Why food photography? Since I was a little girl, food has been a big part of my family. I remember watching my great- grandmother in the kitchen for hours preparing dinner. She would say, “I’m cooking in my love” as she would make sure that all of the ingredients were blended together with such care and perfection. Even at 4 years old, I knew that she was creating art and showing us how much she cared. It’s the aroma that still, at times circles around the house when the empanadas are in the oven, that makes me remember her the most.
Keeping it natural and organic is the philosophy to my food photography style. I try to portray the same feeling and senses that my great-grandmother used in her delicious Chilean recipes. Shooting in natural light with minimal distraction to the object I’m photographing is extremely important to me. I hope through my passion, I can inspire others to create their own memories as well.
A few tips for shooting food photography in natural lighting:
To begin, you want to create the softest lighting possible. If you took the most beautiful looking food and put it into direct sunlight, it would look awful! But why, because the highlights are so bright and the shadows are so dark and every single glisten of food picks up a highlight. In order to get that perfect natural light, you have to create the quietest lighting environment possible for that food. Now, how do you create that environment?
1. Try to find the softest light in your space. Usually the north facing light is the best because it doesn’t have direct sunlight. You want the type of light that is never too harsh. Soft light is the most important thing for creating the perfect natural photo.
2. Regulate the light with either diffusion or reflection. Diffuse strong light or reflect light back into the picture.
3. Use any dark surface to create shadows and dramatize the food. Sometimes I use regular cardboard and paint it black or even use foil to create a reflection.
4. Most importantly, experiment with the the reflector or black surface. Experimenting is the best way to find your style, but have fun while doing it!!