© Kevin Nicholson
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What’s not to like about shooting food? Chefs and restaurateurs are interesting people (even if they can be pretty temperamental) and I'm never going to complain if there are à la carte dishes that need to be 'tidied away' at the end of a shoot.
I assisted a few food photographers after my photography college years, and back then it was an area that was very specialist, even kind of mystical. I was always keen to get into shooting food and luckily I got a foot in the door. My very first commissions were for Sainsbury’s Magazine. It was a real eye-opener as a young photographer to work with food stylists and home economists. You got to learn a lot of tricks of the trade.
The look of food photography has changed over the years from a highly stylised approach to a far more natural feel, which actually makes it a lot faster to shoot. But as with all my photography, I still pay a lot of attention to the lighting of a food shot. There's nothing worse than a beautifully presented dish being ruined by a rogue reflection on a spoon or a wineglass, or even worse, badly lit and composed. This is something I see all the time.
If you have a business in the food industry, you need to ask yourself:
• Is it worth saving money on a specialist photographer?
• Do I have the lightning and compositional skills to do justice to my product?
• Can I take food photographs as well myself?
Props and location are also important, and I try to collect bits and pieces as I go. Charity and bric-a-brac shops can often provide brilliant finds. I often have to make the backgrounds myself as being so far from London I don’t have access to the prop houses where it’s possible to hire everything and anything.
I travel all over the country for one client shooting food, but the majority is contained in the South West, particulary Cornwall - It's amazing how many small producers there are supplying the major supermarkets.
Get you food photography right first time - give me a call to discuss your requirements.