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Professional Food Photography

Lesson 4 of 5

Shoot: Roasted Squash

Penny De Los Santos

Professional Food Photography

Penny De Los Santos

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Lesson Info

4. Shoot: Roasted Squash

Lesson Info

Shoot: Roasted Squash

And what was the next thing we're going to go to? We are getting roasted squash okay, so why did we pick roasted squash for me? Why did we pick roast is because it's fall mrs farm I think it's so photogenic yeah and I think that has a lot of texture looks best and it's easy to make roasted squash have allot texture here can we get someone to help us fold it? I'll help you he's just like the monster that hand it off to someone I just wantto wrap it nicely for year and so that it's good for your next your next project way? Okay, thank you. So, uh wade we made squash two different way have ah, justin acorn squash that we cut it in half, took the seeds out and roasted it with some spices on parchment many in our short preproduction she wanted some parchment, so I posted an apartment for some of that paper browning and then the other one is just a couple of chest squatch that's cut in wedges and roasted with its beautiful with herbs and garlic. That gorgeous okay, let's just do that because...

that we did two different kinds. Yeah, uh that looks prettier. Yeah, I'm just gonna go and say that that was pretty so I think from what we discussed it was going to be sort of like first on the pan then we're gonna played it and then we're gonna do a scene of like people actually have been eating it okay, yeah so this is a perfect example of it just looks beautiful if I don't if the camera can catch this but she's roasted it with herbs and garlic that's still in the show so in the casings and it's just pretty I mean it's just pretty this is like a beautiful the other thing I never do is I never trust the food because if I actually dropped it so she always takes the food tio um some front surfaces and you're going to do this about was gonna shoot that above and I don't want the surface to compete. So what do we have? We have we have a marble, but it has a lot of texture and it's kind of bluish marble. And then we have this one that is like a gray wait let's, try it on the that john and see if it works on let's. Let's move! This is are you okay to shoot on that or do you? Do you mind if I just put that down here? I'm just going to be offset johnny, I take it you got it, you can't e have to spoil her there you go, what are you doing ok grab the other end of that job okay, cool okay, so john we're gonna go overhead with camera uses you have any questions or any comments you can share when he hadn't glad feedback so I need to love so you're going with new york again is that correct? We're going with new york anyway you know what actually let's go l a because it's easier to shoot overhead I just don't want aaron to be like completely no we're fine really going six fine it's fine I can just get on the ladder to focus we have actually do have a question from a student over here that's good actually we should bring it down a quick yes go ahead, penny over here. Yeah, sorry hi. Um knowing the life span the food isn't very long sorry talking with the wrong hand um what are your all your industry secrets to keep the food looking as good as it can for as long as again oh, erin, do you want to handle that question? Sorry hey said what the industry secrets to keep the food looking good as long as it can. I think it depends on the recipe and also from my experience all the food that's being photographed israel so people like penny said before you might have to cook multiple stakes are you know, depending on what you're making um I made this squash probably and my studio around eleven thirty in the morning and it's still looking good so I think that's I mean it's still shiny I could take some of the oil that's in the pan and maybe just brush and I had a buddy a stilted still looks great um it just really depends on what it is that you're photographing um yeah and if you're shopping is a fruit salad healed always have to have extra so depending on the recipe you're probably planning for two or three times where you really have to shoot so and you have cooking in small quantities so it's just keeping going um did that that answer questions yeah yeah yeah that should um I'm gonna run off that actually I think we're ok without the level john let's just put the v flats the black ones on um well let me she won without the flats and then I'll adamant okay you want us to put something down on the surface so it doesn't get your service doesn't get ruined um like maybe a paper towels yeah, I might do that so in new york city these props get rented and a service like this three hundred bucks for day so you and if you ruin it you buy it and the buying cost isn't as much as the reynolds um so way just always take precautions because this so beautiful aaron yeah so I'm just moving the food around to what looks good to my eye so there's not like not all the pieces are laying the same way and there's some sort of movement but I like food when it looks really messy um there's beautiful garlic's holding show the garlic's gorgeous where's the wine again that was a joke you guys were messing