Lesson 26 – Take Bad Food Photos

30 Day Food Photos Day26

You are in the middle of cooking something, something that is time sensitive.  And while you are cooking, you see a beautiful photo opportunity, what do you do? Do you make a photo or let it go?

On most days, I’ve had to let it go. Often the food subject was placed artfully and the photo would have been great with some lighting, food styling and prop styling. But because of lack of time when these situations appear, these photo opportunities were lost and often forgotten.

That changed some time back.

It changed with the concept of sketch shots. Sketch shots are not final shots, they are not even presentable shots. These are like your personal notes only taken with a camera/cellphone. These are not to be shared on your blog. Definitely not on the portfolio.

These sketch shots are concept development shots.

Take Bad Food Photos

The goal of creating a sketch shot is to take a photo quickly because you don’t have enough time to spend on getting a good shot. So do the best you can, like adjusting the white balance or creating a great frame etc, but do it fast and take the shot. Take as many as you can.

You don't need a DSLR, use whatever you have. The goal is to capture the idea and come back to it later.

Once you’ve captured sketch shots, the next step is then to develop these shots using techniques that we discussed earlier in the challenge like deciding a story, defining the story elements, creating a shot list, thoughtfully styling and then capturing the photo.

Here’s one example of a recent sketch shot.

The goal was to capture the arrangement and save it for a later time when you can use betters props

Cooking Roti - Indian Bread-1

As you see here… the light is actually pretty bad, the props used like plates and the board to roll roti are both distracting. The photo is a bit underexposed too.

But that’s is all okay because this is a sketch shot.

Using this shot, we will extend this concept and make the photo by spending more time and making decisions more thoughtfully.

Knowingly or unknowingly, you have seen sketch shots on food blogs and you may even have taken these shots. What most people skip and don’t do it is to go back and create these shots more thoughtfully.

Sketch shots can not just be of in process or prep stages. But they can also be of food that is ready but you just don't have time to photograph it.

Do you use sketch shots? Tell us about your process in the comments below.

Now let’s move to the assignment.

Today’s Assignment

Unlike previous assignments this is a very spontaneous assignment.

Estimated time: 30-60 mins

Step 1 –  Today, observe with the intention to capture a sketch shot. Capture at least one sketch shot.

Step 2  – Decide how you would like to develop this story. Think about what we’ve discussed in the challenge before and the decisions we’ve discussed above.

Step 3 - Decide a date when you will take this photo and schedule it on your calendar or whatever tool you use.

Step 4 –  Post your sketch shot in facebook group. Then share what is the photo story and the decisions that you have or will make.