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Capturing Food on Location Part 2

Lesson 22 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Capturing Food on Location Part 2

Lesson 22 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

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Lesson Info

22. Capturing Food on Location Part 2


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction






Hero Shots


Motion in Restaurant




Restaurant Details


Lesson Info

Capturing Food on Location Part 2

And one of my favorites is shooting through it also gives a sense of place and sense of time I love my shooting through a column peekaboo sha peekaboo shots and shots where I'm just kind of like a papa rats shots but if you want to call them but having all that blur and front really adds layers to an image stocker shots yeah stalker shots or a shot yeah stalker shots I guess but that was really give us a sense of how busy places and just capturing them in their natural element without them even knowing that you're getting a picture and it gives you a sense of the environment. So in this sense when I this scene when I was stepping back and looking, I noticed that I mean he's always busies just got ten a team in the kitchen he's got press all around, you know, and people didn't really understand the nature of this thiss dinner and knowing how many people were coming and how intensive it wass so I want to capture all the stack of plates that that was really cool to show how busy was going...

to be the all the food that was being turned out and with him behind not so much as the hero he's not the hero so much in this sense its act for me I feel the scene is more of a hero yes, I just noticing a lot of your your kitchen shots of these gorgeous black and white is that justice this makes tyler's that about, like, kind of minimizing a lot of the distraction way actually will show normal color, you know, in in inside kitchen state. So it's not just a way it can be a way to kind of like, hi bad lighting isn't something, teo, but now I just feel like a black and white gives a great documentary feel to it gives a really timeless feel to it, and it eliminates a lot of different variables. So, like, if it was a really bright red apron that if it was distracting anything that's distracting, I try to run or if it has a really good documentary feel to it, I'm gonna put it black and white, and we love black and white shows activity? Yes, his general s oh, my question is on this is actually from joanne, but I'm also curious about this. So you're working with the chef. You're plating food, he's planting food do do do they ever ask you to get involved in that? Like, do they ask you what you think and create how's that communication work? Yeah, especially if you see something that you really want to change yeah that's great that's going to be discussed on the video so make sure you hang around for that you're going to see it live but definitely before going into she would ask what they're going to make what it's gonna look like so we have an idea of what is how it's going to shoot then as they're making a lot time cell say do you think this looks good? You know we'll see will chef you've already got your your idea you've always made it just going to make it and maybe we can work with it and as they're making it, they'll just ask do you think this will shoot? Do you think this is too big? So yes, they will ask our opinion and we'll give subtle changes if we think maura settle advice if we think it could make the dish photograph better as long as it doesn't change the integrity of the recipe or they have to go back and change the recipe which there's a lot of times during a dinner scene, they're not going to do so. There is a lot of working back and forth with the chef there might be a few chefs that just are no this's how it's done it's always has been and I won't be open to any parsley on top so okay it'll depend on the scenario for sure you know there's like she talked about there's someone times when it's like we're lucky that we get to have the chef's undivided attention for playing the dish other times there's like not you're there in the middle of service things were going out you just happen to get one plate now the plates going out tio the customer and so you're just dealing with what you've got and just trying to capture it the best you can. So so yeah, this was chef david chang of mama fuku mama fuku fame in new york city and you know, I'm part of him too he's like this really cute panda bear smiley to a lot of times in an in a restaurant you know, there's there's so much intensive activity they don't get to release and relax and part of it in during this evening that was that he was really loving, engaging with his team because they do so much with him and you could tell it was such a great team so there's a lot of activity going on there making sure we captured a little bit of that little bit of personality showing them a little bit more relaxed, showing interaction, anything that can make you feel like you're there in the restaurant with him as well and we talk about sense of detail we all talked about detail shots capturing detail in so many different ways how we should detail is always doing the basic, you know, safe shot on the table and but also to try to capture detail in a sense of taste in a different way we try to move it around so the first shot on the table looked good, but it just didn't feel like there was enough interaction and this dinner party this dinner event was so formal already I tried to bring the formality out of it a little bit, so I grabbed a waiter that was walking binds can you hold this brought him to the light and I felt that that was a little more engaging. Um