Food Photography Tips & Tricks III – 10 Hardest Foods to Shoot

ToolsWhen pressed, many food bloggers will confess: we’ve set a plate of our delicious upcoming dinner in front of the camera, and all our shots turn out looking like doggy “stuff” (you visualize).

Food stylists are magicians who can literally make anything perform for a camera.  They have an arsenal of tools – this kit, right, was one of about a dozen lining the hallway at a recent commercial shoot managed by friend Denise Vivaldo of Food Fanatics.

I wasn’t at Denise’s shoot to work on food.  Nooooo, I was there for inspiration from her team, including Cindy Flannigan, Jen Park, and Jeff Parker.  Here are some foods I will think long and hard about blogging, just to avoid shooting them:

10 Hardest Foods to Photograph (not impossible, but often frustrating)

  1. Ice cream
  2. Refried beans
  3. Stew
  4. Lattice topped pie with a slice removed – the crumble conundrum
  5. Casseroles without a shape, which I was told “confuses” the camera, so to do this right, the bowl or container needs to work much harder
  6. Clear soups – besides needing to see the stuff in it, you need to be able to see the soup surface, too.  HARD
  7. Thick soups get “lost”  — garnish on top can help
  8. Slice of cake, just plain hard due to the Tearing Factor
  9. Pasta – a debate ensued: Denise says this is incredibly easy, but the rest of the team said Very Difficult.  Denise is known for her natural knack with pasta.
  10. Pretty much anything completely brown, like meat

Part of the Series… 10 Easiest Foods to Photograph, 10 Clever Tools for Food Bloggers and 10 Tips and Tricks for Food Bloggers   

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charmian Christie August 6, 2009 at 8:56 am

I agree totally on the meat. Can’t photograph a kebab to save my life. It all looks like… well, you know.

I agree with Carol about apple pie being a challenge.

And if anyone comes up with a way to make baba ganoush look consumable, I’m all ears!

2 Carol Peterman July 29, 2009 at 8:36 am

Apple pie; brown, flat and crumbly.
Making that look mouthwatering is a challenge. This is a great series.

3 Andy Calnan July 14, 2009 at 9:57 am

Who’d guess inanimate food could be so tricky!

4 Jacqueline Church July 14, 2009 at 9:56 am

I am really enjoying this series! What a great, succinct group of tips. Thank you.

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