with me after the shoot no, you have to behave on set all right let's see someone try to focus ready she's good bob this actually happened to me I fell into like a bowl of mullah like a massive hot of it one time overhead like and I saved the camera and I went forward okay, ready? Yeah, ok, one of these tea regiment button focus so I need someone to just adjust the subject squash needs to come down camera wait and then then you down another yeah, let's get on then where your or your left hand is erin uh push it that way way just like sorry I'm not communicating oh, tilt a little bit more like that not not that much keep going back, keep going back and then bring it down camera touch calf inch an inch uh down cameras toward booth let's just make sure that's level from a yeah way we're just leveling the camera remember I don't if I said this but I have a tendency to like shoot off level just naturally and so I just like to make sure that he's there ro become mohr uh maybe meticulous since I started using a tripod ok, ready I'm going in I'm going deep people are probably wondering how we're focusing here way haven't set on auto focus but I'm just I'm also shooting a man but focus yeah this's in my camera I didn't bring a camera they let me borrow one isn't that nice because I was doing something before I got here so anyway ok let's let's let me show them this picture I'm going to show I'm having to change the light we're just gonna get going move this john you want me to do it from this side? I don't know I got so used to um sometimes because there's camera shake I'll shoot from the computer uh I'm forgetting forgetting I'm not using my other camera ok pretty so that is the horizontal can I get it so it's still it's still not straight and let's just level it um it's way which way less so this one needs to go down that track so what? I'm just going to show you something I think it looks pretty erin you happy with it? I want to move three squash is on the bottom oh, yeah, okay, I don't left there too symmetrical oh yeah color looks nice, right? Thanks, john weii do another one did you adjusted are no no I hope I'm saying hold this yes doesn't portrait photo booth okay, so if you didn't I didn't do anything to my light I just kept it in the same power it looks really pretty we've made no adjustments tone wise at all we haven't had to bring down anything like on the computer so one that I'm not digging though erin it's this one yeah it's uh it's pretty uh okay, so you see this I just want to show you one other thing um john let's put in the dark the flats uh let's make a boxes but one here and another one here so we're going to show you now that's how we're going to like make this just give it a little bit more tonal range so that you could make it a little bit more dramatic yeah and then we'll grab one more yellows come around you're right sorry guys you're gonna be blocked but only for a second keep coming around john we'll make a big box yeah and then grab the other one right here. So who is it that ass that is someone on the internets that said um how do you how do you know how long it's going to take for, you know, one photograph to take a long time or how long do they each take? It varies uh we're gonna bring it back around there yeah just folded behind that one just like that. Um okay, I understand we're here can you shoot from the computer? Well, I'll just do it here it's okay? Can you decide by this one and the one before it thank you do you see the shadow differences it's subtle you see it's just a little darker which is the newest one the one on the right maybe you can't really tell you you can totally see you can see these highlight will you move the squash but yeah yeah but I don't think we need it but do you see the subtle difference just kind of drops everything you guys see that it's a subtle change but if you wanted to make something a little more moodier that's how you do it does that make sense now, john just to show him let's do white let's just flip it all around. You guys want to do that one and then someone help me with this one sorry for the bad english come toward me. You grabbed the other. So what do you expect that this is going? This is going to be super break er I'll put it behind I just it's mostly I just want to show him she's gonna be brighter and then we'll look at all three, okay, good and then I would definitely shoot this from the computer ps ok here we go let's hope it works okay yeah I mean that's like a time brighter you said you guys see that right should just show the dark won the last two see the difference so that's where you can go with it I don't think we need the white that's just you get an idea of how you can bring something up that easy okay on the same the same setting they nothing judge elias was b flat so you can do that at home I have these v flats in my apartment I had like a set of three of them and I've made a kissing booth with him one time for valentine's day party it was amazing I had a shoot the day before in my apartment and then and then I made like a kissing booth the next day was awesome so that will be the next workshop okay uh anything else you want to do this? Erin I think that's fine I think we should play it just fine you don't love it. I really don't know that I do love it. You and I have very different