Some of my biggest clients are food chains and well established brands; from burger joints to supermarket wholesalers and healthy food stores, you name them , I have worked with all the biggest names in the industry.
And I can tell you this: like it or not, that’s when things get real serious – there are no amateurs there and no space, nor time, for improvising. As a photographer, you must be on top of your game and deliver professional services, cost and time effectively.
This is a ( cropped ) sample of an image I recently shot for Wagamama; we did about 15 images on the day, including some from different angles – in total I believe it was 8-9 recipes.
We shot at my Studio, in Rosebery; besides myself, were also there a food stylist, an assistant, a creative director and the client. Depending on the job and client, there might normally be between 4 and 8-10 people at a food shoot – things can get hectic !!
The brief I was given was very specific in regards to lighting, angles and styling; as i said before – no room for improvising. Everything was to be consistent, and keeping in mind that the dishes were then going to be deep-etched and blended on a plain white background for their website.
So here are 3 very useful tips for those of you who are interested in this type of photography:
– I used a strip of black velvet to separate the plates from the surface they were shot on, making sure the retoucher job would be as easy and accurate as possible.
– I shot 8 frames per dish doing a focus stack to make sure the images were sharp from back to front
– I used a grey card to set the white balance in Capture One and then I perfected the exposure, in PS curves, clicking with the white picker on the highlight on the plate ( white point ), and clicking with the black picker on the darkest shadow on the black velvet ( black point ).
Dario Milano is a professional food photographer and food stylist, based in Sydney and servicing predominantly advertising and commercial clients, restaurants and the food packaging industry.
He also teaches regular food photography and food styling workshop in Sydney, as well as in Melbourne and Brisbane.
To get in contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org