Working with a foodstylist
Ok, first of all; for all those people that don’t know… foodstyling really is an art.
I am not sure when I started really liking food photography, but it was only after a couple of tries that I realized that the art of making food look good on paper, really is a separate profession.
I have done quite a lot of dishes myself, not all of them equally successful. Then I have worked with Claudia, who is the wife of one of my former colleagues, who is really good in styling food as well, but last week was the first time I have had the pleasure of working with an actual foodstylist. I had gotten his name from Mark, a photographer I met at a network meeting from Specifiek. I think I was telling him that I eventually wanted to specialize in food photography and he then mentioned that one of his best friends is a foodstylist and he would get me in contact with him.
Well, so he did and when I called Oliver, he was immediately enthusiastic about working together.
Obviously my studio doesn’t really have any cooking facilities, but he brought half a kitchen worth of supplies that wednesdaymorning and proceeded in making three great looking compositions.
The above gazpacho soup was the first. The inspiration was a magazine that Oliver had brought and which featured a dish with a lot of garnish on the plate’s edge. I have – ofcourse – photos where you can view the dish better, but this is my favorite of the lot.
The second dish was a lot harder to get right in terms of lighting. I had never done a top-down shot before and getting an even lighting proofed to be much more difficult then for the soup. I am still not entirely happy with the end result, but it does look a bit like a painting doesn’t it? Lighting was a softbox from about 45 degrees to the leftside from behind the subject and I used a reflector on the right.
Third dish were Vietnamese springrolls, but to make it different, not filled with shrimps but with little baby octopus. Not my favorite to eat, but they looked fantastic. Oliver had brought this beautiful plate with all these lines, that really worked well with the food. I think this dish turned out to be my favorite, although it is competing very hard with the soup. Well, you can see where the header of my blog comes from anyway…:)
In terms of lighting; again softbox from the left side behind the subject with foamboard reflector on the right and a little mirror for some added highlights on the octopus.
One thing I learned is that I have to practice really hard in my lighting skills. There is so much more that can be done. Right now my favorite type of lighting is still daylight, as that is soft and (mostly) wonderful, but I have to practice more in the studio!!
Foodstyling: Oliver Knight For Food