I’ve been pondering a post like this for a while now, but a few days ago– when I found myself lying on my stomach on the kitchen island trying to get a good shot while there was still light– I realized it was about time I shared the shenanigans with you. In the name of keeping it real, here are some sneak peeks from taking food pictures in three different apartments.
I often get my serving dishes all set up first to test the light and composition before adding food, especially if I’m using something melty like ice cream. In this picture below, I placed my dishes on a window ledge in the bedroom, since our single kitchen window didn’t provide much light. Yes, that’s dirty laundry in the lower left-hand corner. Oh, and that purple napkin? Totally one of my dress shirts. Use what ya got!
When we moved from our first Boston apartment to the next one, there wasn’t even one window in the kitchen. I prefer to shoot with natural light, so I had to move my setup to the living room. Nothing like apple pie in a window.
In our Minneapolis apartment, we’re blessed with south- and west-facing windows. YES. It may be cold, but we’ve got sunshine! Additionally, we have a bright and open concept, which means I can take pictures in the living room or kitchen, giving me different lights and textures to work with. Of course, some creative cropping is always necessary. For the chicken wing picture below, I used an outdoor table and placed it in front of the pantry near the window. Then I cropped out the wall and countertops.
In the past, in order to get a pretty white background, I would tape dishtowels to the window. (My neighbors probably thought I was crazy.) See that little corner of blue sky? With some slight adjustments to the exposure, this silly system worked pretty well.
Lately I’ve had a new toy to play with! Gabe got me a little pop-up studio for Valentine’s Day. I’ve had a lot of fun putting it in different places and shooting from different angles to see what works best. That’s the moral of the story, really. Trial and error!
With a little coaxing and creativity, and a willingness to play with various camera settings, even a point-and-shoot camera can take some pretty, pretty pictures. Peppercorns, anyone?