As an Architectural Photographer, sometimes I get asked to photograph the food a venue sells. Rather than turn these shoots down, I have experimented with and taught myself some basic food photography. This is a shoot I did for the lovely people at BagelCraft.MK. Check them out on Instagram or, even better, go pay them a visit at the Center MK.
Why is an Architectural photographer doing Food Photography?
Good question. I love Architectural Photography and being an Interiors Photographer. But I found I was losing out on a lot of work not doing food photography. Especially when I’m photographing hotels and restaurants. So, coming originally from a product photography background, I figured why not? And I actually rather enjoy it!
The finished Food photography
So here is one of the finished shots. I quite like it. Loads of texture and shadows. Once the lighting is set up and the props are in place I can rattle through these images quite quickly. It’s a great way of getting posts for Social Media.
Talking about social media, why not follow me on Instagram?
Some behind the scenes action
So now you have seen the finished article, let’s show you behind the scenes. It was a very simple lighting setup. A single speedlight fired into a bounce umbrella. I chose a bounce rather than shoot through as I wanted some direction to the light to cast some nice shadows. A shoot through would’ve given me a different result.
You can also see my Laptop on the table. It’s closed because I had run out of power by this time. Always have a plug socket handy!!!! I always shoot tethered to Capture One. The bigger screen of my laptop really helps with composition and being able to edit pictures on the go to show the client helps set them at ease too.
A few more BTS photo’s. There was a challenge to this shoot in that I was working in the middle of the shopping centre with people walking all around me. Many wanted to stop for a chat and ask questions, which is good, but not for production. You can also see the very simple set and props we used. A piece of marble I hade in the back of the truck formed a nice backdrop. The tabletop was the base, I bought in my cafetiere and coffee cup. We added some coffee and bits and pieces and there we are!
Generally, I do try to tell a story with each picture. With food photography, it’s no different. I’ll go through my thoughts for the next few images.
Let’s look at the story of this image. Well, the one I was trying to tell. If I’ve done it right you will agree.
You’ve got a bagel. On a table. It’s breakfast, (that’s my favourite Bagel time), so coffee is an essential. So I put in the coffee mug and cafetiere. The bagel is smoked Salmon and cream cheese. Lemon always goes with fish. So I added that. Same with the green things the lovely Rebecca (the food lady) told me to add. The yellow really grabs the eye and pulls you into the image.
That’s the thing with light colours. They grab your eye. There was a light bit of table that was distracting, so I put the napkins there to break it up and add some texture. Same with the coffee beans in the back. The pepper on the table adds some texture and the position of the food and props should keep your eye wandering around the image without wanting to leave it.
Be aware of the background
I nearly dropped a bit of a clanger here. We thought it would be great to use the logo painted on the stands side to have some bagels in front of. Brilliant, product placement, brand awareness..the lot. The first image wasn’t such a success. Can you tell why? The second one is more subtle but I feel a bit more effective.
So that’s it. A Bts of Food photography and how I feel it ties in with my Architectural photography as well as a little bit of behind the scenes in how I made the images. Please feel free to leave a comment below, follow me on Insta, or, if you need any Food or Architectural photography, check out my portfolio or prices and contact me.