I (almost) exclusively photograph people, but as luck would have it I was hired by Ryan and Jaydon to create amazing photographs of food. Yep. (Can't anyone just enjoy their lunchwithout taking a picture anymore??). GoDish helps customer and merchant alike (and that's more than I can say for most apps.....), and if you're in downtown San Francisco and hungry for lunch, GoDish will help you discover delicious food at steep discounts. The restaurants will welcome you with open arms. Everyone wins. (Obviously I'm biased, but seriously, check it out).
Anyway, enough of the love song.
The reason I'm totally blogging about this is because one of the funny things with photography is what it leaves out. There's the frame... and there's everything outside the frame.
I am in charge of making this food look as good as it tastes. We show up at a restaurant, the restaurant cooks 5-15 dishes one after another, and I photograph them all. We might be in an underground food court, or a swanky sit-down restaurant, or a food-truck idling in a parking lot... the lights could be fluorescent or candles or noon o'clock sun. No matter. The photographs have to tell the story because the food is really good (trust me, we've tried all of it), even if the setting isn't always ideal.
Here we are under the I-80 Bay Bridge approach surrounded by parked cars.
There are no tables, no walls, nothing to put the food on. So I make a little studio right there in the parking lot.
MacGuyver was my favorite tv show growing up. He could make anything out of nothing. I think of him daily. Here I set up a surface with some construction paper, and create a backlight by bouncing a flash off a reflector disc, and away we go!
This was but one of five stops in a 5-restaurant tour on Monday. Later that day we visited 77 Chinese. The restaurant was packed with people, so shooting inside was a logistical nightmare. Luckily there was one tall table available. We heaved it outside to the sidewalk and I made a studio right there on Battery Street.
The diners inside had front-row seats to the whole operation.
Really the only difference between photographing people and photographing food is that with people, you can ask them to move. Food is not so responsive. But it's tastier, so there'sthat.