so when we shoot detail if we're not happy with a detail shot it's always in the back of her mind and the back of our shot list it try to make it a little more interactive and it was not even just a matter of being unhappy with it just a matter of let's get something else to you know that way it's like we're mixing it up a little bit again it's like you have your safe one and then you know if you have a time just like play with it a little bit and an activity in movement, taste and these air our favorite shots when they're not so like perfectly cleaning or white table top white linen dinners this is part of ice culinary again and the best part of at the end of each cooking class day or whatever that session is whatever they cook the whole students you know, the whole class and all the students eat together and it's just the best scene and everybody pulls out plates or paper plates and they'll eat and they just dive into everything they made and that activity is so awesome to see and we love that activity it's not just hero and always beauty and perfect his activity gives that feel of authenticity so we're always looking for a movement or motion which we'll talk about where there's activity going on that we run over there because we're lucky if we have two of us and a lot of clients hires because there is too because they know they're going to get two different angles and that's how we sell ourselves and sell our work restaurant work is yeah, we charge more money than everybody else but you're getting to people two different perspectives and they love that so they always know that if there's on ly an opportunity to shoot portrait now but there's activity going on over there they're going we're gonna be able to get that for them and clients always asked can we get active shots? That's always they love that say we have the shot list but we love active shot so always keep that as a priority activity and then when we're shooting, we always shoot things in relation to a story in this sense too, and also how a client will use it because they want that activity in terms of motion movement pouring, but they also also want that detail shot, so if you're really wrapped into shooting some type of activity, don't forget that when they're done, go and get that detail because sometimes you show so wrapped in shooting that activity and everything that's going on you think? Wow, that was awesome, dunn then you walk away and you think you never did a thing mr detail because in admirably the client is going to say where's my detail and you don't want to let that happen to you and say I didn't have it and if you try to crop it all the way down, you're probably not gonna make it it's not gonna look good, I'd rather say be honest say no, I'm sorry didn't capture it then try to give them a really bad blurry photo and I know because that's happened to me because I get so wrapped up in what's going on like, wow, that was also did you shoot anything that way chasing down the waiter's like that, but it is so easy to get wrapped up on location shoots yes, so we have several people talking about asking about the lighting again and for not just the location you're gonna just show us later, but they're wondering if you use flash for things like the activity shots do you only use natural light to use tripods when you're on location? Is their questions from running there? Mish mish mish mush thou of alex food for thought so lots of questions about that question knows so much answer. So one thing I think I'm just the benefit of how technology has increased in how our camera bodies have become amazing is that we've pretty much been able to step away from having or from using strobes or any camera flash at this point. Um, yeah, we don't even pack him anymore, and so it was hard though, but we had a practice yeah practiced a lot to try to make sure we understood life, so we didn't need it, but it was always there just as a crutch, but, you know, it's like we s o this point we do pretty much just you just straight natural light or using the light of the environment sometimes, you know it may be going back, teo, the pack to cash it it's very dark in between the kitchen and where they're serving at actually where they're serving it's fairly dark, moody you're lighting eso it's like get for that it's like you're sometimes using one light to from maybe from the kitchen when the waiters opening the door to go through to use that to capture a moment. Um, other times, you're just time yet or moving things around to finding where you have enough light to capture your subject will also we will use a tripod. But we never in restaurant you find you never have room to spread out a tripod were almost using a tripod more in the sense of a mono pod. I have it as I do. Reason I'm bringing try five still it's just in case. And you never know. You might be able to set up a tripod and be able to stage it instead of just packing just a mono pod. That's. More for motion way kneedler but that's but there were sloshed. Yeah, but that's why? We still will bring it for those instances where it's like we needed and so we'll still pack a tripod and bring it with us. And like I said, usually, though in a restaurant, I just have the legs still together, just using as one and so that's great when you do need it or when you want to capture a slow motion shots so you have to have your where you have that motion blur going cross the image, you have to have a slow shutter speed so he's put upon the tripod and rocket but everything we shoot you see here is all natural light and also has to do with timing and that's. Another thing in pre pro is I'm very active about asking a lot of questions when is this dish going to come out? And before even before that asking the