Day 1 – Study Outstanding Food Photos – 30DBFP

30 Day Food Photos Day1

Last week, how much time did you spend studying outstanding food photos?

Not just looking on Pinterest. Or not just browsing through your favorite blog. In today’s challenge you will first learn why you must not skip this step, then we will discuss exactly how to complete this challenge.

As we start the 30-Day challenge, we need to make sure that you familiarize yourself with outstanding food photos. Understanding what are beautiful food photos is the very first step in improving your food photos. There are some well known outstanding food photographers that consistently create amazing food photos.

Today, we will introduce you to these food photographers. They have different photography styles and their photos look different. Your assignment is to study their food photos.

This may seem like a very simple and obvious assignment and you may be tempted to skip today’s exercise. Don’t make this mistake.

Most of you were expecting the first lesson to be on ISO or Aperture or a more technical subject. While these technical subjects are important, a more important topic is being able to differentiate between an outstanding photo and a “meh” photo and a “don’t-do-that” photo.

Before you start browsing their websites, let’s look at what you need to do next.

Once you are on their portfolios, your goal is to pick 3 photos and explore what you like about them. Observe what you feel when you look at these photos. Note down the feeling. You don’t have to be technically correct, whatever words come to mind, write them down.

Don’t worry about being perfectly correct, focus on articulating your thoughts and feeling accurately.

If you are new and haven’t spend much time with food photography, chances are that you won’t be able to put your finger on what exactly is amazing about a certain photo. That’s okay. The goal is to make yourself acquainted with beauty and being able to internalize the feeling.

Once you are done with studying their photos, you should be able to understand what outstanding photos feel like. You should be able to understand how these photographs are different from those who are still learning and growing in food photography.

So first, let me introduce you to some of the outstanding food photographers. Below are some food photographers who have been consistently producing great food photos. Their styles are unique:

And now, here’s today’s assignment in more details.

Today’s Assignment

Estimated Time Required – Less than 30 mins

Read all the steps before getting started –

Step 1 – Pick two photographers from the list above and visit their portfolio.

Step 2 – Pick just one photo you like from each photographer

Step 3 – Go to the 30DBFP assignment area on LFP community on Google Plus

Step 4 – Share which two photographers you picked in this thread.

Step 5 – Share what you felt in this thread. As mentioned above, note down your feelings and what comes to mind as you observe these photos. Your goal is not to be technically accurate. Your goal very simply is to understand what you feel about these outstanding photo.

Step 6 – Now pick two more photos from photographers that you selected.

Step 7 – Note your feelings and thoughts for these photographs.

By the end of this exercise, you should be able to understand how you feel when you look at an outstanding food photo. If you can feel what a good photo looks like, you can strive to move your food photography in that direction.

Without this insight, quite likely, you would ramble and take bunch of photos, but won’t be able to tell if something is missing. Knowing how you feel about a photo, you will have better chance of identifying if you like a certain photo or not.

Special Note for those enrolled in Full Participation – Once you’ve completed this step, please go back to the additional information and complete any remaining items. (Not enrolled for full participation? Interested in enrolling for full participation? Go here to learn more.)

  • Julieta

    Penny de los Santos

    The first photo of the fish struck me with its simplicity, colors and lighting. It has no fancy props. Foil paper, lemons, onions. Everything uncooked but you crave that fish. The lighting and colors generates the feeling of a day where rains is coming at any moment. Shapes are also important in the photo. The circular lines of the onion, lemons, the fish eye contrast with the rectilinear lines of the cuts on the fish..

    From Matt Armendaris one of my favorites is # 23 of his New York portofolio. The lighting in the photo transmits a feeling that it is early noon, in some outside place, with the perfect spring temperature. The freshness of the salad pops up. The white marble, white cutting bord, white bowls, the light and the chopsticks, works together in an harmonious way. It isn’t the kind of dish I would order in a restaurant or prepare at home, but all the setting makes me want not only to eat that, but also to have that healthy, light and fresh style of meals every day.

    I couldn’t check Katie Quinn Davie because it says her site is under constructions but I saw a photo one of the photos one of the other participants put in a link (the pink cake with the dark background) and I love it. That is the type of food photography I most like because of the darkness and low light conditions for me generates a mysterious feeling.