styles I also have a staff usher's xi pan so I picked the one that had more the more kind of wear yeah and I'm just gonna shoot it again because she changed the squash a little bit beautiful yes so can you marked the last three this one in the last year all right uh have a question for you yeah are you because here they're using my room to tether are you using capture one of you's capture because that's why touch one you control yeah uh oh you can you can you can but the reason I don't like shooting white room are tethered in my room is it's slow? I can't shoot I get takes a wild animal just pop up capture one is fast and with I shoot with another camera hasa blood which is a larger file and in light room it takes a lot longer okay, so next we're gonna do ah beauty right way talked about do you want tio anyway you know what defines a beauty in photography I call anything that's played it a beaut okay, yeah anything that's played it and like perfect um perfect in the sense that it hasn't been cut into and it it's just a nil astray shin of what it looks like in its sort of in its peak moment that would be the beauty what are some of the other terms for the different styles hero right the other would be, you know, like a prep shot a process shot um like food and progress this would be a hero this would be a beauty okay I mean that's the way I determined I mean like a dozen plus shot would be something that everything's kind of um all your ingredients are set out are all all the all the all the different ingredients you have to make a recipe that would be your music applause but oftentimes a cool shot and how do you pronounce that it's french for everything in place right? Ok he's got a question out there what do you guys all of you for pre screened and that it was because you're going to ask that question so way have a tight all need to we have a ton of questions for the guy in yellow stays got the nice voice the rest of you I'm just kidding weii do have some questions about lenses would you ever use a mac roland's sure I don't want one could uh I don't know what you're ok on this is a question um what are some of them the must have tools for a food stylist so that's a good question uh well you know what kind of work you do but I the work I do and I feel like the work you respond to is very natural so anything you would really need in the kitchen um today I brought because we're cooking that we're really not cooking in the shop but it's you know super sharp chef's knife paring knife serrated knife microplane paper towels q tips um spatulas you know cutting boards tasteless show right here kind of has the whole whole little her whole kit very much right there you know if you're cooking meat obviously ah a thermometer ice cream scoops anything that you any tool that you're really going to use to cook up to cook the food with cool um yeah super simple so she's pulling out all the juices because that's where all the that's where the young factor is how could you not fish far was cool I just want we just want to see what she's doing can you guys get in here come on camera I feel like I should think you would be right here do you what we can move the table maybe we should put the table right I don't want to freak um jamie out this war having for dinner yeah, well it's been sitting for what it still looks good but still it's good so I just love taking I mean I work with my hand supernaturally I feel like people have a different perception of food styling that what really is which is super natural to me and they start with the kind of work I do it's very natural yeah, someone asked me like oh do they still glaze turkeys? That's very nineteen eighties I've never been on a food shoot where that's ever happened where I mean everything could be eaten essentially uh and and the only time I've ever been on a shoot where that didn't happen was it was I was doing ah product I was shooting packaging for a food company that was all rehydrated food and the stylist had to pull out all the hero sorry dehydrated food the stylist had to pull out all the dehydrated carrots like that were perfect it took her light should prep an extra day just to pull out hero carrots hero pieces of corn because there's all dehydrated so when it was rehydrated it looked amazing does that make sense? I mean, it was crazy um that's the closest I've ever come to it not being something I'd want to eat because it was dehydrated and then re hydrated okay, so I just put some feta on the phone my god, that was awesome on the come on, you know you would actually eat right that's amazing and then some days on that great wait the interesting thing about this project was so creative live did give us a budget uh and we had to stay within those constraints but that's why we chose a lot of the food we chose because we didn't want I mean erin was having a profit and style it so you wanted to make it kind of not too complicated, but it can get complicated very fast and you could change sets multiple times and have different surfaces for every version of a dish that you do but because, you know, we wanted to just illustrate what it would be what a food shoot looks like we just chose to keep it kind of simple so that you could really take away some key things about lighting and composition and and then just kind of