right director, what time is the shoot about? What time is the food gonna be plated? Can I get there a little bit earlier? Can I get there in the morning? You know, can I get there in the morning to shoot the detail of the restaurant? You know? But if I do that it's going to be this much war and all that goes into the conversation because if I go there earlier, I could get a better shot and all that goes into play, and I'm always wanting to know where, how when sunset is always asked that or I try to find out where it is in the restaurant and then you time it you always work with the shelf in time and say, I know you're going to fire this at five thirty are you able to fire me went a little bit earlier, maybe four or five fifteen and they will always do that for you, so you just don't take the light wherever it issue were always active and trying to be is in as control is possible and knowing where it is and getting to that point before it's gone and then if you don't have it, try to use like todd said, the ambient light or every light that that's around you and we use I have a camera to d three us it's one of my favorite so I can always like pump it up to where I can get an amazing I also want and can literally almost shoot in the dark, so a lot of these dark restaurant voted that still have light I'm using technology within my camera to be able to do that without without having to use flash reflectors. We usually will bring the five ones because they pack down tight and so they'll be in the camera bag in case we need it, we usually don't pull him out again, it's one of those bookie things you'll find like with the restaurant shoes, you don't have space to move around and to keep my space or to be a distraction from the restaurant's disrupted? Yeah particular, if you're doing it during service, we're trying to minimize we want to be ghosts, we don't want to be noticed or disrupting from from the people or the diners that people are eating there so or getting in the way of staff, you know, it's, like I'm in there busting their chops best they can already, and then they have time for that in there that they're tripping over is the last thing that we want to be. So we try to minimize our impact on the restaurant whenever we're shooting, and when we go win, people always are always surprised how minimal we go. We really go minimal, but we they see these images and they that we had a team of maybe two and assistant tripods lights like maybe we'll grab like a white napkin and use that to bounce just because it is there, it's, minimal and it's going to take a much less space than the five oh, one popped open. So so on occasions like this one, where we do use a tripod because we're both in a restaurant it's always free hand there's never any tripod within, like the kitchen, at least or most of the time. And if we do use a tri pi that would maybe two plates, certain hero shots if we had the opportunity to tether, which we did in this video over the next two segments, and you'll be able to see but in a situation like this it's back to the busy new york city cooking school their story and in part of the conversation weigh like eight months before when we went over they said we really need you to capture a story like what's the story and like busy busy cooking school new york city we want you to capture the window in new york city high rise and all this all these things so we knew how to capture was to have blur so we set it up real quick placed everybody out on the table but some pretty ingredients out we had a ladder and that's when you know when the shooting this we set the stage set the motion and then the tripod is very handy for todd to get it in on low shutter speed with that motion so that's a sense of place for us to get movement in motion and we're going to show that later too and how the tripod is going to be handy. So if you are a type of photographer in a restaurant or or location who loves that activity in motion tripods going super handy so you don't get so you still had that blur but you still have that really great focal point and blur all around the rest of the image and this goes back to the sense of taste you know going back to the census as taste thyme flavor authenticity want to make sure and that's actually stuffed squid too like squints shows but I get a sense of taste, you know, juicy flavor temperature thinking of all those things too a great restaurant shot doesn't have to be beautiful food it could be the steam coming up somewhere a little bit of fire a little bit of char a little bit of like spill or splash any of those things bill splash you know temperature yesterday we had the question about capturing steam and say knows how there's the window in the background behind this so that light behind gives you you know, I'm putting myself in a good angle remember whoever shot whoever ever shot it put ourselves in a good angle that that light will then go through the steam just capture it a little bit easier on camera. Yeah, so all those things are great hero shots to clients love the step a shot so doesn't necessarily have to be hero wick or beautiful it could be capturing that sense of flavor and temperature um time in place here the time here is just students gathering together and learning together you know it's a moment of gathering, teaching and sharing and part of the story for them was showing it's in a classroom setting so rather than always showing in a classroom setting where people are sitting or standing in a typical classroom, um, style kind of got up on a ladder and shot a lot of top down to get that grouping and that gathering from a different perspective. It's, always trying to get things from a different perspective, help on a ladder up on a chair asked for a step