More Food Styling 101

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 2, 2008 at 4:07pm

OK, so this latest assigment (for the online food styling class I’m taking) was to prepare a meal, then plate it/prop it three different ways. I seared a few pieces of salmon, made a quick couscous, and used sauteed red onion rings, chopped raw red onion, and dill for garnish. I’m hitting myself that I didn’t put the beautifully rosy salmon on a blue plate – duh – but I was in a big rush and just grabbed red, patterned, and white plates. This class thankfully isn’t about the photography, since I am pathetic at “seeing” the shot through my camera. I tend to line ‘er up and shoot, then when it’s on my computer…ding, ding, ding! I see right away which angles worked and which didn’t. When it’s too late to go back. Ah well, that’s why I’m taking a class.

The overall best-looking shot ended up being on the patterned china.

I really like how the rare salmon itself looks in the next shot, but it is lost on the red plate (sigh).

The third attempt was completely weak – I was rushing for an 11:30 appointment. I added extra food, and didn’t deconstruct it (for contrast with the previous two shots) – as a result it looks like a slab of salmon with tired, wormy peppers and beige couscous, all lined up like nervous soldiers, ha.

I’m learning quite a bit and really enjoying the process. My biggest hurdle right now – lack of daylight hours. Pictures I take in low light or artificial light are just…yuck. Learning to use my equipment will help – I just haven’t had time what with Thanksgiving et al. Over the next couple of weeks, that will be my goal – to be able to take the occasional flash photo and have it turn out appealing. Especially in Minnesota, in December, when daylight hours are a seriously scarce commodity. (Today’s count – less than 9 hours. Ouch.)

Anyhow, for dinner tonight (no, we didn’t have salmon, I pretty much trashed it for the photo shoot), I made shrimp saltimbocca. With wild caught shrimps from Whole Foods, so sweet and you know, shrimpy. The way they’re supposed to be. Even for those picky about fish (aka my family), a real crowd pleaser.

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Older Comments

  1. By SML on December 3, 2008 at 4:43PM

    Hey thanks everyone! Great tips, great. I love the borrowing plates idea, and also love the popping a plate in the fridge idea, fabulous.

  2. By SML on December 3, 2008 at 4:26PM

    Hey thanks, you're sweet.

  3. By TommyGirl on December 3, 2008 at 3:53PM

    It's a hard pick but I think the middle one is the best...on the bright side the food look amazing...

  4. By maud on December 3, 2008 at 1:56PM

    i think a cream-colored plate would have worked... or pale blue or green... you gotta borrow one of each of your friends' plates to complement the mood of your food-subjects, have a lot of options handy. and yeah, try every angle you can think of! also every lighting direction (you can't move the sun, but you can move yourself). there's something really appealing about the angle and distance of the red-plate shot above. you're getting good!!! keep going!!!!!

  5. By sabs on December 3, 2008 at 10:18AM

    These look great, i like the top one best as well. Maybe the last one would have been nice coming at it from a lower angle?

    Also, i have known food bloggers who plate an extra plate and toss it in the fridge, and take its pick the next morning. ;)

    learn the white balance on your camera, that will be the most important thing you can do for artificial light photos. best of luck, can't wait to see more!