Thursday, March 24, 2011

Food & Style

While scouring the internet the other day, I stumbled across this great blog post on food styling at a blog called "La Tartine Gourmande." This particular quote really caught my attention, 

     "In my food pictures, I typically want to create a story and produce an emotion." 

Immediately I thought "emotional eating" {ha} but obviously that is not what is being discussed. Like all photography, one wants someone to feel something when viewing their work, whether it be happiness or sadness {is hunger an emotion??} and the same goes for food photography. 

Beatrice Peltre is the stylist/photographer who owns this blog and she shoots a lot of her own creations! I love the clean and crisp feel to all the photographs {not to mention all her food looks delicious}. After starting at Sierra and seeing stylists work, I've became really interested in learning more about everything that goes into the food styling so naturally I was drawn to this! It dates back from 2007 but there are a lot of helpful and really inspired tips that I thought would be fun to share. Not to mention this is a great site for just about everything from cooking, styling, and photography:)

An excerpt from "La Tartine Gourmande"

Tips on Food Styling
  • Always ask yourself, what the food you are shooting means to you. Is it rusticelegant, does it need to be eaten in the dish, on a plate, outside or inside?
  • Look for colors that enhance the food. Perhaps the same color for the food and background, or matching colors.
  • Use repetitive shapesgeometry and symmetry to make pictures interesting.
  • Pay attention to balancing space between the food and props. Move objects around to play with different settings.
  • Use textured backgrounds that give more life, and vary angles to shoot and frame the picture.
  • Do not always shoot from the same angle. Overhead shots, front or side.
  • Always shoot larger than the end result. Remember you can always crop the pictures like you prefer in post.
  • Be playful with the food and showcase the beauty found in raw ingredients. Observe the natural shapes and forms in food.
  • You do not need to show everything either. Suggestive cropping can really have a more powerful effect.

After this, she went on to show a few photographs of the muffins that she had made and photographed, then explained her reasoning for why she styled everything the way she did it {photographs accompanying this particular section can be found in the post here}. 

  • Why did I show the molds in which the muffins had been cooked? 
    To create the story from beginning to end. I did not clean the molds on purpose. I spent time arranging the pile in the background until I was happy with its looks.
  • Why did I use a narrow depth of field?
    Because the most important thing is the muffins, and so using a selective focus is what I was after.
  • Why did I show a muffin half-eaten?
    To make the reader and viewer participate. It could be as if you were eating the muffin too. Showing from top with an overhead shot also helped with the story I wanted to convey. Notice that I cropped to show only parts of the muffins. And I organized them in a horizontal line.
  • Why the basil and tomato on top of the muffin? To suggest the flavors of the muffin (you would not use a fresh herb that is not used in the recipe).
  • Why a geometrical pattern for the background? 
    To repeat the round shape of the muffins.

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