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Shoot: Multi Dish Dessert Part 2

Lesson 33 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Shoot: Multi Dish Dessert Part 2

Lesson 33 from: Story on a Plate: Food Photography & Styling

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

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Lesson Info

33. Shoot: Multi Dish Dessert Part 2


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction






Hero Shots


Motion in Restaurant




Restaurant Details


Lesson Info

Shoot: Multi Dish Dessert Part 2

For me I'm happy with this I'm starting to see a little bit of the texture within the cake it's like that's that's really all I'm looking for this point it's like I'm cool with it being dark I just want to see a little bit texture going in with the cake for me what makes it more delicious is like what I love about kick I love the icing you know it's like the frosting in frosting rules and so I like seeing just the nice glistening frosting words like it feels I get soft and it's creamy and when I bite into that that's what I'm going to experience so for me it's like I don't need to worry about too much about the inside the cake because that's not what I love I love the cake itself yeah I don't want to be this drive right but but at the same time it's like dust yeah for me within the cake itself that's not the hero the hero for me is more about those delicious berries that just no just delicious soft frosting okay can we maybe show different perspective shooting really low because someti...

mes someone let's say you want to focus on the cake and making it really tall looking so just do give him an angle that super low and this is just a simple body change that's going from here to here maybe just a few inches so kind of you so you can see just how much my bias changing its, not a lot. So the last one I shot about here and then I just moved someone was in low, and then we can see both side by side, and you can see the difference it makes in how the cake is perceived. Just playing a little bit more. Thank you. I kind of like that. Cherry. Um, in the middle of that tart kind of work I was thinking the other day. What am I gonna put in the middle of it? I don't have any raspberries. So you see how that changes a lot, but in terms of perspective, going lower and you see here, so I think that's looking good. You know what bothers me? I keep staring at and I'm gonna say it right now. It just bothers me so much that these two right side by side, they just feel like they're competing. One little one small j c that was like papa cake, baby. Yeah, maybe maybe I could move it. Move it to the edge a little bit more closer to this guy. How about catches? So just moving just inside the frame. So if we move it back and then kind of to this cornerback this's where I thought yeah, so this is that's what was bothering me? I just felt like this this big chocolate cake was towering over this tiny little guy and it makes the little guy look insignificant so with enough there within camera I feel like it's a little too close I'm going to move it back, okay? I think back here might be what you're looking for, okay? Yeah it's just that sometimes I'll just sit look att a frame and I think that there's something that's bothering me about it, but I'm not going to shoot it fifty times just going to talk it out and see what is it that we need to do? Or maybe that one change will work and see my ideas of when I'm moving it back oh, I'm seeing the camera is that it also kind of starts to let the scene yeah, that helps the seams I fall off the out of the frame a little bit like you have a lot more going on then just what you're capturing in camera, letting that sense that there's this is a party maybe there's more things on the table than just what's in here yeah, but I just still bugging me there's just it just feels so bear with me one of these guys in like a little candy, things or something make it fun. I just feel like there needs to be something else here. You know something? They're just needs something. Don't you feel that? You guys feel that there is just something that's not write something that's not right? Can we make sure we get cut that into the corner of the orange and then I have I'm actually going tto take them to find me a little bit. I don't want to see this full peace over here, okay, so maybe this is it to show, like, these little paper party cups going on, I think this is going to make it then I'll be happy with it. Maybe I'm actually taking framing all yeah, it's a composition cause I feel like there's still some bald spots and doesn't yet feel like a party someone maybe this is it? Yeah, well, see just that little bit more out of activity at it with the paper cups that feels a little bit better so I can see, like, how between that last image and this one where I've also tighten my framing just that little bit starting to cut off the cake is like, I don't need to see that whole piece of cake to know there's a gate there it's like just getting it off you're just giving a glimpse of it again sometimes so it also doesn't detract from your main sense cute but you cut off my orange thing I told you I was getting a graft e have some suggestions coming in oh, I really think you hear what what wasn't quite right. Ok. Eso brownie bear says maybe put the tart on a slightly lower pedestal on and then smoothly says the white cake stand base is a little pinkish is this only flexible imposed yeah, because is pulling up the color of that so that's probably one thing I would do in studios change the cake plate which I don't have what do you think about the tart height the target be