We’ve gotten only 14 entries, so far, for our photo contest on your interpretation of any one of Susie Fishbein’s 900 plus recipes. Some were shot from afar, centered on an otherwise empty table (thus it was hard to see the actual dish). Some were shot directly from above giving the food a very flat, uninteresting look. Some were out of focus, but two pictures actually stood out. Both came from Lakewood…
Why do I like this photo? Though the photographer obviously did not spend time food styling the shot, nor hours setting up the lighting, the shot is interesting because of the choice of colors which only enhance the actual dish and direct the eye to the food itself. The shadows are soft and the photo was obviously shot with available light rather than flash. The colors of the cauliflower popcorn lack contrast on their own, but the surroundings add interest, so does the slanted angle which brings considerable drama to the shot. Well done!!
Another interesting shot, taken by my granddaughter Leah after she baked it…
She opted for a more traditional angle and relied on the cake’s own colors for interest, resisting the temptation of adding unnecessary elements in the foreground or background.
By the way, I was in Lakewood for the weekend, she made the cake on Thursday evening and I got to enjoy its moistness and great taste on Shabbos. It may not have looked fully professional but it was truly delicious, a great testament to Susie Fishbein’s cookbooks and Leah’s dedication to producing a delectable cake for her zeydeh. She knows I have a sweet tooth!! Very nice!
Is there no one in the 5 New York boroughs capable of taking a memorable food shot? There is still time, we’ll extend the deadline from November the 18th to the 25th (one additional week). Please send us your best photos of any of Susie Fishbein’s 900 plus recipes to:
Meanwhile, let me repeat a few pointers about food photography:
- Try to get as close a shot of the finished dish as possible.
- If your photo will include something other than just the dish you prepared, make sure that the main object of attention in your composition still remains the item you made from one of theKosher by Design recipes.
- Make sure the lighting (available light, flash, etc.) does not give off some ugly, distracting shadows. If at all possible try to photograph your dish during daylight hours, by a window letting in natural light. If you are using flash bounce it off the ceiling or a wall, as that will balance out the light and diffuse harsher shadows.
- Prepare your settings in advance. Food looks its best during the first few minutes of preparation and its looks deteriorate as the clock ticks. Colors may change, the way you stacked it up may collapse and so on.
- Remember, when you photograph food you want to make it inviting, you want the viewer to imagine and taste it with the mind’s eye. As you put the food on the dish, pay attention to the colors, the shapes and the positioning of each piece.
Look at the photos in some of your cookbooks, or look at line at some great food photography by the pros: Lou Manna, Christine Peters, Diana DeLucia, or Michael Ray. You’ll find these photographers have different styles, yet all presents their subjects in mouth watering ways.
Look at how the pros do it, and get ideas. We know you will neither spend hours adjusting the light nor doing heavy food styling. We do not expect professional photos, but we do expect a little bit of imagination and interesting shots. Download your free recipe index, cook up a storm and send us your best photos.