stool where I was asking for those things, so gatherings, and particularly in this case, a school you know doesn't always have to be so structured on dh. We sat and talked about how we can capture the school in different sense that's not so academic because they do have their emmick academic moments, but this is more of a learning moment without having to have tables and chairs and books on the two of us like we were approaching each of these classrooms it's like, we're we're trying, we're going through biscay, a mental checklist of different angles in ways that we want to capture it, so we're going to do it. We're going to be looking for the peekaboo shots where you're shooting, maybe through like this. Okay, let's, take this classroom setting. We're shooting through, maybe one student to seeing the instructor or maybe she and past instructor and you're seeing the student's face just focused on the instructor this sense words like maybe that top down, the flying, the wall capturing sing everything that's going on underneath other times will be finding a way to capture the action that's another mental checklist that will go through when we're, um hitting each of the place is, um what else can you think of that? We usually that's pretty much those were like the main ones and there's things that we make up all the time like that just come up last minutes we'll see it like there's like the unexpected chalice and I think there's one thing also, when you think of like the checklists don't be married to that checklist either it's like you always have to keep yourself open and trying teo anticipate when something's gonna happen and just being open toe one something those happens, I go, I don't get that because that's just amazing and to really live that moment, be a part of it to always feel like you're there and try to see it not just from a photographer perspective, but being able to see it from a diner perspective too, because if you're always looking through the eyes of your cameras, if you're a photographer, then you always become so literal or a little too strict, you kind of relax a little bit with the camera down and watch a little bit and see it well, if I'm a diner, what am I gonna watch? Yeah, and look and that can really add a little bit more like I said depth and to your work this is shefrin bayliss in mexico. The shot list for him was to be able to shoot him in different ways but honestly, chef bayliss is so freaking handsome this is him so every picture we had was him you know, I didn't have to bust out the dirty jokes to get a smile. It is like is there a chef reveals is just the happiest healthiest absolutely, really photogenic. So sometimes you get situations where all the pictures have to be smiling. So this is to show you sometimes you want to get the non smiley so here's a here's an example of how we just can't smell, you know he's just so handsome and he's just so happy he's always loved being around people loved to teach love to share his food his energy is so infectious it's hard not to not getting a smile so sometimes so the only way was to get him in his whites and outside his life. You know? And you just don't get an opportunity very often tio be able to work with great people like this and when we do like we are stretching her limits, how can we shoot it differently? But I think this is one situation where he is how he is right here all the time, just a great, great guy just a great great chef and great man. And you like with this and I was at a food festival, we're seeing it for the magazine and, you know, the magazine corresponds to capture the festival, the one captured the feeling of them instructing, and there also were great enough to be able to get us some time just individually alone to capture chef bayliss. But that time alone was not a lot of time. Way had literally the remans was chef to capture to capture the former captured the portrait? Yeah, and let's tell him actually about this photo of him with the beach back when the sure because that actually was shot with a flash that was it was a flash because the agency and the art director said you've got literally five minutes because he's, so busy five minutes ago to his tell room, we need a portrait of him outside his whites with that. Okay? Gosh, how many minutes he said, baby five if you can get it in three or four that's better so again, we're like, oh my gosh, three four you just that's just so quick, how can you get it and we don't even know what the hotel room looks like we don't even know if there's a window we don't even know what type of lighting there was but we knew that it was about one in the afternoon and the light was going to suck that's all we do so were cain a sucky situation so be hard hearts but we always ever handed any back up speed light and we have a portable tripod or like a mono pod that we uh yeah, it was a mono pod and, um a small umbrella that we brought so we told todd okay, so let's get that out all that handy I got my lens I've got two lenses if it's a really tight space that I've got to use my fifty there's no other way that I can capture a portrait on my eighty five but I have to use a fifty I figure if it's going to be wide eye bigger space I can use my eighty five which is my favorite portrait lens so all I did was I had to we could schlep anything up one bag for me he had his flash and ready to go as soon as we got out there it was hi, chef. Hi okay, and the the art director liu was just like okay, you have three minutes left so immediately this is how we think okay three minutes so winning and looked around todd did the talking and I'm like oh on lee light really was on that balcony but the balcony was all backlight it was so harsh in mexico in the afternoon sun that there's no