The Joy of Food Photography
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This one took the equivalent of a whole day to create, which I know sounds crazy. So where did all the time go?
First I couldn’t use just any bowl for a shot that celebrates the most important meal of the day. I searched high and low and came up empty handed. One friend suggested taking a trip to the museum of Appalachia. Not a bad idea, my favorite coffee cup was purchased at their gift shop, but I didn’t have enough time. Then she suggested the Mighty Mud here in Knoxville. Up to twenty clay artists call the Mighty Mud their studio home. There I found the perfect bowl crafted by a local artist.
Next, to search for the perfect spoon. Without getting into my car I discovered a store named Nostalgia across the street. Once inside the first display I encountered threw me back in time and landed me on the coolest yellow midcentury modern couch I’ve ever seen. Nestled in one of the vendor’s booths was the spoon I was looking for.
The rest of the shopping included cereal, instant mash potatoes, extra almond slices, blueberries…..Wait you think, instant mash potatoes? What else is going to hold all the flakes and almonds in place as the shot is styled?
A couple more hours were spent locating a suitable napkin, place mat, and background objects to add texture and interest. Last but not least, milk. Historically food photographers have used Elmer’s glue to simulate milk. My research suggested using Wildroot Hair Lotion. This product gives a cleaner white than glue does, creating the look of whole milk versus watery looking skim milk. At this point I have at least four hours invested and haven’t shot a single frame.
Finally I made it into the studio. Time here includes setting up lighting, styling the set, actually shooting the images, and cleaning up. At least another two hours fly by. Next to upload the files, cull, and retouch the chosen one, an additional two hours. Total this breakfast took me eight hours to create and wasn’t even edible!
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