  • Michael Gnahoua

    Matt Armendaris, just discovered this Photographer, I went through his portfolio, I was impressed by the quality of his work. His good use of lighting work well with the colour he use in his composition. The choice of the background impressed me too. Apart the picture No 3, my favourite are No26 and No10. I like the simplicity of his style
    Penny De Los Santos just discovered this Photographer. Once again the use of appropriate lighting, background and the harmony between colour (colour wheel). the composition.
    My two other pictures from the above name are No19 and No1

  • done ! absolutely enjoyed it …it was so hard to pick 2 .

  • Too many hoops to jump through using Google. Sorry.

  • Julie Gale

    I loved looking at all of the photographs, but the two that made my top two list were the Penny De Los Santos burger/ pulled meat, cheese and capsicum photo, under portfolios then food beauties on page 3 and a Lara Ferroni pic of Beignets with Fudgey Chicory Coffee Sauce!

    Pennys burger/bun picture struck me as it captured the burger/bun in all its glory. There was nothing to distract you in the photograph, it made the burger the hero, while also creating the entire experience of enjoying your burger and drink adding vague drinks and glasses present in the background. The juices shown running from underneath the meat only accentuated just how succulent and tasty I’m sure the meat is. But it was the colours that initially caught my eye, the contrast between the rustic green/turquiose bench top, the white cheese and the bright vegetables within the burger/bun,not overpowering the brown meat, yet only accentuating it and drawing your eye around the photograph.

    Lara Ferroni ‘The Beignets with Fudgey Chicory Coffee Sauce” caught my eye also. I don’t even know what Beignets are! But from this photo I imagine them to be scrumptious deep fried little treats that are even better when teamed alongside a rich chocolatey sauce. At first glance of the photo I pictured them to be a treat that was enjoyed alongside a good coffee, but after reading the title,am unsure as to if the coffee cup is just there to indicate that a coffee element is present within the food itself? ( Fudgey Chicory Coffee Sauce) I’m also unsure as to what the white icing drizzeld over the Beignets actually is, but I’d like to believe that this icing is present within the Beignets itself 🙂 I picture dunking these Beignets in the rich chocolatey sauce,getting my fingers covered in chocolate in the process, but this is how you enjoy these Beignets in all their glory, its ok to get alittle messy in the process, these are not to be eaten on their own, but teamed alongside this rich sauce, will always keep anyone who eats them coming back for more 🙂

  • Link to Day 2 is broken… is it because I’m 9 hrs ahead (Italy)?

  • Helene Dujardin & Teri Campbell are my favorites

  • I chose this photo from Matt Armendariz because it has wonderful textures, is well lit, and is simple without fussiness:

    I love how this photo from Penny De Los Santos tells a story with one shot:

    And, for a bonus 3rd photographer, I love how these photos from Teri Campbell match the earthiness of the vegetable with an earthy toned photo:

  • Lidija

    With delay I choose Penny De Los Santos and Mat Armendariz.

    Penny De Los Santos:
    1st photo: food beauties, photo number 16: I really like the contrast of cookies on the plate and then cookies that were on the plate and are not any more. I would say that the photo is emphasising the time over the space . First words that crossed my mind when looking at this photo were “cherish things that you are given, because some day you might not have them anymore”.
    2nd photo: food beauties, photo number 22: I would describe this photo as photo that talks about care and carefully selection of only the best food.

    Mat Armendariz:
    – 1st photo: New Work, photo number 4: just simply love the colour balance in these two photos. The contrast of black and red is just unbelievable.
    -2nd photo: New work II, photo number 1: I love this chaotic order on the photo. The focus when looking at the focus is driven to the edges of the photo. From mine point of view it is fun to look at this photo – it is playful and positive. I would describe it with a expression that is nowadays commonly used and that is “out of box thinking”.

  • Hi
    I wanted to do the home work for the 1 day of April, but I could not leave a comment on the page you asked me to use
    Please advice
    Thank you
    Amal Alalim

  • Hi, I picked Peatrice Peltre and Aran Gogoyaga.
    The feeling I get from their photos – what I guess they have in common- is a sense of perfect harmony (due to the perfect composition of their pics, a joyfullness (due to the wise use of light and colors I guess) and lightness. These photos make me feel happy.
    It was difficuklt to choose just two, by the way.
    I love peltre’s way of stiling tomatoes. the contrast of shapes and colours she uses…
    fun task, sorry for the delay

  • I loke Dujardin’s photo. the darker background and wood bring about a little vintage feeling into her work.
    And Teri’s work. The one in the beach and the fish chips. They feel like the photos were speaking to me.

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