My attempts at photographing food (something I love to do) has not been going according to plan. Funnily enough, it really doesn’t work to try and prepare a meal for 6 and take beautiful shots of the various stages at the same time. Invariably the shot is terrible, or something is burned.
So when a wonderful client of mine (and new friend) Yoda took me up on my offer to play photographer at an event she was catering, and nearly shouted out a “YES!”. Yoda Olinyk is a wonderful caterer right here in my hometown whose focus on fresh, natural, made-from-scratch meals has earned her a huge reputation. She is already booked catering-wise for the summer but she also offers great tasting ready-to-heat meals for busy people!
She snagged a pretty cool gig a couple of weeks ago: a fundraising event for the Thames Valley Land Trust, an organization who is attempting to buy land and leave it in an undisturbed state for local flora and fauna. Pretty amazing goals, if you ask me. So the event was a live and silent auction being held at a gorgeous home in South London. Yoda decided on a “foraged” kind of theme for the meal (which was more of a series of appetizers). I had a great set-up in outdoor light, with a nice high table and white tablecloth. I brought my tripod, stool, and external flash (just in case).
To prepare beforehand, I did some blog reading (of course!) and looked for the usual Pinterest and Google Image inspiration. I also practised quite a bit at home. With some extra batteries and memory cards in tow, I hopped in the car and was off.
Then evening couldn’t have worked out more beautifully. As Yoda plated each tidbit, she would send a plate my way so that I had a good 20 minutes to shoot it. The biggest advice I remembered reading about food photogreaphy in the past is “How to shoot it so it looks like the viewer would want to dig right in?” This helped tremendously with my staging, as each plate was an entirely different shape, texture, and colour, and so each had its own unique challenges.
You can see the results here: