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sonatainn

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I just took some pictures today of some of my breakfast wares...I added them to the gallery on my breakfast page => http://www.sonatainn.com/breakfast.html
What did I learn from this though?...Food is REALLY hard to shoot!! So many imperfections....how does McDonalds do it!?
Anyone else have pictures of food that they shot themselves? These are mostly done with a Macro setting....it was still hard to find good lighting.
 

muirford

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I have heard it is best to have the food frozen in its cooked state so that it will stay good for the photos. You should never worry about whether it's edible, only that it looks good. A Big Mac looks nothing like those photos in real life - yours will be much more like real life.
 

sonatainn

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I hear big company's use clothe steamers to cook to food to a point of looking juicy and cooked, but not over cooked...
I understand that my food will obviously look more real...but I wonder if there are lighting tricks I can use to make them better.
 

Morticia

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Food is very hard to shoot! That's why McD's et al have food stylists they pay big bucks to.
Some thoughts on food photos (for anyone), from someone who's had her food photos published...
  • make food just for the photography- don't cook it all the way as if it would be eaten- it generally looks burnt;
  • use 'fillers' underneath in a basket so you don't have to waste a lot of food;
  • shaving cream is a good sub for whipped cream and you won't mind throwing it out;
  • tight shots are better, jam everything close to the plate and take close ups (I think you've got this one down);
  • lighting is essential- I don't have good lights so I put the food on a table right next to the window;
  • set the table up so all you have to do is bring the food into the picture and snap away. Know the best angles and reshoot with new food if possible;
  • meat generally looks awful in photos, usually gray and unappetizing so there's a 'sweet spot' between it looking raw and looking burnt, you need to experiment if you put meat in the pix;
  • fill in the plates with garnishes for a punch of color;
  • dark juice is a good sub for coffee if you don't feel like making a pot of coffee;
  • hairspray makes food look shiny, if you need it to look that way;
  • consider using special plates for the pix, a color that goes well with the food you're shooting.
It's great that you've added the food pix to the lineup. If you could get the screenshots to go a little faster I think you'll definitely keep the attention of guests looking at the breakfast page. Mix up the order if you can, for some reason looking at people is not as exciting (on the breakfast page) as the food is! I like the "army of muffins" shot and a couple of the "encore croissants & muffins" were pretty good, too. The stratas could do with a little more color...a tomato slice, a strawberry fan or even the fruit cup just laid out on the plate.
 

Tony

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Most of the ingredients used in the McDonalds ads are not food products at all, so I wouldn't worry about achieving that level of perfection unless you're handy at sculpting Fimo.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of what the food looks in the ads and the real thing: http://thewvsr.com/adsvsreality.htm
By the way, do you have a Brittish background? I just noticed that you spelled "yogurt" as "yoghurt" on that food page.
 

sonatainn

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To be honest...I was really just kidding when it came to Mcdonald's looking good...I know the food is not realistic....this is more of a photographer question, than a question of Food quality.
That Side by side comparison is quite informative though!
 

Proud Texan

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I used to work in advertising and had occasion to work with food. The most common mistake amateurs make is overcooking the food. Slightly undercooked is better. If it's dry, it will photograph dry. We would always "paint" food with glycerin to make it look moist. Ice cream was never ice cream but a flour and salt mixture like we used to use in grade school to make relief maps. Milk is watered down Elmers glue.
There are several other tricks that you can use.
Don't worry if the food is edible. Your only concerned with how it looks.
 

