right? You know what? I'm loving a few. Yeah, this is even. And this is the part that I'm loving. This, I think, is these three so I could move my frame or we could move them. I love that branch, but there's a play here. That's nice. Maybe we don't need it. Said there's no the same height, right? Yeah. I get just So maybe here, having something that's cut? Yes, that would be nice to get some of them cut way could put aboard in maybe the backboard. A blackboard. Um, so I mean, we're obviously not done, but we're just kind of at this point trying to figure out what feels what feels the best, you know? So we just keep playing. That's already 100 times better. And I love the way the one. It's just kind of falling off. That was actually awesome. Just leave it like that. Uh, well, the Yeah, maybe a little more on Aaron. And then, um yeah, the one in the bacteria. Do you want anything here? Yeah, I think you need something there. What if I I want him? Let's try. Or there's this little my finger about using. Let's try it. But I feel like it's just gonna as adding another conversation that we John, I'm gonna move this and slightly to just block it more. Um, let's try it with should I cut the Do you want it without sense and leaves? I feel like it's too much green. I think it's too much. It's also a different kind of greenery. and but what I love is the stem of the one that's on there. Erin, can we get that Maurin camera? Rotate it? Yeah, right. Hit it the other way. Yeah, because there's an empty space there that could be really pretty right there. Yeah, that's nice. I'd come a little bit more with it. So with so or with I think that I'm put it without for a second, and then that stem that you just moved. Can you move it more towards camera? Yeah. Keep going. Let's just see, actually, take it back. Keep going. Keep going. A bit more there. I see. So the three see the styling of those three over there? Can we do that exact same thing? That was so pretty. Usually I'll have an IPod. I'm sorry, an IPad, and I'll have it on set for the stylist. So she's not having to turn around and, like, crane her neck to see the monitor. But I can't spoil Erin with that today. You see that? But I think I'm might go down on my framing. John, that's prettier. I don't like I'm gonna hold steady for Yeah, well, like they were all right, So this can you do side by the one before and this one? Okay, I think this is pretty. This is what I want. And there's a gap here. I love that. Can we just try to Maybe this Maybe this one comes off the board, and there's because there's a shadow there. That's really pretty. That just makes it a lot more interesting. Yeah, that's great. That's great. In the back end of that one pair is awesome. That's off the board. Okay, So, like that, any closer? Yeah, where I see the butt of the pair. Yeah. They see the coolant repair. The what? We're speaking Spanish. We could speak Spanish. No one would know. That's beautiful. Let's see. Okay, let me have a peek. Okay. Almost the one behind the primary is yet just block. It's a little strange. Yeah, and the stems kind of sticking out into the owns. I just Yeah. There. You okay? This is really pretty. Just John. I'm gonna move this an inch this way. Yeah, Look ready? Pretty like my like, but I like it a too many, but like the do you need the butts. Okay. Like to their to their to perfect their to, like in the same. Yeah, they're in the same position, but that, but is perfect because it's Ah, not so pretty. Well, let's try that. Let me try that. Can you do side by side of this one and the last one? That stems weird of this one and the one I just took right now? Yeah. Yeah, it's pretty. I mean, we could tweak it all day. Are we? Are we off on time so we could tweak this all day, So we still stuck hours way still have our and 1/2 a little bit. Last night, we got three more sets. Okay? A little bit less than that. Okay. Cool. Yeah, because I wanted to do Let's cut it. So can we Mark, this one is a hero. Uh, okay, wait. Let's just talk real quick. Can we marked both these? I love this one. Erin, I actually think this is close. Okay, But you're right. The maybe this is nicer. I mean, let's try cutting it. Let's keep going. Okay. Are you happy with it? Seems to like a little bit more mess, Like more like muscle through them in there. and maybe we cut them some strike. OK? Erin and I have very different styles. We're already arguing, going to cut, gonna cut it. Any questions? Well, so I mean, I'm curious about that Penny in the the interaction, working with the stylist in the photographer in terms of how do you balance that? Sort of whose call is it? I'm ultimately it's mine. But I'm not that kind of I'm not the kind of charter for, you know, I like it's a collaboration, and we're making something, and I certainly don't always have the right answer, that's for sure. And I I want to work with people who I think are super talented. So we'll see what Aaron's doing. Aaron, show what you're doing. I just cut them. But because they start to oxidize superfast, I just rub him with lemon juice. Okay, I think you're a bit, but they'll start to brown pretty quickly. And this one has a little bit of Bruce. So I don't know that bothers you. It doesn't bother day. Okay? He's gonna get a lot of reflection, though. That's okay. Let's just see what it I think we would. You're right. We're going to put that in more In the shadow of that one more towards they call in the shadow. Well, just not right in the light. So I bet you could put it in the foreground here. Just not right, because this is my brightest point. Yeah, Okay. Like it's too. Let me just Oh, I just want to look at it. Okay, so this is pretty true to color, right? This is Listen, this is with checker Cool. I mean, in a perfect world, we would have waited iron the background, but whatever. It's fine. This is pretty. I think it's pretty. Erin. Okay. Ready? Okay. How many do we have any cheese? We do, actually. We do. Here we go. So leave that one up, and then that one. That's