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Shooting Food

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Justin Vaillancourt
Shooting Food
on Feb 13, 2008 at 3:36:38 pm

Hi, any tips for shooting and lighting food?

I'm shooting some closeups of fine dining cuisine (steaks, lamb, fancy apps)

Recommendations for:
Lense Selection
Depth of Field
Best angles
Camera movements

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Sorry, forgot to mention it's 35mm

Thank you!

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Mark Wagoner
Re: Shooting Food
on Feb 13, 2008 at 11:22:05 pm

I shoot a lot of food, most of the time we use back lighting with sort light and sometimes add a harder side light for sparkle.I like to use broken mirrors for the harder light. Fill cards from the front so it does not look over lit then let the highlights go light on the top of the food. The tables look better with a little longer lens and shallow DOF, maybe 85mm to 100mm. You can see some stills that we also do at, look at portfolios, food. I use the same techniques for motion. I like lower angles, and close on the food. If you are shooting hot food the steam will show nice, if you need use steam chips.
Good Luck,

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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Shooting Food
on Feb 13, 2008 at 11:46:15 pm

Step number one is having a great food stylist who really knows what they are doing. If you want to do it yourself, there are several books that will be helpful.

If you plan on doing a lot of this, it might be a good idea to pick up a copy of the book "Food Photography and Styling" by John Carafoli.

It's full of great tips and tricks.

Also... a good source is Trengove Studios ( they have lots of great products... acrylic and glass spashes/pours/drops/drips, bubbles, tons of different kinds of fake ice, ice powder, foam boosters, fake charcoal, steam chips... all that fun stuff. We use them a lot.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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