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Simple food photography styling idea & a mini product review

>> Monday, August 16, 2010

{A note to myself #2}

Playing with chocolate

I’m not one of those who spend a lot of time on food styling. But I’m also one of those who get bored easily if I do thing repeatedly – say, the same set up for every food shots, the same props etc.

Of course I am not against those ‘trademark’ simple shots in Donna Hay or similar. It is a trademark, a signature shot kind of thing. But I like to experiment here or there and add colors and contrast to my photography, even if it’s unconventional. It is all about experiment. Sometimes it works. Most time it doesn’t. But it’s fun and gives me heaps of experience.

I like contrast and warm colors (which is quite different to the way I dress, most of the time in monotonous corporate colors). I like messy, unstructured, organic kind of look in photography (this is me in real life).

What I want to illustrate is the use of simple colourful ribbons as extra prop in the photos to create better and more colorful mood. I'm sure you have those somewhere in the house. Mine was the wrapping of the freebie product. I simply shredded them to create thinner strands.

Playing with chocolate

Products in use: freebies chocolate waterthins wafer straw

Background: texture paper from an online shop I would not recommend (expensive + snail-speed delivery).


+ Tea cups from a set I bought from a home-ware shop in Melbourne.
+ Ribbons: free

Lighting: this is my normal set up (if I have time to shoot during the day) – using the main source of light which is a large window in my living room (we have an open kitchen overlooking living/dining area). The blind is adjusted to diffuse the light.

Playing with chocolate

Now a bit of product review. I received a package of waterthins chocolate selection to try out. Two products to be precise – Waterthins Wafer Straws and Waterthins Crème Delight.
In short, go for the straws, forget the crème delight. The wafer straw is nice and crunchy, which reminded me a tiny bit of pocky, Good for snack. The crème delight is just dull and tastes like chocolate plastic. Pass.


Lucy 10:09 AM  

Experimenting is half the fun. No, it's MOST of the fun!

I think it's all about being a good tidier, a good food photo. And natural light. So good.

Indie.Tea 10:24 AM  

Your pictures are so pretty...the shredded ribbons are a very nice idea.

Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro 11:24 AM  

Love your natural light! And too bad you don't recommend the texture paper. It otherwise seems very fitting! Have a great week. :) [K]

Johanna GGG 1:29 PM  

lovely photos - I went to a scrapbooking shop on the weekend and they had lots of interesting papers and bits and pieces - now if I had more time and money I think this would be give some interesting texture for food porn pics

Monet 2:20 PM  

Excellent ideas. I'm not a photographer, so I'm always on the look out for inexpensive tips to help style my food better!

Indonesia Eats 3:02 PM  

Every food-photographer has different style and favourite to shot. I can tell that your style is warm-photos which I use more high saturation.

noobcook 3:28 PM  

great photos :) the ribbons are a nice idea to add colour and some detail to the photo shoot :)

Ana Powell 6:02 PM  

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, really good post.
I always find your photos full of live, colours and very well captured. Great work.
Looking forward to see more of your awesome work.
Wishing you a great week ♥

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! 9:04 PM  

Cool, thanks for sharing =) I havn't been doing anything with props yet, I find it takes long enough to take photos the way they are at the moment. I just wanna eat my food! =D

shaz 10:59 PM  

Very pretty styling indeed Anh. I wish I had time to play around with styling but usually I have one or two pair of hands hovering just outside the frame waiting to grab the thing I'm photographing :)

Chocolate plastic? You do have a way with words ;P

tigerfish 4:43 AM  

The normal set up for me is to shoot during day time too when there is natural lighting as I do not have any mini-studio set up of any kind. Like you, I have a big window in my living room and blinds..but even when there is natural light coming in, I don't seem to be capturing good shots. I thought the culprit might be the blinds...:(

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets 4:54 AM  

Nice idea and photos. Glad you liked at least one of the candies 8).

Soma 5:18 AM  

Beautiful Beautiful pictures Ahn!!

Faith 8:01 AM  

Thanks for the photography tips, your pictures are always gorgeous! The ribbon is such a fun addition and the chocolates look delicious!

Barbara 8:49 AM  

Great post Anh. I agree on the two biscuits too. I thought the other ones were awful. I'd prefer the thins in dark chocolate.

Radhika 10:48 AM  

I love the textured paper Anh. Gorgeous Pic and informative post.

Aparna 12:51 PM  

I do have your kind of approach to my pictures too, more or less.
Luckily, that kind of textured paper is rather inexpensive here, so I tend to use it a lot.

MeetaK 4:58 PM  

simply gorgeous anh! it's the lovely little things that make a big difference! love the shots!

penny aka jeroxie 5:35 PM  

I do love that background textural paper though!

Sophie 6:22 AM  

A great idea Anh - I bought some pretty ribbon recently and have been wondering how on earth to squeeze it into a photograph. This way is perfect because then I can reuse it too - thanks!

redmenace 7:53 AM  

The ribbons are a wonderful idea. Such color- gorgeous!

Marcellina 9:36 AM  

Great ideas! I'm always looking out for tips on food styling and photography as I am new to this. Thanks!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) 1:09 PM  

Beautiful set up and thanks for sharing tips, Anh!! Always love your styling.

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager 3:08 PM  

Love the food styling tips! I'm never at home during the day to shoot sadly so I never get nice daylight. Shame about the stationery place as the paper looks interesting!

maameemoomoo 4:09 PM  

This post comes handy!

I absolutely suck when it comes to ribbon for styling. I really dunno how! Thanks for sharing :)

Jo 2:36 PM  

Hi Anh, love your styling. At times I have to "crack my brain" as to how to style my photos. I am always on the look out for new props as well. Agree that items such as ribbon does make a lot of difference to a plain photoshot.

Juliana 6:13 AM  

Anh, lovely pictures!

Julia @Mélanger 7:01 AM  

I admit I spend about 5 minutes setting up my photographs. I should really think about them more to mix things up. I'm sure all my images are starting to look the same!!!!

Trissa 5:41 PM  

I would have never thought to use ribbons Anh... they do add a certain feel to the picture without overpowering it... I tend to get stuck in using the same props all the time. I need to mix it up!

lauresophie 4:55 PM  

Hey! Thank for the visit and the comment! I totally agree with you,although Ihave the feeling that my picture style isalittle bit stuck for the moment (same style I mean). And I lovethe idea of putting extra props, it gives an atmosphere to the picture. Extra aromatic erbs, little deco... always nice in the pics.
You are doing pretty great for the pictures!
Nice blog indeed
See you

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