The just concluded food photography workshop with Minjiba Cookey gave room to explore composition theories with many hands-on styling sessions throughout the workshop. She has an instinctive sense and taste for simple beauty and has managed to source and curate unique items with her appreciation for simple pattern props that bring a shoot to life.
Attendees had access to props from her collection, as well as room to practice however they chose to, allowing the class to focus on the strength of the new composition skill taught throughout the day.
Here’s a summary of some of the key things learnt:
Place and highlight the most interesting aspects of food
The main goal of food composition is to accentuate the most important subject in your frame. Whatever composition you choose to go with should match the story you want to tell.
If you’re hoping to capture slow motion and freeze a moment in time, it could be a shot of you pouring maple syrup on pancakes or sprinkling sugar on bread. Make sure you;
- Set up your shot with your focal point on something stationery
- Ensure your aperture is set at a high enough number to make sure everything is in focus
- Very fast shutter speed is ideal
Props are an essential part of food photography. They can make or break an image and help us to tell the story in our photographs. Choosing the right props might be challenging at first, so here are some of the tips Minjiba shared to help you choose the right props for your projects.
- Fewer Props, More Creativity: Be mindful when picking props for your images, fewer props mean more creativity, you don’t want to be overwhelmed and confused. Select a few props and get creative.
- Be patient: Building a concrete prop collection takes time and patience so put down a list of your essential prop collection and build it slowly an intentionally
- Props should complement the food: Props should never be the first thing the viewer notices. They should never distract from the dish you are shooting or to be overpowering.
The first thing to consider when shooting natural light is your light source. Technically speaking, In photography, your light source depends on where you’re shooting and how you’re shooting.If you’re shooting indoors by a window, then the source of light is the window.
- Use a diffuser: You do not need to break the bank for good diffuser, putting up a clean white material that light can pass through is just as good
- The direction of Light: Natural light is all around us, but when talking about photography, the light direction either comes from the front, the side, the back, or the top.
- When it comes to food photography light coming from the front is the least appealing light direction to work with. It rarely looks good and makes your image look flat and lifeless. Backlighting is when you position your light behind the food. It is used a lot in liquor and beverage photography. It works well to highlight the liquid properties of food.
Feel free to share any other aspects of photography you might want to learn more about and if you have any further questions about this topic below
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Words By Ezeoke Michael | Images from class participants