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Food Photography 101

I have seen you unconsciously pulling out your camera phone at dinner. Yeah you. You know who you are. I know this, because you also saw me from across the dining room. I too had my phone out, and poised to capture that decadent photo of my voluptuous cheesecake. I would say that I cannot stand you for flaunting off your flan or bathing in your bread pudding on Pinterest. But I stand with you, guilty as charged.
In the age of camera cell phones we are able to easily snap photos of just about anything we are doing, including broadcasting to the nation what we are about to eat for dinner. However, for the sake of this blog I will be showing off some delicious dishes from Cheesetique that I shot (with my Nikon) when creating the photography for their website.Food Photography Northern VA_017
Hot off the Press Be sure to photograph the food as soon as it has been prepared. You want to capture the steam off of the soup and the crisp arugula on the salad. Nothing says, “I’ve lost my appetite.” like wilted lettuce and soggy bread.Food Photography Northern VA_016
Natural Light I cannot say it enough that natural light is going to give you the best hue on your spread. Fluorescent and Tungsten bulbs are going to no doubt make your food look unappetizing. If you do not have access to natural light when you are shooting professionally. I highly recommend a mini portable studio like this one.Food Photography Northern VA_025
Dress it up! Add in a spoon or fork. Use textures and fabrics or be creative with corks for example. Complement with color accents to tie the foreground into the background. Like the red in the cheesecake and the red on the wall. If the dish has basil add in a fresh basil leaf or sprinkle on some coarse salt for effect.

Have Culture And by that I mean read Culture. To research for my photography shoot at Cheesetique I studied up on what the other professionals were doing right. I loved the angles and accoutrements and began to get a feel for how to dress a dish up.Food Photography Northern VA_026
Try a New Angle Shoot straight down on the spread. Prop up the plate. Shoot level with the table. Most of all have fun, and be sure to not let that food go to waste. After all, eating the beautiful dishes and enjoying them is the best part!

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By Meghan Stewart

Shot In The Dark’s owner and principal photographer is Meghan Stewart. Her photos have been published in Food and Wine, Northern Virginia Magazine, and Travel + Leisure.

Meghan’s love for photography developed from shooting in the metro Detroit area where she grew up, and through documenting her travels, including a year she spent living in a Ghanaian village.

A mother and former cheesemonger, Meghan founded Shot In The Dark in 2012.

Meghan says:

"My love for photography comes from meeting people where they are. Not just physical location, but using photos to capture people in their element, as naturally as possible. For me, taking photos is about that connection. I love seeing their joy when they see their photos for the first time."

We love to travel so if you're not in DC, VA or MD just ask and we would love to meet you wherever you are.

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