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Food Photography: Advice & Inspiration from a Food-Shooting Pro


all images © Nicole Franzen

 

Thanks to photo apps like Instagram, and to our current culture of capture-and-overshare enthusiasm, I can no longer sit down to a meal without snapping a photo of the food. If you take a look at the various tags on Instagram related to the things that people consume throughout the day (#food #eats #noms) you’ll see that I am not alone in the habitual photographing of my meals.

But outside of the realm of iPhonography, there is also a thriving professional food photography world. Yes, this is an actual job that many fortunate (and talented!) folks have managed to carve out for themselves. While some great cooking glossies have gone by the wayside (RIP Gourmet), there is no shortage of outlets for professional photographers to showcase (and cash in on) their work online and in print.

Culinary Composition

Professional food photographers may make their deliciously-staged shots look simple, but the craft of capturing food is no easy feat. Even someone well versed in the other genres of photography will have to relearn the rules when shooting subjects as fickle as couscous or cheeseburgers. And reflective subjects like glasses full of bubbly can offer significant challenges in improper lighting.

So with those sorts of challenges in mind, I’ve asked Brooklyn-based food photographer, Nicole Franzen, to share her tips for shooting food, including advice on equipment, lighting, styling and composition. Nicole runs the gorgeous food and lifestyle blog, La Buena Vida, and her photo clients include Bon Appétit, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn Magazines, and Gramercy Tavern, among many others.

Below are Nicole’s tips on the craft of photographing food. Grab a fork and dig in!

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Many Traveled Roads: An Interview with Harvey Stein

Many Traveled Roads: An Interview with Harvey Stein

Text by Robert A. Schaefer, Jr.
Images © Harvey Stein

Although I have known photographer Harvey Stein since 2000, when we were introduced at Fotofest in Houston, Texas, for a long while I hadn’t had an opportunity to talk to him about the many facets of his photography. Attending an opening at the new photography gallery, Umbrella Arts, in the East Village in New York City (where Harvey is curator), I recently had the opportunity to find out more about him and the directions his involvement with photography has gone.

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To Flash or not To Flash

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Brighten Up and Improve Your Photographs
by Tom Benford

Originally published in March 2008 issue of Digital Photographer

Without a doubt, one of the handiest features of your digital camera is the built-in flash. And, also without a doubt, it’s also the most misused, too. Many people only think of using their flash when the ambient lighting is too dark to give them an acceptable exposure, which is one of the main reasons the flash was built into the camera in the first place. But there are lots of other times you can – and should – be using the flash to brighten up and improve your pictures. Using the flash can often make the difference between a keeper and a trasher, or make a simply good picture into a much better one. The thing is to know when and how to use the flash to best advantage.

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The Digital Deluge

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Making Sense of the Selection
by Gregory Scoblete

Originally published in the February 2008 issue of Digital Photographer

If the digital camera market was a restaurant, it would be an all-you-can-eat buffet. In the recent wave of digital camera introductions there is literally something for everyone, and every budget. Just be careful not to gorge yourself.

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