FOOD + DRINK, RECIPES + menus | November 14, 2009

Food Photography Tips

food photography enhanced by food styling :: le lait 2010 calendar

Food styling is an integral part of food photography. It sets the mood. These beautiful shots are from the 2010 Calendar from la Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec. I shared them with you because they illustrated a good trick when it comes to food photography: pay attention to the backdrop. In this case, they aim to create a cohesive mood instead of a minimalist approach.

fig and swiss ham bread

Start collecting bold wallpapers, fabric coupons, and gift wrapping papers to create your backdrop scene. The stylist for Le Lait calendar was not afraid to opposite modern patterns to traditional plates and utensils.

food styling lesson from le lait 2010 recipe calendar

Get inspired by the food and the tableware you use. If you find a strong pattern, you can repeat the main color of the food on your backdrop. You can also select a pattern that repeats the food shape. At other times, playing with contrasting colors works better. It is a game of trials and errors until you get it right. The key is to experiment. Therefore, always have on hand several options ready to be used.

Be Careful that the Food is Not Lost

Be Careful that the Food is Not Lost :: lelait 2010 calendar

The cream puffs stand against the busy backdrop because of the contrasting colors. On the other hand, the black and white pattern used for the cupcakes is not the best choice. I feel that the small cakes get lost. A bright yellow and black backdrop would have been more effective. I suggest yellow because it complements the creamy tone of the white chocolate curls.

This lesson is not only for food photography. It also applies when you design a buffet table. Simply think about Amy Atlas. A stunning pattern backdrop is a signature of her dessert tables.

MORE:
+ photos by Le Lait – click here to download the calendar (only in French)

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11 Responses to “Food Photography Tips”

  1. “Food Photography Tips | At Home with Kim Vallee” http://tinyurl.com/y9xh5zq FrancoPhoto

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. Food Photography Tips | At Home with Kim Vallee http://bit.ly/3H3HLi

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. Food Photography Tips | At Home with Kim Vallee http://bit.ly/2lJPHx

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. Food Photography Tips | At Home with Kim Vallee http://bit.ly/2SJOsh

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. Food Photography Tips | At Home with Kim Vallee: Food styling is an integral part of food photography. It sets .. http://bit.ly/EkvbB

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. You bring a wonderful aspect to the light. Background is indeed a very important aspect of photography.

    However, I don’t agree with putting clutter on the background. In almost all the photos, the background steals the show and distracts from the main subject of photography – the food itself.

    Now this may be different for entertaining someone. But as far as “photography” is concerned, crowded and busy backgrounds distract.

    What do you think?

  7. I love the look of food set against a coordinating background… it actually makes the food itself look like the focal point of a work of art! This is an especially smart trick for bloggers like us, who focus on food, decor, & design… a reminder that the way we present food is just as important as the taste of the recipes.

  8. Food Photography Tips | At Home with Kim Vallee: Food styling is an integral part of food photography. It sets .. http://bit.ly/2LzSIg

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  9. Neal: I am well aware about the usual wisdom in food photography. Food photographers either take their pictures on a white surface or rely on a “going to the infinite”, fuzzy backdrop. Although, it is true that it highlights better the food, I do not think that it should be the one and only way to capture food on camera. Food like fashion is about inspiring people to cook. And this is easier to achieve by creating a scene, setting a mood, than seeing a dish. I feel that food photography looks too much the same (everyone seems to use the same recipe). I simply wish to encourage people to try other avenues with this post. As with cooking, some experiments will be more successful than others.

  10. Camille: I am happy that I am not alone who gets inspired by these photos. Yes, you grasped the more important part of my message.

  11. I own a recipe blog and for that, very often, I have to take food photographs. A nice photograph makes it look more delicious.