Just wrapped production on a multi day food shoot and wanted to share some behind the scenes to show what goes into creating such tasty looking images. A lot went into creating these images to fit the clients needs as I was giving the job of creating visual images that would be used for a annual recipe book for kids, while retaining a look that can be used for other marketing uses as well.
Before Going into the shoot we had a pre-production meeting going over the stylistic choices and looking over mood boards. I can never just how important these meetings are to make sure everyone is on the same page on the day of the shoot. I knew the client wanted all the images shot top down to fit their intended use, which means I had to spend some time coming up with a plan to not only light, but make sure everything was styled in a way to add depth to the images.
This also allowed my crew to plan ahead and come up with an optimal shot list to help us keep on schedule. I brought on the amazing food stylist Katie Farmand on board for this shoot as I know I would need help to stay on schedule. She did an awesome job preparing and styling food so I could concentrate on setting up for each shot.
For our lighting setup we went with a 1-2 lights depending on the food, a dot and finger kit to control and shape the shadows, and some bounce card. When it comes to food I like to keep things simple and simulate natural light while shaping shadows to draw the viewers eye to the food.
For the lights I used a single strobe blasting through some Rosco #3008 Diffusion to emulate natural daylight coming through a window, while keeping consistent control over it. The other light I occasionally used is the Flashpoint Xplor 600 with a Snoot & grid. This allowed me to throw some subtle but controllable hard light across certain foods to pull out additional texture of the food.
We shot the project on the Sony A7RII with a mamiya 645 45mm F2.8 CN glass. The old glass holds up extremely well and on full frame we are only using the center image circle which is the sharpest part of the lens. Another reason I chose this lens was for how its focus ring works, its extremely smooth while being firm which makes it great for the few shots we had to focus stack.
Then in post images were corrected for color, contrast, and retouched any slight blemishes. Images were left with empty space for copy, I can't wait to see what the client does with them!