Last week, how much time did you spend studying outstanding food photos?
Not just looking on Pinterest. Or not just browsing through your favorite blog. In today’s challenge you will first learn why you must not skip this step, then we will discuss exactly how to complete this challenge.
As we start the 30-Day challenge, we need to make sure that you familiarize yourself with outstanding food photos. Understanding what are beautiful food photos is the very first step in improving your food photos. There are some well known outstanding food photographers that consistently create amazing food photos.
Today, we will introduce you to these food photographers. They have different photography styles and their photos look different. Your assignment is to study their food photos.
This may seem like a very simple and obvious assignment and you may be tempted to skip today’s exercise. Don’t make this mistake.
You were expecting the first lesson to be on ISO or Aperture or a more technical subject... right? While these technical subjects are important, a more important topic is being able to differentiate between an outstanding photo and a “meh” photo and a “don’t-do-that” photo.
Before you start browsing their websites, let’s look at what you need to do next.
Once you are on their portfolios, your goal is to pick 3 photos and explore what you like about them. Observe what you feel when you look at these photos. Note down the feeling. You don’t have to be technically correct, whatever words come to mind, write it down.
Don’t worry about being perfectly correct, focus on articulating your thoughts and feeling accurately.
If you are new and haven’t spend much time with food photography, chances are that you won’t be able to put your finger on what exactly is amazing about a certain photo. That’s okay. The goal is to make yourself acquainted with beauty and being able to internalize the feeling.
There are no examples in this lesson. No handholding. Just doing. For some this may feel uncomfortable. Some may even become frustrated. That's okay. Give yourself permission to be frustrated. Give yourself permission to not have all the answers.
Once you are done with studying their photos, you will start to understand what outstanding photos feel like. You should be able to understand how these photographs are different from those who are still learning and growing in food photography.
So first, let me introduce you to some of the outstanding food photographers. Below are some food photographers who have been consistently producing great food photos. Their styles are unique:
- Marcus Nilsson
- Matt Armendariz
- Penny De Los Santos
- Aran Goyoaga
- Beatrice Peltre
- Helene Dujardin
- Teri Campbell
- Katie Quinn Davies
- Or someone else you like
And now, here’s today’s assignment in more detail -
Estimated Time Required – Less than 30 mins
Read all the steps before getting started -
Step 1 – Pick two photographers from the list above and visit their portfolio.
Step 2 – Pick just one photo you like from each photographer.
Step 3 – In the comments below, share which two photographers you picked. Paste the URL if you can but definitely tell us the details about the photographs.
Step 4 – Now here's the key - Share what you felt about these photographs in the comments below. As mentioned above, note down your feelings and what comes to mind as you observe these photos. Your goal is not to be technically accurate. Your goal, very simply, is to understand what you feel about these outstanding photo.
Step 5 – Now pick two more photos from photographers that you selected.
Step 6 – Note your feelings and thoughts for these photographs.
By the end of this exercise, you should be able to understand how you feel when you look at an outstanding food photo. If you can feel what a good photo looks like, you can strive to move your food photography in that direction.
Without this insight, quite likely, you would ramble and take bunch of photos, but won’t be able to tell if something is missing. Knowing how you feel about a photo, you will have better chance of identifying if you like a certain photo or not.
More Details - Optional but Recommended
The key is in today's exercise is to understand how you feel and note these feelings. For example, does the photo make you want to eat that dish? what does the photo make you feel?
The secret of doing an exercise like this is the more photos you observe and study, the better you will become at this. So even if you have completed 3 photos each from two food photographers, study one more photographer and see how she or he creates these images.
The more study you will do, the sooner you will be able to identify this analysis.