Have you ever found yourself photographing something and no matter what you do it just doesn’t look right?
A little while ago I was getting ready for a shoot, to make images for a Kagoshima food promotion at one of our city’s award-winning Japanese restaurants. The client wanted something more than the standard ‘window light with reflector’ shot. So, in anticipation of the shoot, I eagerly tested a range of lighting setups over several evenings using fruit and vegetables from the local market…
…and the results were awful.
One-light, multiple lights, back lit, lit from overhead… all my attempts were successful in making the food look pretty unappealing. I like to think that I’m competent with off-camera and studio lighting, and I’ve photographed plenty of food before, so this was really getting under my skin. Come the day of the shoot, I was nervous about making more crappy images in front of the sushi chef, the restaurant’s executive chef and the director of marketing. They would have to organize a re-shoot, and I could pretty much kiss any future work goodbye.
Sometimes good light and technique isn’t enough – you still need a great subject. Lucky for me this was one of those times. The chefs prepared amazing dishes, and styled the raw ingredients so beautifully, that I think I could have photographed them with a flashlight and they would have looked delicious!