I have an obsession with shooting the food I consume. There is something marvelous about food composition that lends itself to grabbing the camera and hitting the shutter. Food shots also have a documentary quality about them that stimulates pleasant memories of when and where the food was consumed.
I usually shoot the image right when the food arrives if I am at a restaurant. If I prepare the food myself, I shoot once the food is ready to consume. I particularly like to shoot images of the food I consume while traveling.Typically, I don't really move anything around for the image with the exception of the position of the camera. Light however is very important. The better the light the better the image
Here are a six examples of some of my favorite food shots.
This first shot is from The Mission Cafe in San Diego near my house. Over the last 10 years I have been here at least 200 times and it never gets old. Scrambled egg whites, black beans, and sausage with salsa and tortillas are a wonderful way to start the day. Images like this one just makes me feel warm and energized.
Looking at the food images I selected for this post, it seems as if I have something of an obsession with breakfast food. This is a meal I made for my family on a special Sunday. French toast and bacon is sure to make any carnivore happy.The French toast was made from raisin bread from Bread and Cie, a local San Diego Bakery, and the bacon is Nueskes Applewood Smoked Bacon.
I took this food shot during a recent camping trip in the High Sierras. What I like best about this shot is that each object represents the process of making the food--from the French-pressed coffee to the tortilla warmed on the camp stove.
This shot is of a memorable sandwich I ate while working in Stockholm, Sweden. I wandered around Old Town Stockholm in an area called Gamla Stan. I found an outdoor cafe and sat down to enjoy this wonderfully prepared sandwich.
While on vacation in Washington, we visited Bud Bay in Olympia. The Bud Bay Cafe is Olympia's favorite waterfront restaurant. The day was beautiful and the food was delicious. I shot this image wide open so the depth-of-field was minimal.
I will leave you with the final image which is from my BlackBerry Pearl camera phone. I like it because it's so simple in its composition. Coffee and coffee cake is a favorite at this San Diego cafe called the Big Kitchen. I even love the chipped plate. This coffee cake is so good, you'll order it every time you visit.
If you shoot food for a living you know the importance of lighting,mood, and emotion. The image has to make you want to eat the food – to seek it out, order the dish, and consume gleefully. There should be a significance with the moment.
Whether you're shooting images for a commercial client or simply to document the details of your daily life or travels, the best food photography can convey a real sense of authenticity. If you haven't yet experimented with it, give it a try!