there's no way that I could fill with bounce or anything like that so lucky todd had flash yeah see you there well if you shoot straight up naturally as it was were you exposing for the shadows you're going tohave just everything blown out behind now of course this is still for the amazing where they want to capture that field this is on the beach this is the next stop it's like you want to feel the ocean right there so how are we going to get both are we going to you know do it imposed way don't want to impose two minutes left so two minutes left and okay so we got to set up the flash and you know usually a situation like this we had the flash set up first so whenever if any of you have used me like flash there's always that time when you have to set it up you have to trigger you have to make sure the triggers communicating everything fans stand all that time so at the same time while he was setting up the light I was shooting him post so I can get the position ready and you know, I don't have to do anything from chin up, you know? And he just pretty much looked relaxed todd well, todd was setting up I was still firing, getting my framing and as he was setting up here, it was still flashing none of those initial shots work because we were testing so when todd said I have it, I've got it, I'm like him looking like you've got it so I literally got five shots and then that we were out in, like, four minutes and thirty seconds it was so fast, so fast it was fun, but it was one of those things where we knew we had to think ahead of time. So how did you get those shots, right? You have to one practice practice practice if we wouldn't have gone that if we didn't practice and I mean it's like, just practice with your friends, you know, it's like, give yourself a scenario it's like, not of first, maybe you take a longer time understand you're posing or how you want to at least, you know, just quickly, you know, put someone in a stands for an area where that might work, but then after that, start letting go of taking time to do it, make yourself do it quickly on the flight because a lot of these times, like you don't have a lot of time, tio issues have to do it in an instance of being able to, you know, just kind of rapid fire do it, it will make life so much easier when you have to do it for a job, but I don't think we could have gotten out in four and a half minutes if we didn't practice and we do. We literally with this practice, like every time the set this up, let's, set it up, see how quick we can set it up because in restaurant situations, particularly when you're shooting for an art director or client who are there and if best, especially with like high profile chefs, you don't have the luxury sometimes, of shooting for a lot like twenty minutes, so this is mr personality, and he is also too, you know, chef michel simon, you know, food network and so much stuff, but this is a mexico, too, and he's just the happiest, biggest personality guy, and I didn't really watch his shows and until after meeting him that I wanted to watch because he this is a bundle of personality and energy, just as boasting voice, and it just really is such a dude, teo, where he grew up in, was, uh, cleveland. Leaving there's something like that, you know, but his stories were really great, so again, we had literally just a few minutes and in that, you know, and in that few minutes we have probably maybe seven minutes to talk to the director and the agency that was there, so todd was talking and listening while we do that I'm scouting just always scouting I'm always looking for light work place them, so as soon as they're done, you place him on his safe shot on the chair, smiling you move around to where he's sitting so all this was done in literally a matter of minutes and, you know, his his agent was there too watching and he was actually surprised that we shoot it so fast because again, because then we tell him we practice, you know, we're always students forever students professional when we need to be, but we're always forever students sitting him in his chair and then we said, we've got to get him in his demo because he just has a lot of tongue action, which is odd because his tongue at all the time and so we asked his agent, is it okay to get this? He said yes, it's one of his personality like absolutely great that's awesome and a lot of times we'll go into a shoot asking the agent the or the art director? Whoever represents that, that chef in any way to say, what do they like? What makes them happy? What makes him smile? What tickles their fancy? What can we know about them going into the chute that we can use to be able to get a little more personality, like reaction that stuff like that? So we love him. And that was again done. And in a matter of minutes to and, um, bringing this one up, I was done with no flash and we brought this up. This went up, which is perfect timing because somebody asked about flash. So this is in, you know, mexican. This is chef marcus samuelsson always getting activity for the festival office. Obviously shooting the wide and the branding, you know, there's the branding of the food and wine. The agency wanted us to make sure we got the branding, which is the food and wine him doing his act of demo. Then there goes to the beauty shots of the hero shots. So this is a situation which marcus samuelsson he is so handsome, too. Super handsome has beautiful skin and his tone is a little darker. So in that situation, shooting in a really bright outside beach scene can be really challenging exposure issues can be really challenging so going into that, we always knew that. Okay, we've got to make sure we get exposure right toe highlight his beautiful skin, his beautiful teeth and his beautiful eyes. You