Lightroom’s Range Mask Tool Is Amazing For Food Photographers

Featured image is a screengrab from the video. All credit to WeEatTogether.

You likely have your opinions about Adobe’s handling of Lightroom and Lightroom CC, but those issues aside, some new features in Lightroom have really been a great additions. One of those features is the Range Mask tool, and part of what makes it so cool is that it allows you to adjust your mask based on the colors or luminance in your image.

This is an incredible tool for all photographers, but specifically for food photographers, this Range Mask tool is a gift from the heavens. Continue reading…

My Job is to Make People Hungry (As a Food Photographer)

I don’t think black and white makes a picture better like a guitar solo doesn’t make a song better. If all the elements of a photograph are right for a black and white photo, then it will work. I used to be a big defender of black and white portraiture and street photography but one day I looked at my work and thought it was all crap and decided to try colour; the effect and power of a colour photograph was so intense that decided to turn everything back to colour.

If you look closely, on my portraiture portfolio, there’s a phrase that says “my job is to make people hungry” at first, it might look a bit out of place but when you think about it, It’s an analogy of what chefs do vs what I do; it’s the link that brings both crafts together. As part of the constant evolution of my website, I’ve improved my design by having a vertical scroll portfolio and chose break the monotonous pattern by throwing a few catchphrases/calls to action here and there.

Continue reading…

I Create “Dish Portraiture” as a Food Photographer

All images and text by Xavier D. Buenida.

This time, I want to tell you about one particular subject that influences the way I approach my food photography. A genre that at first it may sound odd as it sits on the complete opposite side of food but that it makes a whole lot of sense if you think about it: Portraiture.

For the latest campaign of a restaurant, I had to look at a lot of portraiture for inspiration and guidance on how to approach this shoot. When I get hired to shoot projects like these, I first look at the light and mood of the restaurant, then at the style of the dishes and then I work out how the client wants their style to be like. One shoot is never the same as no restaurant is either so there is a lot of research done beforehand.

Continue reading…

Personal Projects: 10 Reasons A Commercial Food Photographer Takes Free Work

Before I continue, let me tell you that this is just my personal experience and in no way do I encourage anyone to commit to free work. I’m a trained ninja guardian of paid commercial work but there are always exceptions.

Not long ago, I was approached by a client who asked in the kindest and most respectful way I’ve heard so far if I could work in exchange for food. I simply replied with a “sorry, I can’t commit to any free work at the moment” as I don’t like the idea of working for free (obviously), but didn’t want to shut the door completely either so we arranged to talk about it at another time.

In the meantime, I started thinking of ways to produce content for my blog, my portfolio and my marketing, and balancing the pros and cons of working for free.

Continue reading…

How I Use Street Photography To Become a Better Food Photographer

 

Hi, I’m Xavier, a food photographer based in Brighton, U.K. This will be my third year as a full time professional photographer. I’m a freelancer which means I work for and with many different clients on all sorts of projects. Oh, and I got here all by myself with a little help from my friends and the unconditional support from my wife.

My specialty lies in the catering industry as most of my work comes from restaurants, hotels, and chefs. My job is to photograph the dishes and drinks for the new or current menus and create content for their digital and printed marketing, editorials, articles, instagram accounts… you name it. Often I have to document a busy service, take portraits of owners and staff and even shoot the interior space which also makes me a portrait, interior, and documentary photographer… I love it!

Continue reading…

Food Photographer Francesco Nacchia on Being Colorblind

All images by Francesco Nacchia. Used with permission.

Photographer Francesco Nacchia lives in Salerno, Italy. He’s 30 years old, has a Law degree and is a FIFA players’ agent. When he’s not all caught up in his job, he muses over photography. He loves Oscar Wilde, Dostoevsky and the films of Fellini. When you look at his images, you start to notice something very particular: they’re not lie many of the others out there with a super high emphasis on lifestyle points of views. Instead, they’re almost as if they were painted.

One of the reasons for this is because Francesco is color blind. I found his work with the help of the editors over at EyeEm, and when checking out his profile you can see a very particular style in his work. As a result, his workis very much about tones, shapes and contrast.

Continue reading…

Food Photographers: We Want To Feature Your Cooking Process

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Milvus lens review photos (12 of 23)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 5.0

Hey food photographers,

As many of you know, we feature excellent photography from equally excellent photographers; and this time around we want to inspire others (and potentially make other hungry) with really beautiful food photography.

But we’re not just talking about food, what we’re specifically looking for this time around is the cooking process. We’re interested in not only featuring your images but also talking to you about the aspects of the documentary process behind all this.

So how do you pitch it us?

Continue reading…

Inside the Mind of a Food Photographer Lighting a Sandwich

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Sandwiches and food in general can be tough to photograph and do sufficient justice to their delectable tastes. Unfortunately there is no end-all-be-all solution that works out very well. But photographer Michael Ray spends 11 minutes talking about how he painstakingly went in and added one light at a time–the way that many photographers were trained to light. Then he also talks about how he did a couple of things in-camera to spend less time in the post-production phase.

