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Top 6 Tips to Improve Your Food Photography Styling

Top 6 Tips to Improve Your Food Photography Styling

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 | 4 comments

food styling tips

Prop styling in food or product photography requires careful planning.  I’ve read some people do yoga before they start styling their food, crazy as it may sound, but thinking how to shoot it, the mood, the atmosphere they want to communicate to the viewers is something NOT “a-piece-of cake”.   It’s a lot of HARDWORK.

If you attended my workshop you might have remembered what I said about the “Begin with the end in mind” principle?  I borrowed it from my favorite author, Stephen Covey.  It means you begin it with the clear vision in mind, or to put it simply start something with the outcome in mind hindi pwedeng bahala na si batman.

The more time you spend making the food pretty and attractive, the easier things are when it comes to taking the shot.

Pick a recipe book and you’ll be overwhelmed by the array of recipes accompanied by wonderful photography of the meals being written about.  Observe it, sometimes you do not buy it because of the recipe, you buy it because of the all the beautiful food photos.

Right?

Anyway, I will not go any further, here are 6 tips to help you improve your food photography styling.

1. Use a portion of the food, be a little less generous.

Look at this picture for example, I didn’t take the entire batch of cookies, cupcakes and cakes and place it in the table and took its picture.  Though,  it may seem more generous to serve plates piled high with food, an over crowded plate can look less appealing compare to the picture below.

Think about how you can use the white space of the plate to frame your dish.  (This photo was taken a couple of years ago for an Iranian Bakeshop in Greenhills.)

iranian pastries

2. Stage a nice background

The background should help tell a story about the subject you will photograph.  You just don’t place your subject on  a blank wall, think something more creative like this one in the picture, I made California Maki using the Sushi cookbook my good friend Cel gave me at Christmas.

Your viewers will connect the idea that the food you prepared was probably from the cookbook the food was resting on.

sushi cook book

3. Allow food to spill over naturally

Getting a bit messy really helps to add movement and life to your photographs, rather than having everything confined to plates and bowls.

cheesecake

4. Choose simple bowls and tableware

While highly decorative and fancy plates are beautiful on their own, they can detract from the visual impact of the food. Plain plates, especially classic white allow the food to be the star.

chocolate cake

5. Capture the ‘yummy’ factor

Think about what makes your subject really yummy and then aim to highlight this characteristic in your shot.  I choose this medium rare steak because I always think that steak is very “malinamnam” specially when it’s medium rare.  Depends on you… Try and think about what it is that makes a particular dish look delicious and then serve it in a way to flaunt it.

steak

6.  Be playful.

Sometimes you need to perk things up.  Don’t be afraid to be playful with your photos specially if your subject really looks boring in the end.  It doesn’t hurt to be playful once in a while.

salad

 

To your “shooting” inspiration.

Cheers!

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Super Easy Stove-Top Mac and Cheese Recipe

Super Easy Stove-Top Mac and Cheese Recipe

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 | 2 comments

mac and cheese

Who doesn’t like cooking the fast and easy way?

A show of hands please…

Oh well… I’m pretty sure most moms like everything fast and easy once in a while. :)

So today, I made a quick and easy way to make mac and cheese (no baking required) and I can’t wait to share it with ALL of you.

But first, let me show you some more photos. :)

mac and cheese recipe

 

easy macaroni and cheese

I found the DariCreme Bacon flavor at the Landmark grocery and it made my mac and cheese tastes really gooooood, compare to ordinary butter or margarine (and I think if you are planning of making carbonara pasta or any cream sauce based you can use this too for additional flavor).

daricremeTo make my super easy stove-top mac and cheese you only need 4 ingredients; Elbow macaroni, milk, Cheeze Whiz and Dari Creme Bacon.  Super-duper easy I promise.  Scroll down to see the directions.

 

Ingredients:

1/4 elbow macaroni

2 tbsp DariCreme Bacon

1 cup milk

1/2 cup Cheeze Whiz

a dash of pepper and salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

Cook macaroni according to package directions.

Drain macaroni and add butter; stir in salt and pepper; slowly add milk and cheese.

Cook and stir until bubbly.

…and the yumminess is ready.

If you’re wondering why my mac and cheese looks like that… I put a spoonful of grated mozzarella cheese and heat it in the microwave, but this is optional of course.

Enjoy your mac and cheese!

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JoyBites Photography 101: Use Your White Balance

JoyBites Photography 101: Use Your White Balance

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 | 1 comment

So, what the heck is white balance?

Judging from the number of attendees from Mommy Bloggers Philippines recent Take Blog Worthy Photos Mini Photography Workshop out of 25 ladies who attended the workshop only 1-2 ladies know what is the use of white balance in their camera device.

In digital photography, when you say White Balance you are referring to the function of a digital camera that allows you to calibrate the device to correctly display the color white.

White Balance is something  many digital camera owners don’t understand or use but, it’s something well worth learning!

Please raise your hand if you agree. 

The reason we adjust/calibrate/play around white balance is to get the colors in your images as accurate as possible.

You might have noticed when you took that shot some photos come out with an orange, blue, yellow? The reason for this is that your image was taken from a different light source. For example, fluorescent lighting adds a bluish color to photos whereas tungsten (incandescent/bulbs) lights add a yellowish tinge to photos.  But depending on your artistic vision you can opt to use it at your convenience.

white balance

Different camera devices, like your phone camera or or your point and shoot specially your DSLR have different ways of adjusting white balance so basically you’ll need to check your camera’s manual of where and how to make changes in your white balance settings.

Here are some sort of cheats when to use your white balance:

white balance icon

  1. Auto (A) – depending on your location and you can’t make up your mind which preset to use, just leave it to auto mode. This is where the camera makes a best guess on a shot by shot basis.
  2. Tungsten (Light Bulb) – Use it under tungsten light bulbs or the image will look very blue.
  3. Fluorescent (Glowing Tube) – Use if photos look too green or when under fluorescent lights.
  4. Daylight (Sun)– Used when shooting outdoors with the sun shining on the subject (harsh light is present).
  5. Flash (Lightning Bolt) – Used when using on-camera flash (not recommended).
  6. Cloudy (Cloud) – Used in cloudy days or in shades. Will yield warmer images than sunlight.
  7. Shade (House with a Shadow) – Warmer than cloudy, adding orange colors to the photograph. Good for sunsets and shades.

I want to encourage to shoot using natural light and start playing your white balance settings and see first hand what it does to your photo.

To your “shooting” success!

 

Cheers!

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