know there's a really wonderful peach features that he has and he's just handsome and so looking at it we knew that we would did not want to use flash. We didn't need to use flash because it would be so harsh, so in the middle shot and getting it we this is actually six o'clock light, okay there's no backlight well, actually the middle one is six o'clock for it light the one with him. The one on the right is twelve o'clock light with the front bounce. So this is a situation where we wanted to show you somebody or a subject that can be that you would think you can only shoot one light, you can shoot two lights, particularly with portraiture, so the middle one was done under cabana, a canopy and hadn't faced the sun or the light coming in and all and rotating him to where the light really highlighted his features well and I want to really wanted make sure highlighted his eyes and his bone structure he's got really great bone structure, real bright knows great teeth. And just rotating him just enough to where I felt I was able to get a little bit bit of that highlight on his face and the shadowing on the left side was fine for me but I do fit I felt that it could have been it was a little dark so todd just filled with a traveling five and one white reflector it was actually just on the white we didn't use the warmer the cool now it was the gold silver was it tickles yeah musical so he used the gold silver there's a mix you know there's one we have what's actually mix of gold and silver yeah so like my favorite one choices like what I'm looking for five one that I want to get usually want have the white I want the black course he always had the fusion in the middle a lot of times sometimes there's gold or their silver but I always look for the ones that has at least one panel words the two together usually tend to like that one the best so and then shooting that I wanted to see him like that flight you know, just like I just love that field you know and capturing the scent the environment you want to feel like you're on the beach it's like the commander does a little bit with the palms like that but what feels like the beach is of course the ocean so for this is like we she had them set up underneath so it's still in the shape, so like I'm like with bayliss when we shot him before where he was basically more less in the son you had that harsh contrast between the ocean and where he where he was shouted out in this ends with chefs emerson we were able to with the shade it was kind of close enough, it was a brighter shade, so is close and they were ableto put him in the shave and just feel a little bit and still be able to capture the ocean without it blowing out because I didn't want to be limited to just photographing ham under cabana and not being able to capture the environment outside and also getting that backlight, of course, so that was ah situation where again we always practiced and moving him over and I remember the one of the agency girls with with with it was with us was with us and I think she said something like that it's just so bright there's no shade out here so just like them situations when you think there is no light there always is like their really is you just have to find it in any situation where we're shooting on in dark or close to dark on location in a room there's light and I will if you tell me there's no light I will find a source of life and make it work and the same thing when it's too bright outside people will say there's too much light there's not enough shade I will find shade and even in the smallest places even if I have to break up break down a box using above to create just a little bit of shade over somebody's face it's going to happen so in this case it was actually just a palm tree it was a palm tree you know how shady palm trees are not very much so I had to move him around to where he fit perfectly right under a leaf because they that palm she had about maybe six leaves and it was just like all son throughout so always moving him back and forth to where I felt there was just enough shade to be able to give him what I needed but you can still there still son some little hard shadow on his pants but I thought that that was okay and I felt like that was actually my one of my most favorite shots just because it shows more of the environment like on this one the lightness which is reflecting on the the left side of the this face which you know right side of the frame that's coming up actually from the sand so you have the sand right there which is actually basically acting as a bounce for you so that's kind of filling up here and then I just use a little bit of a bounce on the other side just tow help even then out just enough I don't want to even it out completely but just enough they have a good um depth to it so there's a little bit of shadow but it doesn't get too dark between two so this is a situation where there was no flash but if you compared I should do this compare the photo of chef samuelson with just a natural phil versus the one was chef bayliss with the flash they look pretty similar you know? So okay, here we go so that that that that look this looks like natural light um so um but you know being able to practice practice with that because when we first started shooting portraiture with strobes it fell very harsh and very fake just having that hard shadow particularly on location when you don't have very much time to set up so we practice to make and try to feather it to make it look like it could be natural so if you compare both side by side they look like they could be in the same environment but they're shot in two completely different ways one with struggling without so don't always feel like you always need a strobe try to use everything