This is third post in the food photographer’s diary series. In the first post, Evi shared her story on how she got started in food photography. In the second post, she shared portfolio review event that she attended.
In this post, Evi talks about her first restaurant food photo shoot.
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First Restaurant Photo Shoot
Unfortunately, the food stylist I was hoping to work with this week had to postpone our shoot for a few days…I know, what a bummer!
Instead I wanted to share with you my first restaurant shoot. Harlem Bespoke a local blog that I had approached a few months back asked me if I would like to cover Harlem Restaurant & Retail Month…OF COURSE! I said!
First one up was Lido, an Italian Restaurant and Bar. I knew the layout of the place and set up my camera and reflector on a corner table right next to the windows. Lido’s staff was getting ready for the evening: planning, folding napkins, changing menus and polishing the silverware while I was photographing.
Here is the surface and tableware I worked with:
The executive chef prepared two dishes and a desert to be photographed. Their very friendly staff helped me get set up and after a bunch of crappy shots and some lens switching I found nice angles and photographed away. It took me 10-20 shots to warm up.
First plate: Dungeness Crab Cake, Coriander Dressing, Orzo, Celery, Orange.
Second round: Tuna Crudo, Seaweed, Citrus, Spicy Cucumber
These distance shots were done with a 50mm 1.4 and the close ups with a 100mm 2.8. The photos are straight from the camera. Diffused and direct sun light came through the windows on the right and I was holding a silver reflector on the left. There are still a few things I need to tweak in post production, such as white balance and moiré patterns on the cucumber.
The desert (Panna Cotta) was served in cute glasses on a green plate. Fortunately, I did not have to worry about it melting or falling apart, it was stable and waited for me.
And a few of the ambiance shots:
I tried to remember what Scott Suchman had said about shooting in a restaurant in his interview. He mentioned that the hard but fun part is to work with what the restaurants provide. For example: the plates they used had a high rim, which limited the angles I could shoot from and I did not think to ask them to show me a plate beforehand. That will be on my list for the next restaurant. Next time I will have some tweezers and a brush in my camera bag, just in case the plates need a little help. Looking at the photos I also want to pay more attention to the drinks. A chilled glass of white wine might have been nice to have as a prop….(and as a drink too!)
Let me know what you think of the images and if you have some tips for my next restaurant shoots.
PS: So next week, I will report from the shoot with a stylist!
How Did Your First Restaurant Photo Shoot Go?
Have you done a photography shoot for a restaurant? Share your experience with us. How did you find your first photography assignment? Tell us more. If you haven’t yet started, are you interested in learning more on how to approach a restaurant? Give us some feedback in the comments below.
Diary photo by gato-gato-gato