Something that’s been occupying a lot of my time lately is working on improving my photography. At best my photos are amateur (though some actually turn out pretty spiffy!), and I’d really like to be able to take good quality photos–not only because it’s something I enjoy, but because I’ll have something awesome to point to when I tell people one of my hobbies is taking pictures of food and they raise their eyebrows at me.
Hear me out on this one!
FOOD PHOTOS ARE COOL!!!!
Okay, I’m done now. For this post, anyway.
Two days ago I made a peach, yogurt, and granola parfait (inspired by Cait’s Plate) for breakfast, and promptly took it outside for a photo shoot. (Did you know that “parfait” is French for “perfect? You probably did…I found it so fitting, though.) I’m loving what low dawn or dusky light does for photo quality. And we have a cool, “rustic” vibe going with our old wooden picnic table!
I’m sure the neighbors thought it was quite amusing to see me trekking out to the backyard at seven A.M. in my bathrobe, clutching a granola parfait, spoon, camera, and a binder wrapped in tinfoil (more on that shortly). But, I was determined this would be one of my most epic food photoshoots to date.
So I plunked the parfait down, adjusted the angle of the spoon a few times, and started snapping away.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
I’m telling you, this thing was cursed. No matter what the angle, the lighting…it was. not. photogenic.
It was sad.
I even got out my light reflector. In its most basic homemade rendering, it’s a plastic binder covered all over with tin foil and secured with tape. Classy, right? But supposedly it helps bounce back both natural lighting and the flash (if you have it on–I usually don’t though) and fill out the photo more with light.
I think this one might be my favorite:
Undaunted, I construct a new parfait this morning (same ingredients, different quantities) and venture forth once again in an attempt for the perfect parfait picture!
This time around I focused more on “plating for the camera”–translation: making sure I don’t leave a random yogurt splotch on the rim of the glass or a random scrap of peach peal on the handle. Another thing that stood out negatively in the photos was the fact that they were all so quiet. So I brought some props out with me this go-round. For props, I decided to use:
…and some playing cards. (I know–what??? But I thought the colors would play nicely together…sadly, something about them was just kind of “off”.)
Personally, I’m loving the photo with the book, but the mint sprigs look pretty polished too. What do you guys think? (Another peach would have been awesome as a prop, but I didn’t have another peach. 😉 )
Parfaits are a highly delicious way to use up all of our fresh summer fruit (such a luxury! I never had this when living in central USA) and they’re pretty dang good for you too. As an added bonus, if you’re a better photographer than me, you can really take advantage of their aesthetics. They’re quite pleasing to look at because of the different layers of ingredients and textures.
And on an aside: this parfait (along with a few spoonfuls of my beloved peanut butter) fueled me for an hour-long bike ride this morning during which I think I actually thought up some pretty smashing writing material! Type type typity type…
And there was a field of hay bales along the bike path that I was just dying to take a picture of. I might have to drag someone along for a third ride tomorrow just to shoot those bales.