Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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Food Photography Weekend Marathon Day 1: FoodSnap

Breaking up the events from this past weekend into 3 separate blog posts, one for each day as there is too much goodness and photos for one blog entry.

Food Photography Weekend Marathon starts with FoodSnap. Keren Brown did a great job organizing the event and getting several photographers and stylists to help out with the workshop.

The morning was filled with doughnuts from Frost and Lou Manna showing off his great work and critiquing nearly 200 photos submitted by the attendees of the workshop. The critique portion of the workshop was my favorite part. It was the chance to hear what a pro likes or doesn't like about our photos. The most common problem with the photos was color balance. We learned that BLUE is an evil color.

Lunch was provided by Andaluca and included a pasta salad and a variety of different sandwich wraps. Pulp provided a fresh fruit smoothie drink.

After lunch, Lou gave a presentation on camera settings and what works best for food photography. There was a fairly even amount of DSLR users to point and shoot users and a wide range of experience levels.

We spent the last few hours in the studio going from table to table photographing food and displays from all the different vendors. Some of the tables had lights set up that you could shoot with using a pocket wizard. Not many people had their own external flashes. I brought both of mine but only ended up using one since I didn't bring a stand. I kept my camera on a tripod using a self timer and had a Metz 58 flash in one hand and a Photoflex 22" reflector in the other. I used my on camera flash to trigger the Metz and that seemed to work pretty well.

Below are my favorite shots from each of the vendor tables. There will be a photo contest from each of the categories and the winners will receive something from that vendor. There are also a couple of grand prizes for the best two photos. An Olympus Tough and a KitchenAid Mixer. I could use one of those!

Wink CupcakesFooducopia
Bluebird Grain Farms
Frost Donuts



Kathy Casey

Red Ticking

Emily's Chocolates

I've been to several different workshops but this was the first food photography related one. I would recommend any photographer take a workshop like this even if they aren't interested in food photography. You will learn something. If you've seen my Flickr stream or my website you can probably tell I take pictures of just about everything. I didn't realize it until after taking the workshop that food is probably my favorite thing to photograph. If you missed the workshop you can always get Lou's book, Digital Food Photography to get all his food photography secrets.

After the workshop I met up with Mark and we decided at the last minute to go to the post workshop get together at La Buona Tavola at Pike Place. It wasn't quite what I had in mind. It's possible I wasn't paying close attention to the announcement after the workshop since I wasn't really planning on going. I had pictured several people from class meeting at an Italian restaurant for dinner. Having never been to La Buona Tavola we didn't know it was a Truffle Cafe with wines and oils and not a restaurant at all. It turned out to be a small group of about 10 people.
La Buona Tavola

After a couple of hours at La Buona Tavola we decided we were hungry and walked over to Serious Pie for some pizza. Serious Pie has been on my restaurants to go to for some time and am glad we went there. It was some good pizza. The two restaurants on the top of my list now are Delancey and Lunchbox Laboratory.


  1. Loved the blog. Excellent report! The only thing I have to mention is that I own "Digital Food Photography" and I really feel its lacking in some areas. Also, it would be great to get tips on photographing REAL food (not how to make fake food LOOK real). Also, the shots in the book just aren't that appetizing! It's weird, because his work, outside of the book, is outstanding. Go figure.

    Just my two cents. Otherwise, sounds like an amazing session and I, too, would have loved to have participated in the critiquing session. How great!

    ~Jackie Baisa

  2. Hah I know what you mean Jackie. I'm not into doing stuff to the food to make it look good but in turn make it inedible. I want to eat my food after I'm done shooting it.

  3. Paula, your pictures are breathtaking, you did such a great job. Thanks for coming

  4. HI Paula,

    Very impressed with your photos of our Bluebird Grain Farm products. Can you contact us- I would love to use a few of your photos from foodsnap on our newsletter and would love to link your info. Let me know- Brooke