Food photography is a pretty big part of the job. The magazine keeps readers in the know about new, unique or just plain tasty dishes and drinks around town. Naturally, photos are needed to visualize what the writers so eloquently describe.
I photograph the food on location at the restaurants. Transporting the food back to the magazine's photo studio just wouldn't work. If we did transport, dishes just wouldn't look the same as they would when they are delivered to your table. So, I take the studio to the food.
Have you seen the Domino's advertising campaign about photographing their pizza's right out of the box? They bash on food styling techniques showing pizza's with screws going through them and whatnot. Food styling is an actual job in and of itself that takes some painstaking steps to make food look fantastic, but I digress. While the commercial annoys me on several levels, that "out of the box" style food photography is what I do.
The chefs serve me a fully edible plate just as they would serve it to you. Ok, maybe there's a little more attention to detail, but hey it's going in a magazine. You would clean up your house before guests come over, right? Same thing, just with food.
Before the food is in front of me though, I've got a general idea of what my first few shots might be and have my lighting set up. I write that casually, but the light is what makes the photograph and takes time and careful consideration for appropriate results. With the right light and some compositional creativity, you get a picture:
If you are curious, the above mountain of fried oyster goodness was reviewed on STL Mag's food blog, Relish. There is another photo there too. Until next time, eat well friends.