Food photography has earned a reputation for being pretty fake. You compare a hamburger photograph to the actual product and you might be a bit disappointed. And it isn’t just the food that can be faked! I found a website that sells vinyl table covers that imitate wood, tile, concrete and other textures. The purpose is to make a simple studio appear to have quite the variety of shooting locations.
I’ve picked up a few and decided to try them out on some fruit, garlic, eggplant, and naan bread. I picked up the food that the Salt Lake Farmer’s Market.
Since I rarely cook it is best I practice on foods that look great without cooking. And for these photos I wanted to go darker and more moody with the lighting. Some of the cookbooks from the Barefoot Contessa have moodier food photography. Imitation is a sincere form of flattery. And when beginning to practice anything, we often will learn by mimicking the work of other artists. It is when we find our footing we begin to develop our own look.
So far I have a lot of rustic wood textures. The next batch I buy might have to be a bit more modern. I buy my vinyl table coverings from Ink & Elm. It is a bit cheaper I imagine than buying tiles from a hardware store but I won’t rule that out as a possibility. Sometimes you need the real thing.
For these photographs I am using my studio lighting. I like that because I have more control than regular window light which is a good option. But sometimes a restaurant might not have a window, or the wrong kind of window light. It helps to be flexible and use either natural light or my studio lighting.