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5.2 Strategies for Food Photography Assignments

In this lesson you'll learn about gear selection, working tips, and what will be expected from assigning editors for food photography assignments.

5.2 Strategies for Food Photography Assignments

Here, we're going to look at some food and assignment photography. I'll be honest, these photos were shot by my wife. She is more of the food and architecture photographer in the family. So first, we're going to look at photos from a nice little restaurant here in Mexico City. Pretty standard style of assignment photography, restaurant photography, or even an arts and life section. Or even an arts and life section piece. So we're gonna look quickly through the ros here. Here we see in our establishing shot, creating a nice overview of the room. You can see, here, the difference between these two photos. This is without a strobe firing in the background, and this is with the strobe firing in the background. You see, without the strobe we have a dark room, and it pops up the light back here. It also brings some nice highlights to the photos here, which is a nice little addition. Slowly we start to move around some of the interior, play with the lighting a bit more. We can see we opened it up here. We went from shutter speed, we increased the shutter speed. I also will mention we're shooting at a high aperture here to keep focus on as much of the entire photo as possible. So I will mention we're shooting at a high aperture here, an aperture of ten. But we want to keep the depth of field solid throughout the entire photo. So start to move around and in one of those photos we're gonna have captured what we're looking for. Most likely this one is going to be one that we'll use. We'll adjust the lighting. We'll bring this bench down a little bit. We'll bring up this corner a little bit, and put in a little color here in the wood grain. We'll move onto a new composition. And start to play around with, we have nice material wallpaper and some classic photos in there. And start to play a little bit around with the composition. A few different options. This would be a nice page. This would look great on a magazine page, this photo right here. With their mescals, they like to serve different kinds of spices and salts. So this is important. This will be obviously mentioned in the story. So important photo to get. Here we see a nice one. We can also notice we're getting in pretty close here and this is with the macro ability of the lens. And another different interesting composition. And notice just how a slight movement of the camera from this angle to this angle can create a dramatically different photo. Now a nice simple composition of the bar, trying to make one here. Moving things around a bit. And another nice shot here. We tried a couple with the guys sitting in there, the bar guys sitting in there. And then a couple without. Here we go. So we had some photos there with the guys from the bar in, and now we have some without. Notice how simple elements such as the three cups here and the beer bottle here add a nice composition. And some nice photos here of the bowls. And the outside light wasn't so good at that point. Was largely backlit. The sun would have been over, just getting ready to set back there. More detail shots, and then just wait for a bit longer, and get some nice nighttime shots here. These are a little bit more atmospheric, this is a good one here. So that's that, that's a take from an assignment at a restaurant. I'll mention they don't serve food, they're just known for their drinks, so I didn't have any food there, but these are the finished photos. So here we can see the same photo. A lot more of processing work has been done to bring out the shadows and really sort of level it off nicely. We have this nice composition here. This one looks great. Again here. Nice shot of the bar, the food, and that's it. There's an assignment there. Here we're going to look at another assignment, more food style, but also a nice overview of the restaurant. This is a nice composition, shows a lot of color and life. Also highlights the style of food that is there. For restaurant stories, it's also very important to capture the atmosphere in the photos and find great photos that represent that. So here we have a little bit more of a macro shot like I talked about earlier. And another different interesting composition. And another different composition. This would run great next to another photo in a newspaper or magazine. More of a macro shot. I'm gonna show the difference of moving in a little closer. We get just more of a unique photo, which complements some of the other ones nicely as well. And shot of the interior. Oops! Another food shot, sorry these may not be in perfect order. And a nice interior photo. Usually, these restaurants are very tough working situations. They're very busy, and a million other things are going on. You might not be a priority at the time. One tip for that is if possible, show up at off peak hours, when the restaurant and the chef has a little more time. But these are good times to get nice busy atmosphere photos. This is a little more on the fly, interior photography but that is often what we have to do. So hopefully that gives you some good insight into food and architecture photography. Next, we're gonna dive into my personal favorite, photo stories.

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