sonatainn

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Food is very hard to shoot! That's why McD's et al have food stylists they pay big bucks to.
Some thoughts on food photos (for anyone), from someone who's had her food photos published...
  • make food just for the photography- don't cook it all the way as if it would be eaten- it generally looks burnt;
  • use 'fillers' underneath in a basket so you don't have to waste a lot of food;
  • shaving cream is a good sub for whipped cream and you won't mind throwing it out;
  • tight shots are better, jam everything close to the plate and take close ups (I think you've got this one down);
  • lighting is essential- I don't have good lights so I put the food on a table right next to the window;
  • set the table up so all you have to do is bring the food into the picture and snap away. Know the best angles and reshoot with new food if possible;
  • meat generally looks awful in photos, usually gray and unappetizing so there's a 'sweet spot' between it looking raw and looking burnt, you need to experiment if you put meat in the pix;
  • fill in the plates with garnishes for a punch of color;
  • dark juice is a good sub for coffee if you don't feel like making a pot of coffee;
  • hairspray makes food look shiny, if you need it to look that way;
  • consider using special plates for the pix, a color that goes well with the food you're shooting.
It's great that you've added the food pix to the lineup. If you could get the screenshots to go a little faster I think you'll definitely keep the attention of guests looking at the breakfast page. Mix up the order if you can, for some reason looking at people is not as exciting (on the breakfast page) as the food is! I like the "army of muffins" shot and a couple of the "encore croissants & muffins" were pretty good, too. The stratas could do with a little more color...a tomato slice, a strawberry fan or even the fruit cup just laid out on the plate..
Yeah! We're not good with garnishes...I have to tell the chef...
I like the hairspray idea, and I think I'm going to find nice plates to place the rolls on.
I switched the order of the gallery around a bit...and I made it faster too!
I don't know if I can convince the chef to cook rolls just for photography...she would force me to consume them!
I forgot Coffee photos!!!
 

Morticia

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Food is very hard to shoot! That's why McD's et al have food stylists they pay big bucks to.
Some thoughts on food photos (for anyone), from someone who's had her food photos published...
  • make food just for the photography- don't cook it all the way as if it would be eaten- it generally looks burnt;
  • use 'fillers' underneath in a basket so you don't have to waste a lot of food;
  • shaving cream is a good sub for whipped cream and you won't mind throwing it out;
  • tight shots are better, jam everything close to the plate and take close ups (I think you've got this one down);
  • lighting is essential- I don't have good lights so I put the food on a table right next to the window;
  • set the table up so all you have to do is bring the food into the picture and snap away. Know the best angles and reshoot with new food if possible;
  • meat generally looks awful in photos, usually gray and unappetizing so there's a 'sweet spot' between it looking raw and looking burnt, you need to experiment if you put meat in the pix;
  • fill in the plates with garnishes for a punch of color;
  • dark juice is a good sub for coffee if you don't feel like making a pot of coffee;
  • hairspray makes food look shiny, if you need it to look that way;
  • consider using special plates for the pix, a color that goes well with the food you're shooting.
It's great that you've added the food pix to the lineup. If you could get the screenshots to go a little faster I think you'll definitely keep the attention of guests looking at the breakfast page. Mix up the order if you can, for some reason looking at people is not as exciting (on the breakfast page) as the food is! I like the "army of muffins" shot and a couple of the "encore croissants & muffins" were pretty good, too. The stratas could do with a little more color...a tomato slice, a strawberry fan or even the fruit cup just laid out on the plate..
Yeah! We're not good with garnishes...I have to tell the chef...
I like the hairspray idea, and I think I'm going to find nice plates to place the rolls on.
I switched the order of the gallery around a bit...and I made it faster too!
I don't know if I can convince the chef to cook rolls just for photography...she would force me to consume them!
I forgot Coffee photos!!!
.
We didn't start off with a lot of garnishes and one morning we served a simple strata with a fanned strawberry. The son of a guest was wowed by this and raved about it saying if they did that where he worked (elder home) more of the residents would look forward to eating. After that we started looking at simple garnishes that don't cost a lot. Try flowers, as long as you grow them yourself and they're edible, you'll know they don't have pesticides on them. My daylilies are just coming in and will start to go on the plates this weekend.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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I used to work in advertising and had occasion to work with food. The most common mistake amateurs make is overcooking the food. Slightly undercooked is better. If it's dry, it will photograph dry. We would always "paint" food with glycerin to make it look moist. Ice cream was never ice cream but a flour and salt mixture like we used to use in grade school to make relief maps. Milk is watered down Elmers glue.
There are several other tricks that you can use.
Don't worry if the food is edible. Your only concerned with how it looks..
We once had the former head "Food Stylist" for Bon Apetit magazine as a guest and she had a whole bag full of tricks she shared with us.
For the life of me, I can't remeber many that haven't already been mentioned though. You know, that short term memory loss from my younger days. in my case, you can through in the mid-range memory loss too. LOL
With all those beautiful photos Sonata is sharing I'm going to have to twist the arm again of my very modest, but extraordinarily talented better half to allow me to put some food shots on our website.
It took four years just to get her to agree to having a photo of us on the site, I think one of the main attractions of the place, her food should also be on there.
 

