Another food photography post, as promised after the previous (Food Photography: Light), was long overdue. But a comment today triggered me to write one. Because while all the “great clicks” and “looks tempting” type of comments blinds your eyes, there comes a person who opens them, pushing you to do better.
With all due respect to the realistic commenter who gave her constructive criticism, there are some things about comparing one blogger’s food photography with another, that as an amateur food photographer I’d like to share. I know it’s normal to compare, but there are several factors that make a difference. Props collection and creative vision, for starters.
First, prop collection: A photographer who has numerous cookware & serveware items in the kitchen over the years will probably have more variety in photos than someone who just started a household. One who can afford to spend on wood, napkins, antiques, and other props will have more variety in photos than someone who cannot. For example, people like me who got married last year and started to build up collection, but don’t want to splurge unnecessarily on props for the blog because it’s not like we’re earning anything from the blog.
Second, creative vision: Color combinations, prop placement, composition, food styling, shot angles, etc are all about creativity – one has it, one doesn’t, or one gradually learns to have it. For example, people like me who are still beginning to understand food photography on our own by observing others.
So, that is why I say it's not fair to compare. And now, for beginners like me – let me share some behind-the-scene pictures of food I have clicked using some minimal and makeshift props (backdrop, on the side..) with stuff I have at home and within my limited budget. These are what people like us can take advantage of. These examples are only to give you a basic idea. I'm sure you can use them more creatively.
|Using white poster board as reflector, supported by carton. The blue flower is made with paper. The napkin is a dress.|
|Using dupatta (long scarf) as background. You can even use sari. I have used salwar suits, kurtis, and t-shirts as tablecloth/backdrop as well.|
|Using paper folder. I've even painted some A4 sheets with different colors.|
|Guess what the backdrop is?|
|Using poster board. Was not bought specially for photos. My hubby had written "Welcome Home" on it when I came to US. I'm using the back of poster for this purpose! Edited picture to erase label later.|
|Figure out where these were used in the pictures above!|
I have learned that while some people will continue to praise your photography, some will continue to criticize. What's important is that you continue to get inspired by photographers you admire, and continue to learn. In reference to the aforementioned commenter, honestly, several times earlier I have wanted to give up, because I feel like I take ridiculous photos. But I forget that the learning hasn’t ended – it has just begun.