around you to bring light before you start thinking about bringing year particularly when you're on location, because when where you have to go to another country to shoot we go as minimal is possible as lena's possible and there's never a tripod there's only model ponce yeah and that's where we always bring only small light monta pots and I have one little mono pod they don't have it anymore but it was my man fraud what? Maybe went this high but it's so skinny and wade literally a few ounces and I carried that everywhere with me and impact through vietnam, author of vietnam, japan, cuba you know mexico and I lost it I lost it so I have to find another one but it's the best amount of pot so if you can try to invest in a a stand or stability tool that is not so tripod that's so three legged tripod and try practicing with that that's really great to great to sew those are images that we kind of are narrating through for the next segment. And you know we feel very lucky because we were able to be able to have four hours with this amazing restaurant and amazing wonderful chefs and such young talent who I feel old because I am going to be forty two so it's like everybody under authority what is young to me, your babies so all chefs are babies to me, these young new chefs, they're like babies, you know, and for the star which comes out where we weigh that we just shot for for market, we feel super appreciative and privileged to be idea, because this is sorry, which is fairly rare for us, where we got the chefs and divided attention as well as the restaurant's ended by attention, which it doesn't happen too often. I mean, these souls work amazing hours, yeah, twelve hour days, a short day for them, you know? And they're working hard and then for them to come in extra on top of that is just insanely gracious of them. So for us, it's, like, you know, we've been there, we've then that on that end, and so when someone goes that extra mile for for us and like, we want to make sure that we do the best we can for him, although we try to any time where we're shooting, you know, you never wanted to shoot poorly, but yeah, there's those times you know, when you just you want to make sure that it's, like you really appreciate. What's been given to you so in the next segment two and three we're going to be showing you pretaped video which was filled by the amazing creative live team and edited by the amazing life team up there there's just so many people that make this work guys I can't even tell you how much talent and hours it takes just to make this whole you know a three day workshop work but particularly leave this one and I don't remember her name but the editor she's amazing she took all these hours of footage and they're they're video of its footage that mike shot pass it over to I'll credit her later but she spent hours janis just shout out to janis janis shadow to dana's because even like three hours of shooting video is days of editing and cutting back so what you see and segment two and three are clips of shooting in the restaurant scene based on different topics so we have a clip showing talking about portraiture talking about lighting, talking about plating hero dishes talking about motion and movement storytelling I mean we tried tio cover as much ground as we could for you guys in one hour so but again this could not have happened and all the amazing video work here could not have happened without mike and janice and heading upstairs so here's a little preview video to show you um we're gonna be watching I avoid I'm tired I am diane and we're at market today with joe and monica and we're gonna be photographing them making their wonderful and amazing food our goal is to really capture you guys in your natural state not feeling like you need to do it for the camera just even if mistakes happen if spills happened that's awesome so we just want to capture and its riel everyday l riel tori tori thing stage just basically real and authentic how you guys operate daily basis you know after you finish your dishes will get here shots of the dishes and so feel free to correct us to like if there's a way that you see the dish that's like that's not really us is like, you know I want to make change here there are you can't capture this just list now it's like you guys are the boss it's like this is your food like we want to make sure that we're representing you guys the best that we can and there's gonna be both of us so one of us is going to shoot wide one of us is going to shoot detail so it's kind of a small space we're gonna be friends really fast so we're just gonna kind of maybe get each other's way well quick but if we communicate, we're gonna try our best to get amazing shot and so that's just a teaser into what we're going to show you for the next. Gosh no, is it two, two and a half cygnus when we want it anyways, so much great video and the restaurant is again is called market and it's by chef even stole it's, one of his restaurants and his big family of wonderful eating places, and they're great neighborhood spaces so and he's going to be on in segment three, three super excited super excited about that he's going to appear online. People like tweet out e so busy and he's taking time tio to come here with that. So he's going to help end this urn and segment three um, here with us and we get to talk and have a little bit interview when things like that way have our own chef joe right here. So, joe, give away. We're super excited to see you e I love that you didn't even notice that you and who is it that you like? I said something nice? No, his fiance leo way. You have an amazing man. That way you can break down a fish like a master. Ah it's a good trade wait, girls find a man who can break down a fish.

