Today I will show you a little behind the scenes. You’ve always wondered how I actually set up my entire equipment, where my light source is or whether I photograph with a tripod or not? Here’s where you get the answer!
First step: The backdrop
If I once again made something delicious, like this beautiful rhubarb raspberry galette, the first step is to choose the backdrop. In this case, I used my old wooden table, which I once found on the bulky waste. This table is always the basis, so I put my background on it, if I will use another. So it’s always right there, right in front of the window in my study.
Prepare camera and lightning
Before I start with the food styling, I always prepare everything around it. The camera comes on a tripod, is connected via USB cable with my computer and I adjust the setting for a correct lightning. Then I put my diffuser between the window and the table or clamp it behind the heater. With a diffuser you can soften the light and shadows. Often the sun shines right into my window when I’m taking photos, which of course is not so good. Here’s how the picture looks without a diffuser and when the sun shines right on the table.
And now the most important thing: the food model
Once I’ve done all this, I start to style my food and the props. My view is always on the camera screen or on my computer monitor with a live view to my camera. It is important to look at the monitor again and again, because the motive works in a different way than with the naked eye. I stand, for example always sideways to the set when I’m styling the set. From the standpoint, it looks very different than later in the picture. So I keep checking how the picture will look like later.
Remove shadow with reflector
When I’m done with the food styling and the decoration, I still look if the setting needs a reflector to remove the shadows. This setting with dark wooden table and the rustical galette is a perfect example for not using a reflector. Shadows are welcome in this moody style. In very bright pictures, the reflector is almost a must. If I need a reflector I put it on the opposite of the light source (the window on the left side), to brighten up the shadows on the right side.
Finally, the shooting. First I make one picture and import it directly into my editing program and use one of my presets to see how it looks edited. So it is much easier to evaluate the picture, as on the small camera display. Then I usually change a few little things. If I am satisfied and there is still time left, I try different perspectives or, as in this example, cut out a piece of the cake.
Have a good appetite for image editing
And then, of course, comes the best part. Eating the set! So I’m sitting on my computer with a piece of cake and editing the pictures. There is not much to do, because I’m already editing most of the pictures during the shoot, but the finishing touches are left.
Hope you guys like this behind the scenes! This is the first time I’d wrote such a long text about food photography in english. Hope you understand everything and my english is not to bad. 😉 Would be glad to read your feedback in the comments.