lower too. I think for me I wanted to bring a little bit more height I think if todd's gonna be shooting low that's a great idea but if I put the tart low you're not gonna see the tart so that's why I lifted it up because he could tell already if if this were to be like this low it be lost so um yeah, we can play with a lot of different things but I think I'm happy with it I just made one little change but do you guys like it? I think it's cute let's keep I got your cup in ok get my orange cup in I think was in my mind I keep thinking party you know and I feel like this I just probably need more objects in it for her in my studio I would pull out a bunch of other things too and so for me for the framing tears like I want you I want to catch that front edge of her linen too because I think the table in the way that actually work together it gives a nice just a nice line within the framing kinda helps extend the frame just a bit yeah so I feel a little bit better having that and I just feel like it's a little more full couple questions from the internet it's kind of a combo question maggie with said could you explain how to crop I feel like cropping is so important food photography but I never get it and then brown bear one to know about the intention of having that far right slice of cake like sort of not far enough in frame or out of frame yeah yeah so you know at least for this time I felt like I just for still wanted a little bit of open space because if I brought the chocolate cake over it probably be fighting the chocolate cookie that was here so it's okay to have a little bit of space I mean I'm a fan of not having everything so tight for my personal style and most clients, some I don't like to choke out a frame so much so you can definitely move it and that would be one variation I mean, we could shoot this one hundred different ways and everybody would be happy with it in a hundred different ways, but I think just to make it is she decision I feel like just peeking in here is just enough because I just want to make sure we keep the cake the hero and I think that is kind of the key point is like you're choosing hero, and so for this case like I want like, for me, like within my composition, my framing, it's like I want people to focus in on the cake still, and so the more I have of other objects within the frame, the more it tends to spread out your focus on it it's like you didn't start to look at what I'm looking at that cake I'm looking at the tar, but by cropping them out, then it's like you start to see more out of your prep a vision they become more prayerful instead of the main focus so you don't focus in quite a zoo much on those that cake piece or that tart that's on the edges instead of just louse your eyes to naturally focusing a little bit more just on the cake itself. And that's, basically what we look at when we're copping to it's like we're cropping is like what's our hero what's here that's always the question again and again and again and again, what's my hero what's my hair, whether it's within a dish or it's within a scene, it's like what's, my hero getting beat and in this case, todd cropped in camera so we don't have a computer to kind of show different variations of crop. But in this case, if we were to actually shoot this wider and physically crop it down, we would crop it down this way. And when we crossed, we always make sure that we crop always focused on knowing what the hero is and making sure that we don't lose the elements on the outside. We don't like to crop things that are too tight, personally, because we like to give that speak and that feeling of space and most of the time for editors when they crop, they don't want us to crop it at all, especially if it's too tight because they need to put title on graphics on it. So if you're doing graphics, cropping is going to be a big consideration and how you crop, leaving a room forward or type or credit in any way. Um so like I said for us, like we tried to make sure we crop it where we always get a hero and a little hints of other things in there without competing. Okay? Thank you. So okay, yes, chose the one o five and if you could use a different lens so you thought you could use a different lands the one in five guys like that perspective how it smoosh these things together, so it kind of makes the backgrounds come up a little bit more. Um, it just gives a nice perspective. Um, I like the perspective that the one of five gives for an angle. You could easily shoot this with a fifty it's going to give you a slightly different perspective. Honestly, worse or better. It's just a different perspective. Um do washington's with a fifty year old? Yeah, I just broke it down. I didn't want you to break it down. Yes, sorry. I forgot I was gonna I was gonna thing and just shoot different angles even on that too. Two things for you real quick was doing this on the fly. Somebody somebody asked a question, do this on the fly this awesome change a lens not yet, you know, I tended to things, so first I remember yesterday and for those of you that were watching yesterday we talked a little bit actually maybe is the first day we talked a little bit about let things when you spend a lot of time working on one particular set one particular shot it's great but then after that move around get some extra shots in there just to see you never know you might find something that you like so I'm gonna take this thing that we've set up you saw I was working so long to say that for this direction now let's move around and see what we got so I'm not going to move anything I'm just gonna leave it right words at and now let's let's see where the party's at party's at