This week, the lesson for my photography class (thanks so much to Sears Grilling for a being a sponsor!) involved staging cooked foods on the plate. We also discussed lighting and background, which is the most important aspects of a quality photograph. I experimented with a few different meals, and while I think I have lots of improvement to do with the staging of the food, I did like some photos from this week!
In order to take a quality photograph, I learned that it’s important to define the term. Most photographers would agree that a quality photo is one that grabs the viewer’s attention and holds it. It also tends to invoke emotion or desire from the people looking at it. The viewer becomes engaged and simply cannot take his/her eyes off the shot.
Lighting can really make or break a photograph. Poor lighting can often result from using the on-camera flash, so this week we had a bit of a challenge. We were to only use natural lighting in our food photography – no flash allowed! Thankfully, our dining room table has a large double window that filters in lots of natural light, which is thought to be the “most flattering” lighting in photography.
When light comes directly through the window, it is said to be “hard”. Hard lighting can cause very sharp-edged shadows, which can take away from the photo. You can make the light softer by covering the window with wax paper. You can also reflect the light indirectly onto the subject using a white card. I practiced with this for most of my photos, but I feel like it’s something I need to work with more.
As you can see, the second photo has harsh shadows to the left. Lighting is definitely something that takes time and practice!
Background is another important factor in a quality photograph that was discussed in this week’s class. Props and styling are vital as well. These will help set the mood for the photo and can assist in engaging the photo’s viewers. If one of these aspects is incorrect with the rest of the photo it can affect the quality. The props should always complement the food in order for it to be a good one. Also, be careful not to “over prop” the photo, or you risk drawing attention away from the main subject.
For the background, it’s always good to use something neutral that allows the subject to “pop”. I tried to zoom in on my plates so that there wasn’t much need for other backgrounds. I have been thinking of getting pastel colored posterboard for photos that need a background, just to add some color and difference to my pictures.
I definitely need to work on adding more props into my photos. Poor planning resulted in some bland photographs for me this week. But, I will carry the knowledge I have learned about lighting, background, and styling forward in the class and beyond!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears. All photos and opinions are my own. #CBias #GrillingisHappiness