Here at Davis, we take pride in knowing our clients as well as they know themselves. A fully-integrated advertising agency is in fact an extension of the client’s business. This simple notion is prevalent in every department, including an area as tasty as professional food photography! Let’s take a look at the steps we take to create mouth-watering photos like the one below we took for Wayback Burgers.
Food styling is the first step to any food photography project. Here at the Agency, we have access to a professional food stylist who knows all the ins and outs of the trade. Getting the exact layout, proportions and structure of the food is key. For example, in the photo above we can see the food stylist made sure each of the crispy tumbleweed onions was in a precise location. Food stylists carefully pick through the food with fine utensils like sharp brushes and tweezers until everything looks exactly right.
Food “Stunt Double”
Food styling by nature takes a lot of time, as it entails ensuring each inch of the food looks its best. Once the product is perfectly styled and ready for its close up, the camera, lighting and background need to already be set up and pre-adjusted. To do this, the stylist usually creates a quick demo of the product, or the “stunt double” used for testing purposes.
With the food demo one thing that can be checked is pairing that food with the appropriate layout, which might include a plate, napkin and cutting board. Every food is unique, so every shot should have a unique layout. To get the most exclusive layouts, most of it is typically Photoshopped in after the fact. Having a good Photoshop plan in mind ahead of time will help setting up the shot; we are lucky here at Davis to have talented photographers who are also experts at Photoshop and other Adobe programs.
Getting the Picture(s)
Once everything is set up just so, we are ready to start taking pictures. This time usually calls for a lot of back-and-forth dialogue with the clients; we take the photos, then see in real time how they look on the big screen, and make necessary adjustments. Client feedback is always appreciated, especially if the creators of the food have something special in mind. Unlike recreational photography where you try to take a good singular picture, professional photography snaps pictures with later Photoshop work in mind. Adjusting the lighting in different ways and taking a lot of pictures is a must.
Utilizing Photoshop is more than half the work when it comes to food photography. Once all the pictures are taken with various lighting, it is the job of our photographers to edit and combine the best parts of each to make one truly great picture. This is why changing up the lighting is particularly important, as certain angles might make only parts of the food look their best. The layout and background must also be Photoshopped into the picture which, as with any major Photoshop project, takes a lot of time to perfect.
A Yummy Conclusion
A good way to judge how well the food photography project turned out is how much you want to try the product after it is over! The advertising professionals at Davis have all the resources, as well as the appetite, to make your project a success. Please check out more of our commercial photography work on our Services page!