pretty. I just think these these on the stem there just so beautiful. You know, when When you decide to shoot horizontally versus vertically, is it for the use of it, or it's for the use of it. I guess if you're shooting for the web, you probably would shoot more horizontally. But, um, this just made sense in Yeah, vertical. I just set it up like this. I tend to shoot food more vertically. Yeah, but it really depends. I mean, we could try totally try to shoot in a horizontal format. It's really whatever we want. That is some stinky cheese. Aaron. Uh, that looks amazing, but it stank more in the shadows. Just go with your gut. Go with your inner voice. Like, you know, before think maybe not here is gonna be great. It is a knife too much. Let's do it. I love that idea. There was one moment where it fell off the board. I thought that was really pretty, but maybe with the knife, you mean the chief? Yeah, well, but let's try that. Because now the knife kind of changed them so it might go up. Well, John, I'm just gonna take it up like an inch. Yeah, there. So I don't like that night. How is it? So let's quickly crop that a little tighter. I don't know if it reads ism cheese. Let me help you with crop. You're on camera. That's pretty. I might drop more on the surface, Aaron, but, you know, the knife seems just too. Maybe it's too big. Maybe the knife. Uh, Okay, I'll take the knife out and do the chiefs like, let it fall you because I don't know that it reads like cheese right there. You know, that's nice. Can we keep the crop? Yep. Can you keep that crop? Yeah, that's me. I don't know, like, I don't know light room anymore. Yusa. I use up. Catch one thing. I think that's pretty Aaron. I mean, whole foods. Here we come. Okay. Is there any feedback? You guys have any questions pending? I did. People were wondering if you could and then we can move on. But if you could talk a little bit more about how the light was actually working with how it was reflecting off of these boards or eso, the light is just bouncing off of these lights of his windows. That's all it's doing, and it's creating. It's creating its emulating, that idea of sunlight. Um, so it's adding more. It's Fatima light. I'm not mixing daylight with it's all artificial light. And then these boards, because let's do one John's. Let's pull that other V flat. Let's just show what it looks like. These boards are just, um, these boards are helping me to block the light so that I'm creating a little more mood. We have dying pairs with cheese. They want to be emotional, right? Their emotional pairs. You okay, John? Yeah, that's good. So I mean, this is so this is what the light looks like normally, which isn't bad. But you see a lot. I don't want to see the background. I want people's I to go right to impair. So that's kind of what you're doing. You're blocking the light, and that's what that helps you do. I could I don't want to add any more light to the right of the frame. If I did want Teoh, I'd put a big B flat on the white side and we bounce light in. But we're gonna get to that. This is just our first lighting set up to give you an example of one way to light so you could easily bounce light off on open a window really easily to reproduce what would be natural light? Great. And we have one question over here as well. I notice love you mentioned that you're shooting vertically is that get it right in camera because I guess in other styles of photography. They often suggest the shoot horizontal. And then, if you need to, you could crop to a vertical. Wow, Can you talk a little bit about that? I've never heard of that. I just kind of always shoot the way I want to see it. Maybe it's just my amateur experience, but, uh, no. I mean, everybody kind of has their own way. That's one thing I know. I just shoot the way I want to see it. But if I had a client saying, Well, we really wanted to fit to be a horizontal, then I would adjust this. I just felt like this. This was I wanted Teoh trying to make something that was longer. I don't know. I just saw it like this. Someone else might see this as horizontal, which is totally fine. And again it goes back from an editorial calm context, so they might want to be putting text to the right or left of that stuff. I tend a now I sometimes can shoot looser because then I can go in tighter and later if I need to. But sometimes, if if I'm going to send this, let's say to a stock agent, You know, they'll want a looser file so that then someone might want to use it to drop taxed or whatever. So that's kind of my thinking a little bit. Thank you. All right, you ready? Bust a move. All right. So let's mark this one too, please, as a hero. All right, let's review ready. What's that?

Class Description

Get ready for an exciting entrée into what is takes to produce and shoot food photography at the professional level.

In Professional Food Photography with Penny De Los Santos you’ll learn about the creative process and logistical wrangling of creating food-driven ad campaigns for top clients in the US. Penny will share insights from her experiences shooting for commercial clients and she’ll share tips for charting your own course to success.

This amazing course is part of the series of professional food photography tips


Sara Zancotti

Thank you Penny and Aran for inspiring me to start shooting food. It was wonderful to see them working together and creating beautiful images with delicious food.


This class was wonderful. Penny and Aran (food stylist) demonstrate how the relationship of two creative people can generate great results in food photography. This class is very inspiring. Thanks you for sharing this experience with us!


I watched all the demo class of hers, I think she needs to organise what she needs to say in the class better, then I will pay her classes. I think she needs to think about what viewer want to learn, rather than what she wants to share. As a viewer and learner, I would like to hear more about knowledge and wish she could use time better when she talks.