Food Photography 101

by Sarah on August 13, 2010

Last month I had the opportunity to take a food photography class with Sacramento journalists Elaine Corn and Morgan Ong.  Can I just say that it was great?  Elaine is knowledgable and hilarious, and Morgan is a wealth of photography knowledge and thankfully a patient teacher.  It was a two-week course, but I couldn’t go to the second week.  I’m hoping that they do more of these, because, as you know dear readers….my food photography needs some work.

First we got into pairs and made some yummy fruit salad and fluffy pancakes from one of Elaine’s cookbooks.  Here she’s giving us tips on how to cut a pineapple.

Making batter.

Action shot!

These used beaten egg whites so they were nice and fluffy.

Now for the photos.  I only have a Lumix point-n-shoot, but Morgan gave me some good tips on how to do things a bit better with what I’ve got.  He even talked me out of buying some expensive lighting stuff—he just said to use pieces of white or black paper!  If you’re having problems with shadows, or too much brightness, just hold up a piece of paper to block it.  Any excess light will be diffused with the paper.

Some people just brought iPhones and he gave tips for those, too.

Cool, huh?

Another tip for a point-n-shoot:  Focus on one thing, press halfway down on the shutter button, then, still holding the button down,  move the camera to a different angle.  This keeps the one thing in focus while letting the background blur a bit.  On the photo below, I was focusing on that blueberry right in front of the pancake.

I love the blue background.   It was just a placemat.

So, what do you think?  Is my photography improved?

I’m not sure, but the tips were valuable.  I’ll be sure to post any upcoming classes here or on the Undercover Caterer Facebook page!

Here’s some other things that were written about it around town if you’re interested:

Sacatomato

Sacramento Press

Sacramento Bee


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