Believe it or not, there are a number of lights involved including two main lights as well as fresnels to add a bit more punch to the front of the sandwich.

Mike admits that it isn’t the most exciting image of a sandwich, but it surely is a very standard one and the lighting for something like this isn’t necessarily simple.

The video on lighting a sandwich is after the jump. But for more food lighting tutorials you should check out our interview with a bunch of photographers on composing better food photos, Daniel Krieger, Howard Shooter, Lou Manna, and Shea Evans. But if you’re looking for more inspiration there are a bunch of projects that you can do this weekend with food.

Continue reading…

Four Professional Food Photographers Tell us How to Get the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Photos

Photo by Lou Manna. Used with permission.

Photo by Lou Manna. Used with permission.

With America’s Thanksgiving almost upon us, it’s ony obvious that you’ll be getting photos of someone’s turkey in your social media streams. Creating the photo that stands out amongst the herd though has to do with, well, literally creating it. Simply capturing the moment sometimes isn’t enough. And for that, we turned to four well known professional food photographers that we’ve interviewed previously.

Here’s what four professional food photographers have to say about how to get the perfect Thanksgiving turkey photos.


Continue reading…

Food Photographer Lou Manna on Pixels and Pâté

julius motal lou manna 11

All images by Lou Manna. Used with permission

Pasta provides an ideal canvas for food photography. That’s what Lou Manna, a veteran food photographer, told me over Skype recently. With all of its texture and malleability, pasta can be styled in myriad ways, but Manna doesn’t arrange it. He leaves the styling to the chefs and food stylists, and they leave the photographing to him.

Manna’s photographic career has spanned over 30 years from photography, from photo clubs in high school and college to a 15-year stay at the New York Times to the food photography he’s known for now. After transitioning from film, Manna shot mainly with Olympus cameras before moving to a Canon 6D and 60D in recent years.

Continue reading…

Food Photographer Andrew Scrivani Shares the Secrets to Better Food Photos

_MG_0959 (1)

All photos by Andrew Scrivani

The secret behind getting the perfect food photo has to do with loads more than just lighting–it also has to do with getting the moment just right. Andrew Scrivani is based right here in New York and is a freelance commercial and editorial photographer, food stylist & writer. His work has graced magazines and newspapers worldwide including The New York Times, Eating Well Magazine, La Cucina Italiana, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek.

We found a couple of minutes in between enjoying some epic noms to chat with Andrew about his work.

BY THE WAY: Right now on creativeLIVE, Andrew is teaching a free online food photography course. All weekend long (12 -7PM EST), Andrew will be going through the basics of recipe selection, food prep, and prop styling. Plus, food blogger Shauna Ahern (of Gluten Free Girl blog and book fame) will join Andrew to chat about food blogging, recipe writing, and how you can use photography to make a beautiful blog that will grow your audience.

Continue reading…

Hien H Nguyen: Half Foodie, Half Meticulous Enthusiast Photographer

image15 (1)

All photos by Hien H Nguyen. Used with permission.

Being a foodie and a photographer can sometimes feel like a full time job–but for Hien H Nguyen it’s a wonderful life. He’s an investments professional during the day and has always has a big love of both food and photography. His job lets him travel and he’s become buddies with many chefs out there. But beyond this, he’s also a trained photographer even though his only client is himself.

When he sent us an email showing us his incredible food photos, we were seriously captivated. And you’re bound to be also.

Continue reading…

Professional Photographers on Composing Better Food Photos

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

All of the master food photographers will tell you that great food images should suck you into the moment and should deliver an experience of some sort. Part of this creation has to do with having solid composition. The folks at We Eat Together put together a video showing how to do just that. Their first time has to do with getting rid of your light source in the image and also making sure that it isn’t visible lest someone focuses on that instead of the delectable bites in front of you.

The host comes up with a load of difference scenarios and compositions involving various angles that draw the viewer in. The use of reflectors really helps.

Their video on composing better food photos is after the jump. But we’ve added quotes from other food photographers that we’ve interviewed to add extra value to this post.

Continue reading…

Photographer Alice Gao on Lifestyle and Food Photography

julius motal the phoblographer alice gao image 08

All images by Alice Gao. Used with permission.

We first came across Alice Gao’s photography when Tumblr published its Photographers to Watch list for 2014. Her blog is titled “After the Cups,” a reference to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” one of her favorite T. S. Eliot poems. There we found photographs of quiet spaces and food with soft colors and beautiful light. So, we set out to interview her. Gao has an impressive roster of clients, from AirBnB to the NYTimes T Magazine. Here, she shares her approach to food and lifestyle photography.

For more of Alice’s work, check out her website and her blogs: After the Cups and Lingered Upon.

Continue reading…

Mystery Meat: Photographer Portrays Fast Food in a Ghastly New Light

slide_361904_4062743_free

All photographs by Peter Augustus. Used with permission.

We should altogether stop ourselves from getting sucked into those elaborate, perfectly presented, and weirdly vivid images of food that most fast food restaurants present in commercials and adverts to entice the hungry masses to consume their grubs, and for once, get real. I think we all know by now that those are fake, and their real counterparts, possibly made of something else other than what should be, are not really that appetizing to look at, let alone ingest.

