|Canon 5D mk II with 24-70 2.8 lens shot at ISO 200 f2.8 1/60 of a second|
I've been very much enjoying my life as a wedding, portrait and 'people' photographer. Part of me though has been eyeballing another passion of mine that has nothing to do with a person. Food. I love food. Love eating it, looking at it, smelling it and my wife and I share a shared obsession with all those cooking shows on the Food Network. I just wish I was a better cook.
I've been doing some light food photography at weddings to give to the caterers and I've done an advertisement rack card for desserts in my local town, but I've never really considered myself a 'food' photographer. With an eye on staying true to photographing what I love though, it is in my plan to add it as a regular part of what I do. Shoot what you love and the work will follow. At least that is what I choose to believe.
So I decided to seek out some education on food photography and since workshops are fairly hard to come by I started with one of my favourite methods of learning, books. I recently finished my first book on the subject by world renowned food photographer Lou Manna, who is also an Olympus Visionary Photographer, called 'Digital Food Photography.' You can see a link to it on the top right of the blog.
Aside from making me hungry with a whole series of stunning food images, Lou has created a great guide for new food photographers. There are the obligatory chapters on equipment and editing which I hate to see in these books even though they all seem to have them. The talk of gear and computer software dates so quickly that I don't feel they have any place in a printed book. Looking past that though and ignoring those chapters there is a lot of wonderful information in these pages.
The book reads a bit like a textbook you would expect at a photography school. Lou talks about lighting, technique, different purposes of food photography (advertisements, packaging, cookbooks, media, etc), food styling, prop styling, composition and the business of food photography. I found all those chapter super helpful, insightful and well thought out. The experience Lou brings to the subject matter is obvious and help to make this book a must have for anyone interested in food photography. He is well spoken, clear in his language and, as any photographer should, uses images to show you the technique with great skill.
There are even a series of images from single shoots where he shows you his failed first attempts at photographing a dish, explains why the shots don't work and then shows you his successful final image and explains why it was chosen. This was one of my favourite parts of the book and created some real lightbulb moments for me.
I can't recommend this book enough, so if you are a food photographer, or just want to be, consider picking it up.
Thanks again for dropping by the blog, I always appreciate your visit.