understanding how to produce a shoot but I think I mean I hope that you're the one thing that you're getting is it the best way to be successful is just like if you can partner with someone who who could you know if you if you could partner with someone who could help you who could cook for you or if you can cook great food but the I think the key is and aaron said it earlier is sourcing really beautiful ingredients and now would like markets everywhere, especially here in seattle I mean, you could get really great produce all the time right? And now you know with whole foods you can get great produce pretty much any time so just keep that in mind you know, like it's not that hard tio to get to this place okay, I would do when I feel like for me when I'm propping there's got to be some sort of balance of I think if you have some would then some ceramic, some metal, something that just grounds everything else just do it, I want it put it on the side that's right? That's right for what we're doing, we're doing like a meal in process waken do like a skype hero of this young we can add plates and then kind of build on that what recommendation would you give to a food blogger who's cooking, propping and shooting all the same time you're just talking about partnerships, but can you? I mean, can you do that? Because impossible it's possible? I think it's really hard possible, but it's hard and you can't do the scale of projects that you know when you have a big team, but anything I think my question is, though, what do they want to be doing? They want to be blogging? Do they want to be? What do they want to be doing? You know, what do they really want to be doing? They want a successful blogged uh, what is it they want to be doing? You have to keep working, keep keep going while while you're and I know what you're my question is, what do they really want to do is do they want a successful blawg or do they want to be a photographer and they want the block to be there kind of avenue to that route to that road to that goal were do they want to be a props dallas or do they want to be a food stylist and that is my question would be that what is it you really want to do and maybe they don't know and maybe they just need to keep doing this until they do you know, but if they do know what they want to dio then they need to do that and then find people to collaborate with him we're paid people to collaborate with um um ok, so we're going to say the same angle I think you're right for legality state yeah, I'm keeping it simple guys because it will be this yeah I loathe uh ok, I probably should look through the frame well, I didn't really change that see? Everybody makes mistakes all right, john already down you got my back? God okay. Erin yes, actually let's move it down, huh? Towards camera? Yeah, great. Now I kind of like it not straight I think it looks pretty like this. Yeah, I think that's nice. And then like this here like this I like it tighter. Um it's kind of more I want to get people in there so I don't have all of that linen ok, if you want more of the linen I can shoot no service I know that's what I care about I just wanted to add something to what you're doing tight, then it doesn't really know you go lighter. I mean loser. Ok. Thanks, john. Ok, ok. Ready? So we haven't had to touch the lights pretty. Maybe it would be nicer with the plate. Um, squared plum. You know, with the with the war's horizon is I think we should I think we should straighten it here too, though. Is the cameras upside down on the oh, so we're look, you're looking at it one way, you know, it's on the screen, it's the opposite way it is. How do you figure I feel like that needs to be everything because to you looking in the napkins at the bottom. Yeah, I know, but I was just focusing. I know that this is the top of the frame, okay, but this still needs to be straight for me. So I'm just gonna do that before we move on. It's better here in thoughts. I have a hard time seeing it horizontally. Really? Yeah, I want to, like, move my head this way. Really? Yeah, I think. Look, I think it looks great. Looks pretty. I actually would still get I just would go tighter. And my my inclination is toe, uh, to go tighter with this, you know, like that tighter john, I want to bring the camera down a little bit. No, let me just let me just square. We look inside e way, way, okay? And then I think we're gonna have to go that way because you're just like the booth. Ok? That's pretty still not from the hood. Just even dropping their silver shadow. Yeah, john let's. Go let's, go a little tighter. There you go, that's. Good that's. Good that way. Oh, I'm just I'm thinking, taking my time trying to breathe good. I like that it's pretty it's, simple it's pretty sometimes you just it's it's, just it's already pretty and I think we're trying to just think it's beautiful. I think we're done it's gorgeous. I'm super happy with this. I think anybody who would have developed this recipe or any client who was doing this would've been happy with this a long time. So do you wantto you break it down, I get laid it down let's, break it down as in let's, go to the next one.

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

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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.