Shooting Food

Shooting food has always been one of my favorite genres, I just don’t get to blog or post about it much. Sharing some stuff we’ve done in the past year.

For those who are not familiar with food photography, not all what you see in the camera are edible. Yes, they look good especially when you’re hungry, but they would taste way different from what they intend to be. Though a good number of food we’ve shot are really prepared dishes.. it’s just that the food can get man-handled to the point you’d lose your appetite.

Most ingredients are half-cooked to preserve the water and color. What you see in the camera is prepared on the spot. This is particularly noticeable when you work with greens. The leaves wilt away over time, so they have to set right away and shot immediately after. Pastry and drinks are easier to handle since not much is going on with them after they have been set. The challenging parts are dealing with various textures of the plating and the food itself. I have particular difficulty shooting soup. Since it’s liquid, it behaves the same way as shooting water. There’s a reflection that happens on particular angles. This is where you circular polarizer would come in handy, but there are times where it’s at the expense other textures found within the frame.

As a rule of thumb, lighting food shouldn’t be directly in front. When you do, the textures tend to flatten out and the food doesn’t look appealing. Most lighting are soft, and would come from a top-behind angles. Everything else is bounced back to the plate via various reflectors depending on the size of the dish. My personal favorite is chopping up styrofoam boards and blocking them in front of the food to control certain parts I want bright or dark.

Photo Gallery

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Production Credits

  • Clients: City of Dreams Manila / SUSI / Marby Food Ventures
  • Food Styling: Bianca Mabanta SUSI), Zack Hillberry (City of Dreams), Sharlene Tan (Marby)
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