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Lesson 3 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

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Lesson Info

3. Plating

Next Lesson: Hero Shots


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction






Hero Shots


Motion in Restaurant




Restaurant Details


Lesson Info


So what's the first dish economy? So the first dish is gonna be a cold salad Sabi chain made with Yellowtail. So it's really nice and fresh started. Get warm here. I think this dish is perfect for summer. So when were you gonna be playing it? Every years. Okay, this is our old station. Were salads. Okay, so I think I'm gonna get some detail. Why don't you get the wide? Maybe you grab it from here. And then why don't you just get started? We can if you make it great, OK? Monta, go ahead and just pretend we're not here. Just make your dish. But if you can, don't go too fast. Let us catch what you're trying to do. And if there's any narration and your end, like if you want to let us know, I'm gonna be cutting the cucumber. Next. Those cues help us so that we kind of expected nowhere to go. Okay. Okay. Right. Some shooting on in 85. Feel good with the sleds. It could be a little hard because it's not a macro, but I like the perspective on it. Which one are you shooting with? 50 50. Great a...

nd you can just move a little slower. It's awesome. So I really love peekaboo shots. Peekaboo shots are kind of like, really intimate allowed you to peek into what people are doing. And how I do that is is finding an object placing it in front of the frame and blurring it out. And that really gives that fuel of intimacy. So when you're shooting a either portrait or a fast action shot, it just feels really natural to be ableto to have that placement in there because it feels like you're peeking into the experience and what they're doing. What you doing that. Okay, go for it. While you did that really fast, you one more time. Just too good. You know what you're doing? Okay, go. That's beautiful. It's beautiful. Beautiful. Okay, my in your way. Talk. Yeah, that's great. So she's gonna start plating. It's gonna be pretty quick. So you want to get you to buy one, right? Right. Give us one sec. I've got my You need the stepping stone in your shop. No, this is really beautiful. Is there any garnish on this dish? It all there is. What kind of guy? Okay, you? Yeah. Is only are they in contacts like a Sprinkle or garnish? You would have some type of across. Okay. So, today, can you catch that motion Blur? She's gonna do much of Sprinkles on top. Okay, so can you catch that? Hold on. Give us he's gonna catch that. Okay, that's good. Okay. Did you catch that Blur? I'm gonna take it lighter whenever you're ready. That's fine. Oh, my God. There's that fire going on behind you. She catch fire all to this catch that one. That's amazing. Joe, can you do that one time? Sorry. That's beautiful. Did you get the fire shot? So first dishes like this could die pretty quick, so we're gonna try to bring it over. Um, if do we have backup? So mantra just in case. A long way to do that. Okay, so let's identify camera front. Chef Monica, where did you play it? To? Where you were once, like the front to go camera front going this way. That's really super beautiful. So Chef's gonna place the fish onto the grill, and unfortunately, it's a really slow grilled dish, so we can't have a fake it to make it at fire. All right, You're awesome. He's gonna make fire. He's gonna take fire. Fire! You're making all these changes to your recipe. Oh, my God, that's awesome. That's also is it possible to have you back? Just get, is we? And if you can back out when you get a chance to my in your friend you were right. Just let me know when you're going in. So what's the fire time for this? About way to go about. Okay. And then the meantime, you're gonna prep over here. There's not a lot of interest right here. There's nothing going on right here. So while we're waiting for the fish to finish, we figure we have about four minutes to be able to get some sneak in some really great ingredient shots. So, chef sauce and he's working with us and and getting his knees it out. I'm just helping a composition of it. There's two whiting, radiant set of side by side. So I just separated them with the herb. Anything we can do to great get, like, the still life, um, shots. And he's got a awesome life here. Great. Can I do several quick? Do you mind if I That actually is not It's not. Can you add it? So when Todd shooting my role is Sometimes there's a scene that doesn't need to photographers. So I'll go ahead and help style and help with composition and color placement for the dish. So talking, Get it ready? Because now we have about probably three minutes for the fish fish. So then I kind of step back from my role as a photographer and work as a food stylists and help and composition and working with the props that he has. Can I take a look book with him? That's great. Little more top down way. Have water way water. These okay? I think that shot was good, but I think, Yeah, it's awesome. Here, this one. All this was awesome. That's great. So what's really gonna make this dish stand out? Watching guys is this water this last placement of water? Um, radishes. Yeah. The radishes were really dry, but when you always said and just wet this real quick and having some ready to shoot, I'm gonna add some water. There we go. Any changes you want to make? It seems a little cluttered up here. Yeah, well, he's down. Yeah. Okay. And then we'll corrupt, too. So it's not crapped in camera yet, but we'll go ahead and let's have a little more. Just have a little more placement here. It feels a little too, like, perfectly arranged. That kind of knowing your guys this style, that's really natural. So I just added a little bit. Yeah, that feels great. That sounds good. It's Christmas. I can never get my fish to get like that. Um, with Blue Tele, actually should without the booth. No, that's actually perfect, because this this this open spot right here is great because it gives you a lot of room to put type and, you know, graphic treatment on it. If you want puppets out. That's great. How's the fish going? Okay. He complained it now under the overhead. Like the detail shot. I'll get the wise Let me know if I mean, every time I'm back up, there's a wall. Can you back up just so I can get right? No, no. I'm sorry, Chef. You just do your thing. Here you go. You're kind of in his way. A little bit of minor, so yeah, let me, and I'm just gonna shoot underneath. Okay, that's on top. That's good. Tell me if I get your shop now. You're good. Oh, that was awesome. Were you able to get any of that salting action? So are you gonna sell it again? Yeah, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Go. Oh, you look at me real quick Shop. Okay, but do this. Does that sound good? Sounds good. Okay. So are there any garnishes that you that might be able to put on last so they dont die like last fish? Okay, I had a couple of That's great. I didn't say that. That's OK. That's OK. Now that smoke awesome.

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!!!!

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