Willowpondgj

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You can check out our menu pages...DH did them, but he's a pro. Get as much natural light and as little clutter as possible...
 

Samster

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Food is very hard to shoot! That's why McD's et al have food stylists they pay big bucks to.
Some thoughts on food photos (for anyone), from someone who's had her food photos published...
  • make food just for the photography- don't cook it all the way as if it would be eaten- it generally looks burnt;
  • use 'fillers' underneath in a basket so you don't have to waste a lot of food;
  • shaving cream is a good sub for whipped cream and you won't mind throwing it out;
  • tight shots are better, jam everything close to the plate and take close ups (I think you've got this one down);
  • lighting is essential- I don't have good lights so I put the food on a table right next to the window;
  • set the table up so all you have to do is bring the food into the picture and snap away. Know the best angles and reshoot with new food if possible;
  • meat generally looks awful in photos, usually gray and unappetizing so there's a 'sweet spot' between it looking raw and looking burnt, you need to experiment if you put meat in the pix;
  • fill in the plates with garnishes for a punch of color;
  • dark juice is a good sub for coffee if you don't feel like making a pot of coffee;
  • hairspray makes food look shiny, if you need it to look that way;
  • consider using special plates for the pix, a color that goes well with the food you're shooting.
It's great that you've added the food pix to the lineup. If you could get the screenshots to go a little faster I think you'll definitely keep the attention of guests looking at the breakfast page. Mix up the order if you can, for some reason looking at people is not as exciting (on the breakfast page) as the food is! I like the "army of muffins" shot and a couple of the "encore croissants & muffins" were pretty good, too. The stratas could do with a little more color...a tomato slice, a strawberry fan or even the fruit cup just laid out on the plate..
Yeah! We're not good with garnishes...I have to tell the chef...
I like the hairspray idea, and I think I'm going to find nice plates to place the rolls on.
I switched the order of the gallery around a bit...and I made it faster too!
I don't know if I can convince the chef to cook rolls just for photography...she would force me to consume them!
I forgot Coffee photos!!!
.
We didn't start off with a lot of garnishes and one morning we served a simple strata with a fanned strawberry. The son of a guest was wowed by this and raved about it saying if they did that where he worked (elder home) more of the residents would look forward to eating. After that we started looking at simple garnishes that don't cost a lot. Try flowers, as long as you grow them yourself and they're edible, you'll know they don't have pesticides on them. My daylilies are just coming in and will start to go on the plates this weekend.
.
Our Daylilies are finished here!
The guys know that nothing leaves the kitchen "naked".

 

JBloggs

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Food photogs have a whole degree in this sort of thing. Undercook or no cook the food, colors contrasts, lighting, all so important. I have yet to do it successfully and to be honest you might be better off purchasing for a small fee some stock photos that closely resemble something you would make.
Here is a website I adore with photos of all the recipes - take a squiz http://inncuisine.com/
K.I.S.S I think applies in most instances and CLOSE UP shots.
 

JBloggs

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Get some coffee pics on there and fast near those cinn rolls! Coffee is always photographed black with some soap suds on the surface. I was once photographed at a restaurant where i worked for an entertainment guide, all the food was undercooked or not cooked. Glasses should not be empty. One of my favorite type photos is of a plate being eaten with the knife and fork on the plate and big chucnky crumbs laying there. I have no idea how to take those photos, but I think they are cool.
 