creative life thiss chocolate cake is good so we're not getting rid of it we're definitely in a vd in for lunch yes everyone as we move around sometimes if I have a particular hero so now it's like I'm around I think I found something that might look kind of cool but I'm gonna which is now instead of being the cake itself a man do just the slice because from here the slice kind looks kind of cool with cake in the background but I just have okay and what I love I love my frosting so I'm gonna move it so I can catch the frosting just a little bit and I hope I got the composition back they're close, so I should, but I'm not going to jump in and get my hand and there's a lot of pictures we have with just my hand and it really quick. I do that on purpose. Get something that s o b do that often, so we don't necessarily have to shoot that horizontal. We could do a vertical. So this is what we do after we get the final like the one hero shot. Then we move around and get variations on it too. So that way we get multiple shots, ten different angles, maybe on one one composition. I'm just like a touch too short. Do you are you getting the top of the cake? Yeah, barry, we don't necessarily have to dio horizontal. We can switch the verticals. Excuse me. Are you using manual focus? Know this? I'm just using auto. Um I'll bounce back and forth between the two depending on how I'm feeling things. I feel lazy. I want the lens that do the work for me. Other times they want I'll spend the time and do that. And, you know, when we shot that earlier silent, I thought that was actually the twelve o'clock I thought that was kind of cool here's some backlight for hebrew justcause I will link back light on this so I could tell you right now it blows out the top I know I don't mind that back awhile it doesn't always work because I'm losing that that chocolate frosting top I feel like I'm not I'm not getting the full flavor on that cake well, you know you might get something so depending on the angle and um and then you're going to change to the fifty two yeah I'm switching the fifty here's one last one with the backlight it's a little bit better a little better but I think if we went with that and we'd have to work a little bit warren exposure and filled the front more and drop exposure on the top dark in the top and then line for and then that's it that's one way to look at him for me I actually like this it's you know it's the sea and that's the thing it's like this is all just created preferences one way is not the right way there's everyone has like their own personal preferences and what they like and that's like the coolest thing about photography it's like everyone can have their preferences their own styles and so when she is showing it she's going to make change doesn't do things for me it's like I was like seeing just that the shadows and the cake just followed and seeing the light only across that this I want to see almost like your you have like that, you know, late morning and just the light's coming in through a window and the party's starting to happen. It's they're all just different shots and different ways to look at it. Your way would be great too. I'm not just saying that either. All right, let's, go back to the fifty so obviously have to move in closer, right? Because we're treating with different vocally oh, yeah, thank you. I knew that was gonna happen right there now, it's going to change the back a little bit a little bit because sorry. So now instead of having a focal perspective like this it's also moving a little bit wider too. So it's gonna be a little dirt it's going to be a little bit harder to trim these edges because it's now just here instead of here where it was cropping that often still giving about the rest of same framing I can crop it off. I'm gonna start losing your cup too, so I just have to make a choice well, we can crop it composed to if we want to keep that cup it's just changing the perspective just a little bit let me break this up so now you see using the fifty because the perspective it spreads things out a little bit more that cake looks a lot smaller remember the last one that cake was more heroic and and and everything else looked a little bit um looked a little bit more compressed so it looks smaller here I feel like the cake looks like almost like a big cupcake you know doesn't feel like it's so cake anymore it's more like a one person signed here where I'm getting a little bit closer to where I was copping it before of cropping edges and that just see how now we've also lost our cake so you'll change your styling based off of which lands and how the camera is picking up the different things too yeah so you see that difference already I just feel like this cake is just so much smaller feel smaller? Is that a comparison between the one o five and the one in the fifty? Is that so? I was I'm sorry is that the one? Yes. The one on the left is the one of five on the right is the fifty okay it's everything starts to fall back more than fifty yet less compression so everything in the back um the one o five and everything in the back becomes forward a little bit more so with the one of five the cake comes forward a little bit more and it looks bigger, whereas on the fifty, things get spread out a little bit more because it's, a it's, a it's, a water focal length. Well, the lightest change to the light's changed you the way. I forgot to have her filling this one. Two sets of different things are there. Everything's changed about it.

Class Materials

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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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