Today I will tell you the most important thing about taking food photos “on-site”. When I say “on-site” I mean, at the client´s restaurant, or cafeteria, or whatever. My first food photos were on-site, I wrote to a newly opened coffee shop, called Sweetie Boutique Bakery (check them out! @sweetieboutiquebakery), and asked them if they wanted free social media photos (because I was building my portfolio, it was a win-win situation). They were happy with my offer so I went there to know them.
When you enter Sweetie for the first time, you will notice the pink color all over the place and its femininity. But, this is not the most important. Color for example, is just information that will be useful later, the most important thing is the “mood” of the place. In this cafeteria you can feel joy and happiness all the time, and that is what you have to detect when you take photos on site.
Before going to the shooting place, the photographer should investigate the location, search on social media, and pay attention to the photos they have already taken. Then, if you can, go to the place to “feel” it, to understand what their needs are, what type of content they want, and also make suggestions, because most of the time they don´t know what they need.
Feeling the place is essential
Ana and Gime (the managers) are very friendly and always have great ideas about the content they want to create, nevertheless, they listen to my ideas and let me create freely. Here are some of the photos we created for the summer campaign that I love.
One of the most important elements in food photography is the background. When the photos are on-site, what happens most of the time is that people use tables as a background. I hate that. Unless the tables are special for some reason, it is best to use another background. In the photos above you can see that the background is white or colored cardboard. It is crucial to find backgrounds that the photographer can easily move to create different scenarios and avoid using restaurant or cafeteria surfaces. That is why I use vinyl and fabric backgrounds. Vinyls are these, they are not expensive and you can get good results, but you can also make your own background with fabric and paint.
See you on the next post!