sonatainn

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Food photogs have a whole degree in this sort of thing. Undercook or no cook the food, colors contrasts, lighting, all so important. I have yet to do it successfully and to be honest you might be better off purchasing for a small fee some stock photos that closely resemble something you would make.
Here is a website I adore with photos of all the recipes - take a squiz http://inncuisine.com/
K.I.S.S I think applies in most instances and CLOSE UP shots.
.
Stock photos...I don't know if I would feel comfortable with that....but thanks for the Coffee tips.
 

sonatainn

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You can check out our menu pages...DH did them, but he's a pro. Get as much natural light and as little clutter as possible....
Your menu page is AMAZING! That chocolate cake looks awesome! I love the peaches.
Does your DH use a special lens? I love how the food is right next to the windows....
Hmm, I need to rethink my pictures....
 

sonatainn

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Most of the ingredients used in the McDonalds ads are not food products at all, so I wouldn't worry about achieving that level of perfection unless you're handy at sculpting Fimo.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of what the food looks in the ads and the real thing: http://thewvsr.com/adsvsreality.htm
By the way, do you have a Brittish background? I just noticed that you spelled "yogurt" as "yoghurt" on that food page..
I'm Canadian..and I always learned to spell yoghurt as "Yoghurt." I don't know if it is a Canadian thing though....
Honour => honor
Color => colour....
What happened to this english language anyways!?
 

sonatainn

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Food is very hard to shoot! That's why McD's et al have food stylists they pay big bucks to.
Some thoughts on food photos (for anyone), from someone who's had her food photos published...
  • make food just for the photography- don't cook it all the way as if it would be eaten- it generally looks burnt;
  • use 'fillers' underneath in a basket so you don't have to waste a lot of food;
  • shaving cream is a good sub for whipped cream and you won't mind throwing it out;
  • tight shots are better, jam everything close to the plate and take close ups (I think you've got this one down);
  • lighting is essential- I don't have good lights so I put the food on a table right next to the window;
  • set the table up so all you have to do is bring the food into the picture and snap away. Know the best angles and reshoot with new food if possible;
  • meat generally looks awful in photos, usually gray and unappetizing so there's a 'sweet spot' between it looking raw and looking burnt, you need to experiment if you put meat in the pix;
  • fill in the plates with garnishes for a punch of color;
  • dark juice is a good sub for coffee if you don't feel like making a pot of coffee;
  • hairspray makes food look shiny, if you need it to look that way;
  • consider using special plates for the pix, a color that goes well with the food you're shooting.
It's great that you've added the food pix to the lineup. If you could get the screenshots to go a little faster I think you'll definitely keep the attention of guests looking at the breakfast page. Mix up the order if you can, for some reason looking at people is not as exciting (on the breakfast page) as the food is! I like the "army of muffins" shot and a couple of the "encore croissants & muffins" were pretty good, too. The stratas could do with a little more color...a tomato slice, a strawberry fan or even the fruit cup just laid out on the plate..
Yeah! We're not good with garnishes...I have to tell the chef...
I like the hairspray idea, and I think I'm going to find nice plates to place the rolls on.
I switched the order of the gallery around a bit...and I made it faster too!
I don't know if I can convince the chef to cook rolls just for photography...she would force me to consume them!
I forgot Coffee photos!!!
.
We didn't start off with a lot of garnishes and one morning we served a simple strata with a fanned strawberry. The son of a guest was wowed by this and raved about it saying if they did that where he worked (elder home) more of the residents would look forward to eating. After that we started looking at simple garnishes that don't cost a lot. Try flowers, as long as you grow them yourself and they're edible, you'll know they don't have pesticides on them. My daylilies are just coming in and will start to go on the plates this weekend.
.
We grow chives, cilantro, parsley and basil...I might convince the chef to incorporate those...
We use chives on the scrambled eggs already though.
 

Willowpondgj

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You can check out our menu pages...DH did them, but he's a pro. Get as much natural light and as little clutter as possible....
Your menu page is AMAZING! That chocolate cake looks awesome! I love the peaches.
Does your DH use a special lens? I love how the food is right next to the windows....
Hmm, I need to rethink my pictures....
.
Thank you! Not a special lense, but a high quality camera, he has a Nikon D300 and he knows how to use it...
I can barely get a picture in focus on auto shoot.
 
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