So I’m one of those who would immediately whip out the camera or mobile phone to snap pictures of the food as soon as it arrives on the table. I know it sometimes irks my husband, especially when he is hungry. He would wait impatiently as I happily snap away, and as soon as I declare done, he would pounce on the food like a lion on its prey.
Thus when I found out from fellow mom blogger Susan that My Paper is holding a workshop on food photography, I signed up immediately.
Titled ‘Art of Food Appreciation and Photography’ (under My Paper’s Metropolitan Workshop Series 2012), the workshop held on 28 July included:
- Talk about composition, exposure and lighting in creating the perfect food shot by multi-award winning photojournalist Mr Bob Lee;
- demonstration of the art (and tricks) of aesthetically styling a dish to make it camera-worthy by Group Executive Chef of The Marmalade Group, Mr Robin Ho;
- latte-art demonstration by Oriole Cafe and Bar’s award-winning barista, Mr Romeo Alfen.
Besides listening to the experts share their tips and experience, we also had a hands-on session working our cameras on gorgeous-looking canapes, cupcakes, pizzas and the Marmalade’s signature dish, crabmeat linguine – all meticulously prepared by Mr Robin Ho and his team. Of course, we got to eat these delectable treats as well!
The experts: Mr Bob Lee (top right), Mr Robin Ho (bottom left), Mr Romeo Alfren (bottom right)
Ways to make your photos look surpilicious
If you have missed this workshop, no worries. Here’s sharing with you some great tips gleaned from the experts.
1. It’s all about the lighting
When it comes to the crux of taking great photos, lighting is THE most important factor. And natural light is the best. So if you can, get a seat near the windows where you’ll get plenty of sunlight. Mr Bob Lee (who is an extremely humourous guy) suggested that the best timing is in the late afternoon when the sunlight is not too strong and gives your pictures a nice glow.
If the light is insufficient to cover everything you are trying to capture, you can use a reflector, such as a small simple aluminium-wrapped board (sometimes even a piece of white paper can do the trick) to reflect light onto your subject.
If you are indoors and the lighting is poor, you can consider using artificial lights like bringing along with you a small, handheld light. If the lighting is too harsh, you can soften it by covering the light with a piece of cloth, paper or tissue.
2. Get your body moving!
Throughout his talk, Mr Bob Lee kept emphasising on the importance of effort. Give it extra effort – don’t just snap from one angle or position; get your body moving by trying top down, eye level, close in on your subject go from the left and right. Get as many angles as you can and you’ll be amazed by the end results.
Here’s some of my attempt to do that:
3. Props and context, baby
Sometime, a picture can be liven up by some props, which will also help you tell a better story. In addition, try including more of the background into your photos to give it a context. Here are some examples:
Dress up a cup of coffee by adding some sugar cubes and a teaspoon
Picture on the left shows just a plate of pasta. The one on the right captures some of the background thus gives you clue about the place and the added glass of drink adds another dimension to the photo.
So now you have it. Put them into practice the next time you’re out dining!