Here’s a series that forces you to look upon face the reality behind your favorite fast food meals. While the rest of the world are getting into food photography, or in many cases, food pornography, with legit photographers coming up with delectable ways to photograph (real) food and addicted Instagrammers spending a lot more time than necessary to get a good shot of their next meal, Hong Kong-based American photographer Peter Augustus is getting on a different bandwagon that is entirely his own.

In an attempt to raise more awareness on the horrors of fast food and the chillingly lack of knowledge the Western world has about what ingredients make up their overly-processed, prepackaged food, Peter presents food in a ghastly light in his series aptly called “Mystery Meat.”

In Mystery Meat, patties are substituted with pig snouts, deli meats are replaced with pig legs, and veiny intestines stand-in for hotdogs–the photographs summing up a hard and effective message that we all must learn and live by.

See more of the photos from the series after the jump and maybe you’ll think twice before defaulting to the drive-thru at McDonald’s come dinnertime.

To see more of Peter Augustus’ work, visit his website or follow him on Twitter.

 

Continue reading…

Photographer Cara Livermore on How to Shoot Food for Hipsters

_DSC6491 copy

All images by Cara Livermore

Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom.

Uhhh, we mean: we stumbled on the blog of Cara and Bob–the masterminds behind the popular Hipster Food blog and  Chickpea magazine. It’s about vegan food; and it’s accompanied by some very fantastic photography that is bound to get you hungry no matter what your foodie preferences are. The duo utilized one of the best modern tools for marketing yourself as a photographer: Tumblr. Utilizing the community’s heavy emphasis on imagery combined with its simple shareability via its dashboard, they were able to tap into foodies and liberal minded creatives everywhere.

But of course, no food blog is complete without excellent imagery. So we talked to Cara about how she gets the images that she does and about running the community.

Continue reading…

How Passionate Photographers Stay Sane During the Pandemic

It’s easy to see how difficult it’s been for many photographers.

Fact: tons of people are bored in the 2020 pandemic. Many took on a new hobby that they’ve meant to get into for a while. And amazingly, sales of photo equipment and services enjoyed a surprising increase. Photography is a great hobby. While stuck at home, lots of new, passionate photographers started cutting their teeth. The more experienced creatives embraced this new freedom and spread their wings. Some of us got new lenses. Others headed into the woods. But no matter what, most of us kept shooting. And here’s some of the gear that kept passionate photographers sane during the 2020 pandemic.

Continue reading…

TTL vs Manual Flash: What Photographers Need to Know

Many folks don’t know the difference between TTL vs manual flash, or how it will change the way they create.

Most photographers realize that flash output is still better than constant lighting. But the biggest struggle is with TTL vs. manual flash output. Most people don’t understand it. And to be honest, most experienced photographers are also frustrated with it. But in time, you learn to tell it what to do. Think about it this way. You use your camera in manual mode, right? And if you don’t, then you at least know how to do so. The strobe and flash output that you can get is similar.

Continue reading…

El Santo: The Mysterious Photographer Questioning Those in Power

All images by El Santo. Used with permission.

Hi! My name is El Santo, I am an anonymous Chilean photographer, publicist by title, but photographer of the soul. I have been with this digital project since 2015, photographing the day in day in the city of Santiago de Chile. In October 2019 I exhibited my first photographic exhibition in Santiago de Chile (specifically at Galería Montegrande, the gallery that hosted my artistic project). It is about two series called “Samsara” and “Special Forces”. Today due to the coronavirus I have decided to offer the experience of the exhibition completely free online. I think this project it’s very representative of the conflict of my country, so I think, why not share this project for the non-Spanish speakers. I will comment on these two photographic series after the questions and answers.

Continue reading…

Photographers Will Love Using the OneMo Backpack on Their Next Hike

PGYTECH’s OneMo Backpack is a versatile option for adventurous photographers in need of a bag that will keep up with them all day long.

As photographers, we tend to amass a ton of camera gear over time. While most of us would love to bring all of our equipment with us when traveling, the truth is we rarely need everything in our arsenal. Obviously, it’s a challenge when deciding what gear to bring and what to leave home. The decision becomes harder if you happen to be going on a day-long hike. Not only do you have to decide what to pack, but you’ve got to carry all of it on your back. Fortunately, the OneMo Backpack 25L from PGYTECH is a comfortable, modular, and expandable solution perfect for adventurous photographers preparing for such a trip. While it can’t tell you what you will need for your hike, the OneMo Backpack can undoubtedly help you carry it.

Continue reading…

5 Asian Pacific American Photographers Share Their Journeys as Artists

All images used with permission, lead image by Andrew Kung.

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we spoke with five of the top photographers of APA descent working in the industry today. Their specialties range from automotive, commercial, documentary, lifestyle, music, and weddings. We asked them one simple question, “How far have you come as an artist since you first began your journey as a photographer?” Here are their stories:

Continue reading…