Complete Guide to Mouth-Watering Food Photography – Part 4: Set Up the Food Photography Stage

Complete Guide #4

It is almost the time to pick up your camera and start shooting. But before you do that, there is one last thing remaining. Arranging and assembling the food, props and background.

Set Up the Stage

After knowing that food photography is complex, understanding your subject and planning to make great photograph, we are ready to make the next move. The next move is to set the food on the table, style it and if you choose, you can use shoot tethered.

By now you have set up the table (or the surface where food will be placed and photographed), selected the plates and silverware to complement the food, thought about and inspired yourself to do some great food styling. You may  have also started taming the light and becoming a better master of light. And once all that is done, you have probably decided what kind of props will go better with the dish you are shooting. Now, lets take next step. Let’s set up our stage to perform our show and that brings us to the next 4 steps:

  • Step 10 – Set up for Shooting Tethered
  • Step 11 – Position the Dish
  • Step 12 – Prop It Up
  • Step 13 – Styling the Dish

Let’s look at each one of these in more detail.As you set up your table (or the surface where you will place the dish) in step 5, you must have cleaned the surface and should be ready for these steps in setting the stage.

Step 10 – Set up for Shooting Tethering

Tethering is an advanced technique in shooting food photography, where photographers hook up their camera with a computer so that when a photo is taken, the photo is sent  to the computer and is displayed on computer screen. While 3 inch screen at the back of your camera can do the job, shooting tethered gives you instant result on a big screen, for you to make sure that the photo looks good. However, this is a bit advanced technique (and we will talk about it in future), and some of you may choose not to go through the pain and may want to use the screen on camera and that is good too. Tethering is an optional step, and mostly used only by professional photographer.

Step 11 – Position the Dish

In this step we start putting the food on the table, assemble the core dish and move on to food styling. To start with, we place the plate we selected in step ###@@@. Now when you place the plate, place it in such a way that you can use natural light whenever possible. In general, the thumb rule is to have light source behind you when you are taking a photograph. However, position of light source can be changed to get creative effects. So, for now, lets just talk about when the light source is behind you. After placing the plate on the table, take a shot or two. Yes! just the plate and surface, nothing else. Why? After taking a photo or so, review the photo and see if anything looks odd. Things like reflection, light source reflected in the dish or the surface. Check the white balance too. Once you are satisfied with this arrangement, assemble the core dish, we are ready to style it.

Step 12 – Prop It Up

Props can bring a lot of life to a photograph. A glass of milk in the background when shooting a stack of cookies, or raw ingredients of the recipe bring a lot of meaning to the picture. In step 9 you brainstormed some possibilities of props that can be used in the photograph. Use them. Experiment with other props. Now I cannot end this without tell you that – props are not always required, look at the photograph at the top.

Step 13 – Style it – Get Creative

Let me start with this – in some cases, you may have to start food styling before you place food in the plate. So depending on the type of food, and type of styling, you will have to decide what to start first. In most cases though, placing the food and styling it go hand in hand. Food styling is a huge subject and this too deserves a series of dedicated posts. Get some inspiration, try to study what great food stylist are doing. Search on flickr. Here’s one suggestion: Don’t over-style the food. There is difference between food art and food styling.

There you go. You are almost there, almost ready to pick up the camera and start shooting. What’s next? Shooting.

Rest of the Guide

Complete Guide to Mouth-Watering Food Photography is 5 part series on improving food photography. Here are all of the parts of this guide:

Don’t miss the remaining posts. Stay tuned. Get rest of this series by subscribing to the RSS feed or by subscribing to email updates. Yes! Its all FREE!!

How Do You Set Up

What do you do? How do you plan your shoot? How in depth planning do you usually do? Are there any tricks that you use? What planning secrets you share with us?

