The amazing artist and foodie behind @EatLoveLouisville, Allison Myers came to my #Freeberg17 class and gave us some great tips about photographing food. A few really important ones are to use natural light whenever possible, play with angles, and add a human touch. Here’s my attempts at using the cute cookies she brought from Heitzman Traditional Bakery and Deli to implement her tips and create the perfect food shot.
This was my first attempt. It’s not horrible. We had a team meeting after class so I combined all our cookies together, thinking that would be an interesting ‘group’ shot. It wasn’t. None of these pictures have natural lighting because it was cold outside. This picture does not have a personal touch because I was taking these as the meeting was happening. The shadow at the bottom is a problem not to mention this picture just isn’t that interesting and after cropping it down to my favorite Insta square it was even less appealing.
Well that looks boring so I tried an interesting angle but it made my cookies look like they were going to fall off the table and for some reason the threat of cookies being in peril was not appealing. At this point I discovered that I really liked the polka dot napkins. By now I am starting to lose hope of this whole cookie thing panning out. She gave us 2 days to post the picture maybe I should just wait until I got home or into my car where I know how to work my lighting better. But I really want to eat my cookie!
I guess the next step is to try an add a personal touch. Unfortunately I added a personal touch and an interesting (bad) angle. Poor Danielle did not know she was being photographed. Which makes this photo so bad. Always tell people to smile before you snap a shot, or maybe warn the ‘personal touch’ that they are a participant in the photo.
After this picture my team all wanted their cookies back, which seemed reasonable because there was free sugar that I kept them from eating. Our meeting continued on with everyone eating a cookie or talking and being generally productive…except me. I HAD to get a shot I liked. I decided to use my coffee cup, because coffee is our mascot in this class and it had out school’s mascot on it. That’s like a personal touch right?
No it’s not. This lighting is more interesting but it would need to spend some time in Photoshop in order to be posted. The cookie looked better in this one but the cardinal is the only thing in shadow in the whole shot. Which is kind of impressive since even Emily’s shirt three feet away is better lit. edit: Once this photo was cropped down to square, E’s shirt is not even in the frame and it ended up being much better than the one posted.
This photo shoot is not going the way I wanted it to, and I really wanted to eat that cookies and Stephanie wanted hers back.
I finally settled on a different picture that didn’t use any of her tips but I at least cleaned it up in Aviary before I posted it so the lighting was better and got rid of most of the shadow that was in the bottom of the frame.
I was so annoyed, I ate my cookie to punish it for not inspiring me to greatness! I was tempted to go buy another cookie and drive around until I found the perfect lighting. I had this brief image of me climbing a tree to make the shot interesting, then I remembered that I had to work and my mom and I were going to a movie afterwards so the hunt for the perfect cookie shot would not fit into my day.
We went to see Hidden Figures at the world’s most adorable movie theater in Elizabethtown. Afterwards my mom suggested we go to Longhorns and split a Flo’s Filet. Then in the middle of a conversation about the space program it happened. The ‘date night’ lighting came on and I got a great food shot. Good lighting? Yes! Interesting angle? Yes! I suddenly felt that my failure with cookies had been redeemed with this picture of bread. I can now comfortably say that I have a small idea of how to stage food, and I owe it all to @eatlovelouisville and my massive failure with cookies.
Thanks so much for coming in and showing us how to tell a story about a meal with a photograph.
Want to follow Allison and see her delicious journey? Follow her on Instagram at @eatlovelouisville or catch her on Facebook here. Do you have any #foodiefail shots? Or would you like to share your favorite place to eat? Comment below or tag me @TheRebeccaH on Twitter and Instagram.