Class Materials

bonus materials with purchase

Gear Guide
Places to shop for Food Styling Props

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

First, thank you to Diane, Todd and the CreativeLIVE team for a wonderful exploration of "shooting" food with artistry. This course offers the beginner and professional photographer many incites into the world of natural food photography. With some business and lifestyle tips the majority of this course showcases an effective natural shoot style that allows anyone to deliver wonderful images. The strongest point I found useful is to “find a voice” for the story, your images or your client. While I understand “finding the voice” when writing copy it is the realisation that any activity can have its own voice. Your voice can be the style of image you like, the shoes you wear, the books you read, etc. it is not limited to how loud you (or anyone else) shouts. Using general principles and building good habits through practise will allow you (and me) to achieve, not just find, success. The “lighting clock” is a useful shorthand helping communication with clients, producers and peers. The strong emphasis on practise, speed and taking advantage of any appropriate situation both improves productivity and reduces the impact on a client. Last but not the only other gem in this course is the bald (not a joke Todd) fact that any photography business was, is and will always be based on the relationship between the photographer and the client. Building a relationship is the best marketing device any photographer, food stylist, entrepreneur or creative mind can develop. Other courses offered by CreativeLIVE also stress the relationship aspect of good businesses as their best marketing asset. I highly recommend this particular course for lovers of (in no preferred order) food, photography and life. Thank you for reading and I hope you find your voice in all things. FJH...


Diane and Todd are amazing! They've held nothing back when giving the rest of us an honest, detailed look into what it means to be a food photographer. I've seen many seminars on the topic from different companies and photographers and this one is my favourite. I love their no fuss approach to food photography. It leaves me feeling like food photography is manageable without having to fuss with cameras and lighting gear that are outside of my budget. I love that Diane often mentions how there's more to food photography than the plated dish. And Todd is just adorable and has the cutest laugh! They're a fantastic team that are engaging and make it easy to learn from them. Highly recommend purchasing this course!

MAlisa NIcolau

I loved this class and how Todd and Diane taught it. It was very personal and inspiring, with lots of insight and tips. This is not a camera technical class, but more an artistic, motivational and visual food photography learning environment. Their examples on how to set up scenes and stories behind the food and people involved are very enlightening. They gave me a lot of great ideas and hope that I, one day, will become as good of a photographer as they both are. Great team!!!!

Student Work