Photo Credit: Original photo Food Photography – Japanese Udon by www.hafizismail.net

Did You Learn Something New?
Don't Miss The Next Food Photography Tip
Get food photography tutorials and tips in your email as soon as we publish them. Get information about food photography workshops and workshop notes.
  • http://dailybreadjournal.blogspot.com Toni

    Why has it taken me so long to find your blog??? I’ve been photographing for years – but it’s people, mostly, that catch my eye. Now that I have a food blog, I need, need, NEED to learn what you’re offering here. THANK YOU!!!

    • http://www.learnfoodphotography.com Neel

      It took you so long because I should started this some time back :| I know. But hey! now that we’ve met, I hope I can help a little bit. I love feedback, so please let me know how I can help.

  • http://todaysdeal.us/category/auctions Amber john

    Todays deal provides free coupons and discounts codes of on line deals to save your money on online purchase. Its is side where you can search and browse more than 15000 free discount codes and coupons of online stores, products and brand of your own choice. Todays deal helps people to save their money on online purchase by availing free discount codes and coupons on our webpage while making online purchase from your favorite online stores and brands. We provide the guide line not only to our regular customers but also to those who are new to online purchase by extending the benefit on your retail order by using discount codes and coupons.

  • http://www.izuimmssamsario84.com Hipolito M. Wiseman

    I simply want to mention I am just all new to blogs and absolutely loved this blog. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly come with remarkable posts. Cheers for sharing with us your web page.

  • http://xxxkylierose.com putas xxx

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!

  • http://www.cumshotsurprisetgp.com find more in cumshotsurprisetgp.com

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get anything done.

  • http://www.sexoilustrado.com/13/follando-a-la-tetona-de-susana-alcala/ great page

    May I simply say what a relief to discover an individual who actually knows what they’re discussing over the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people have to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you’re not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.

  • http://www.albumsexo.com/9/reventando-el-culo-de-una-portuguesa-rasurada/ full post

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a great article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  • http://www.spankschoolgirls.com/16/corrida-en-la-cara-de-la-cachonda-victoria-puppy/ browse link

    Hello there! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great info you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon.

  • http://sageba.com/health-insurance-in-colorado-usa/ Health Insurance in Colorado

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  • http://nudeporngalleries.com website nudeporngalleries.com

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  • http://www.jamaicaoceanviewvilla.com/amenities/ Jamaica ocean view villa

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and also the rest of the website is also very good.

  • http://www.beyourporn.com be your porn com

    May I simply just say what a relief to discover someone who really knows what they’re talking about over the internet. You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people have to look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

  • http://www.sexoviajes.com view sexoviajes.com

    It’s hard to find educated people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • http://www.sexo-cam.com/37/reventando-el-chocho-depilado-de-rita/ good page

    It’s hard to find experienced people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Pingback: ajs 562

  • http://www.smutlinxxx.com find more in smutlinxxx.com

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  • http://lesbianporns.net lesbianporns website

    I was pretty pleased to discover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new stuff on your web site.

  • Pingback: Justin wayne dating

  • http://www.teennudesite.com/6/follando-a-una-rumana-madurita-de-la-red-social/ browse post

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality websites online. I most certainly will recommend this website!

  • http://www.illinoisnewsdesk.com/6786-brooklyn-physical-therapy-serving-brooklyn-ny_ind.html Brooklyn chiropractors

    I used to be able to find good information from your content.

  • http://www.fistinginactiontgp.com/12/haciendo-gemir-a-una-morena-muy-guarra/ browse link

    Excellent blog post. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!

  • Pingback: cmgt 575

  • Pingback: ntc 249

  • Pingback: laser

  • Pingback: Pop Instrumentals

  • http://www.suessexysites.com/18/karen-follando-duro-hasta-correrse-de-gusto/ good post

    May I just say what a comfort to find a person that truly knows what they’re talking about online. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people should check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.

  • http://www.pornoizle9.com browse pornoizle9.com

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I really believed you would probably have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  • http://www.mgbenefits.com/employee-benefits-insurance-oregon-washington.html Montgomery & Graham Inc

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this amazing site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!

More in food photography, food styling (61 of 69 articles)