Food Photography

Restaurant Food Photography – 8020

Over the last 12-18 months I have completed various commissioned work for Mina Khan at the 8020 Health Bar and Kitchen in Bolton (Greater Manchester). 8020 reflects a modern style of menu and dining with a massive focus on health, nutrition, fitness and well-being.

As well as photographing a number of items from their expansive menu, my main focus has been to help promote their 8020 meal preps which are available to order online. Their meal prep menu contains wide variety of options from healthy vegan dishes to some more traditional british cuisine.

Following the restaurants opening in 2017, I also had the opportunity to capture a few interior images. The ambience of the 8020 restaurant space is really nice and a big part of its warm appeal is created by the tungsten style warm light fittings. For my interior images no additional photographic lighting as I preferred just to let that warm ambience come through.

With all of my food photography I always ensure that the food looks natural and natural. When styling the food nothing is added and the food always remains edible. It’s always important to work with freshly cooked ingredients so one challenge when working with the meal prep food boxes was to cool the ingredients in order to prevent steam and condensation from being visible on the sides of the clear box. It is always important to work fast once the dish is ready, delays caused by lightning not being dialed in would result in shriveled vegetables and waxy looking sauces.

Some food photographer prefer to only work in natural light. Whilst this may work well in a well situated studio, it does not always work so well on location. Where possible I prefer to bring studio lighting to the restaurant so that I always have quality light at my disposal. The beauty of studio lighting is that light can be modified in any way I like to suit the subject and to created the desired mood of the shot.

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Oreo Still Life Food Photography (Flatlay)

In this post I’m going to share an insight into the creation of my Oreo Still Life food photography image. This is a personal shot that I captured in some rare down time. My objective for the Oreo image was simply to produce a creative flatlay containing multiple Oreo biscuits. Just incase you don’t know, a flatlay is simply a birdseye view of a single or collection of items set out creatively on a background. Flatlays are very popular especially for food images but I often prefer to shoot food at a much lower 45 or 30 degree angle. There is no right or wrong angle here and it often depends on the client brief and your shooting style.

The composition of this image is quite straight-forward with the Oreo’s placed diagonally within the frame. A key part of the image composition is the Oreo which appears to have had a bite taken out of it. This has been added to include a main focal point for the viewer and this is sometimes missing from flatlay images. The placement of the other Oreo cookies is critical as they effect the balance of the image and affect the negative space.

As well as exploring flatlays, I wanted to make the shadows in this image a key element. As you can see in the image below the shadows help to really define the shape of the Oreo biscuit. To create the shadow I needed a hard light and for this I used a studio light with a 10 degree grip. The 10 degree grid create a very directional light which is great to creating crisp shadows. Another added bonus to the hard light is that it really helps to define the texture on the top of each Oreo. Although the gridded head is the key light, another light was added as a fill light. The fill light in this image was another studio light bounced off a white board which was suspended above the tabletop.

For me the image works well and it certainly meets the objectives I set myself, I hope you like the image too.

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