Sharing something a little different today, let me know what you think about posts like this. I thought it might be interesting to talk about what goes into shooting a recipe, how I setup a shot and edit my photos.
Luckily I had some help, thank you Ann (@PlantCrush) for collaborating with me on these Harry Potter recipes! We had a couple unsuccessful attempts on our original ideas for this collab, but we found a way to make it work!
Below are shots from our most recent recipe for Butterbeer Macaroons. The full recipe can be found over on Ann’s website.
I prefer keeping my setup very simple. It works best for my budget and I’m content with the outcome, for now. Usually I lay down a sheet of paper, typically saved from my Vitacost orders and crumble it up for added texture. More recently I started standing up a white backdrop made from styrofoam insulation that came in a old package. It’s not the most glamorous setup, but I can’t complain. It gets the job done, that’s for sure.
During this shoot we set everything up and took test photos before adding our food. To get a better feel for the lighting, adjust props as needed and brainstorm what we wanted from each photo. This helps visualize without having to move your food constantly, which we didn’t want to do since it had a drizzled topping that could quickly become very messy.
Once everything was set, I took out the macaroons and Ann drizzled over the butterbeer sauce. I set my camera to shoot continuous to see if anything looked interesting. Obviously a tripod would be recommended, I didn’t use one so it’s a little shaky. We ended up getting a neat sequence of photos I compiled into an animated .GIF!
After the drizzle came the crushed pecans. I decided to keep snapping as Ann sprinkled those on top. We both really liked this photo, that wasn’t planned.
I like to keep my photos very clean and minimal. I don’t rely on heavy edits, so I try to make sure I love the photo in camera before transferring it to my computer. Relying on editing is something I did in the past, it was too much work and still resulted in an odd looking photo. That’s why I spend more time with lighting and setup to save time editing and posting later on.
Usually I tweak the crop, evenly align the photo if the horizon is off and bump the levels to even out any lighting issues. You’re bound to come across uneven lighting, especially when using natural light – it happens.
(left: I snapped a photo of Ann taking her photos. right: This was the photo Ann took, which was previewed in the left photo – photoception!)
I loved being able to share this behind the scenes with all of you. I’m not able to shoot these on my own, so thank you Ann for all your help! We had a blast making and eating these. Be sure to check out the full recipe over on her page, here.
I’m currently working on a “food photography tips & tricks on a budget” post. Please leave me any comments or questions you have regarding it – I would love to get feedback on what you want to see included!