Photographing Food

On Wednesday 18th September 2019, Dunchurch Photographic Society was treated to a fascinating presentation by guest speaker Tracey Sherwood. The subject was photographing food. 

The first half of the evening involved Tracey providing the membership with a detailed and engaging overview of what it takes to become a successful full-time food photographer and the careful, meticulous attention to detail that is required to achieve the requirements of a varied array of clients. 

Although photography of food is often close-up macro and have obvious comparisons with still life, the audience was briefed about how the required food item is prepared and tended by a support team and the photographer, along with creating the right environment in which to capture the photograph. Often there is baking… roasting… freezing, or boiling to be done, along with set dressing of course. 

It cannot be underestimated how much preparation of the scene is required and, of course, the food product being photographed. Tracey was able to confirm that products are photographed in the peak of their condition and that as a result of strict business ethics and legislative guidelines the photograph cannot lie. As such, the product has to be shown as a true reflection of it at its best. One cannot use plastic apples or fake items. There has to be careful consideration given to the use of Photoshop in food images. It cannot be described as simple photography by any means. 

Tracey engaged with the audience and answered a plethora of questions before the half-time tea interval. 

In the second half, Tracey worked with the audience in a more practical setting, permitting members to set up their own cameras and work with various food props that she had brought along for us to experiment with. A diorama of fruit and vegetables was set up, along with appropriate lighting rigs and Tracey talked the audience through the preparation for the shot and how to photograph ‘tethered’ to a computer for ease of review and reset if required. 

Members took time to capture images of the diorama and some of these have been shared with the Society for display on our website. 

Photograph by David Bray
Photograph by David Bray
Photograph by David Bray
Photograph by Warren Strickland
Photograph by Warren Strickland
Photograph by Ken Monk

The photographs accompanying this report were taken by Warren Strickland, Ken Monk and David J. Bray; the latter taken on a phone camera. 

You always know it has been a good night when the session finishes late! It really was a fascinating and engaging evening for our members. We look forward to more practical sessions later this season and into next season as well. 

Thank you Tracey!

Report compiled by David J. Bray (Chairman).