Great food photography will bring out the colors, textures, contrasts and flavors of your food. And that’s why it’s so important to hire someone who knows how to shoot food in an exciting way. Food and drink photography is very challenging and requires a lot of specialized lighting equipment and expertise. Hiring a wedding photographer or portrait photographer to shoot your food just won’t cut it. Professional food photographers use very specialized equipment to shape and manipulate light in very artistic ways depending on your projects art direction and mood. It's an artistic and technically-advanced process working symbiotically. I can help you develop a food photography strategy around your marketing campaign which will enable you to execute a successful food photo shoot on time and within budget.
Strong visual content amplifies social media and web engagement.
Orange County | Los Angeles | San Diego
There are several ways to shoot food. When I work with new clients, I first like to determine if they need me to shoot photography that matches their current images or if there a need develop a new strategy, look and feel. Lighting and composition are the two most important elements in great food photography. And it’s important for your photography to match between different platforms.
It’s also important to create images that reflect the look and feel of the brand or restaurant. It’s it’s a dark restaurant, you want images that invoke a darker juxtaposition and contrast, perhaps using more shadows and top-lighting. If the location has large windows to allow natural light to spill in all day, then brighter more “natural light” images would work better. Every location and brand requires proper planning and execution in order to create a visual marketing campaign that is attention grabbling.
Food stylists are the make-up artists of the food photography world. They are highly skilled showing up to the photo shoot with a toolbox full of specialized equipment like spray bottles, various tweezers, paint brushes, make-up sponges, power tools etc. An experience food stylist can work directly with a chef, or also cook the food themselves, along with touching-up and manicuring the smallest details. Read more
Food can be shot full plate, close-up, macro, over-head, eye-level or the most common composition, 45-degrees. If feel it’s best to mix it up which gives you a variety of options for marketing. It will get quite redundant to shoot everything the same way and in return, greatly diminish your visual marketing appeal to viewers. Focal length is a big part of food photography. I like to typically used lens such as the 50mm macro, 100mm macro, 85mm and 35mm. Some technically complex shoots require the use of a tilt-shift lens for proper focal alignment or creative effects. Each lens offer a unique style and effects the look and feel or the food and surrounding props. Depth of field and focal compression are the last two very important factors to consider and these effects can alter the typical look of most images that are shot with wider lenses like cell phone.
Lighting is equally if not more important to great food photography, to composition. This is where most food images fail. It takes great light to bring out the colors and textures of food. Bad lighting such as interior incandescent or floresant in restaurants or commercial building is terrible for food and will produce sub-par results. Natural (continuous) lighting or even better, proper strobe (artificial) lighting will produce great images if used properly. Some food looks great with hard lighting, others with medium or soft diffused light. The direction of the light is also important - Side-lighting, back-lighting or over-head-lighting can produce very different results.
Getting the right visual content is at the heart of business branding
product and packing photography
Product and packaging photography requires a whole different approach to photography than traditional food and drink photos. Packaging, which can consist of cardboard and plastic, absorbs and reflects light in different ways. Glass, metal, wood or plastic products also require specialized lighting needs. Sometimes this consists of using large light diffusors and multi-strobe set-ups in order to put various types of light in different places within the image. Commercial product photographers need to be highly-skilled at lighting and a tremendous amount of experience.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with some great companies like Folgers Coffee, The Cheesecake Factory, Sara Lee and Jack Daniel’s, shooting high-quality product photography. Some of those projects including shooting entire catalogs for plate and glassware for companies like RW Smith and Vetex China.
Taking your drink photography images to the next level requires excellent lighting and composition skills. In most cases, shooting drinks is much more complicated than shooting food. Reflective surfaces like glass and metal require specialized types of lighting gear and techniques. Great drink photography requires skilled use of hard and soft lighting in order to bring out those bold colors and beautiful glass highlights.
There is no better way to show off the your drink menu then with spectacular drink photography for your web site and social media marketing campaign.
Portraits are a great way to show off the talent within your company. GMs, chefs, bartenders, owners etc. Dynamic portrait photography will help personalize your team/staff and provide an opportunity to showcase individuals. For restaurants, featuring the chef with a personalized bio along with the GM and head bartender, is a great idea. Quotes, personnel messages and some background can go a long way to showcase the talent that exists. The photo is the final touch!