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Food Photography essay

For my coursework, this year, I have first decided on doing street photography, however, at the end I
decided to change my theme and focus more on food photography. Within this topic, I have
researched different photographers, as well as techniques that would help me in recreating good
image quality. Furthermore, I have also found places where these images could be used, and
advantages and disadvantages based on food photography.

First, I will focus on photographers. Each photographer has its own way of producing the work. The
main 2 photographers that I will focus on are David Loftus and Marcus Nilsson. I have found their
work more of a realistic rather than any other photographers that I have researched. Within David
Loftus work, I can see that he is trying to capture pictures of more realistic items rather than trying
to create something more abstract than it already. On the other hand, Marcus Nilsson recreates his
food photography, into more colourful and abstract image. This is mainly applied to one of his
projects ‘Weightwatchers’.

David Loftus shoots (David Loftus, 2018), his images that would reflect on the main item that is being
photographed. For over 20 years, he has photographed over 100 books, including; Jamie Oliver’s,
Racheal Khoo, etc. However, the best result was his work with Jamie Oliver’s, as in overall there was
30 million copies of a book to be sold. Moreover, he also built his success on the television
commercial, where he achieved to have his own series of adverts. One of the main achievements
was with the UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.

Whereas, Marcus Nilsson (Photo Photography,2018), has his history from being a great chef from
Sweden and developing his career as a photographer, in local restaurants. As the time has passed,
he decided to stay behind the camera, and develop his skills and knowledge on combining nature
and food together. His main success was in raw meat and half eaten food. Contrasted with the
angles of view and lighting. From the image attached (, 2018), we can see
that Marcus is creating a deconstructed fruit or vegetable. This gives the result in combining small things
together and makes it more interesting by displaying a variety of colours as well as items.

My other research was based upon the techniques used and any possible tips that could be
suggested to recreate the ideal image in food photography. I have looked at Food Photography
Techniques and Tips (Digital Photography School, 2018). The techniques used there, talk about the
different ways in which you can capture a great shot. For the best quality and great story telling, it is
better to challenge yourself with props that are available and when on location not to disturb
anyone around you, another way is to have a solid or patterned paper to substitute background, it is
a great opportunity to experiment with your surroundings. When photographing food remember to
use more shining food rather than dull food, this can be achieved by placing shining utensils such as
a spoon or fork as well as water by the object that you are capturing.

Another technique that I have looked at, is based on mixed light. “In mixed lighting, choose a white-
balance setting that best suit the main subject” (Hedgecoe, 2006, p.59) this technique is best used
when photographing inside where mixed lighting is already illuminating the location. Mixed lighting
is when the lights give out different temperatures and can change our overall image colour as well as
the contrast between images and subjects can change. This technique is helpful, if the image is taken
in low light places. It allows to give more details and atmosphere than day light would.

Choosing the right lenses (Peters, 2018) depends on the camera type, you have. Each camera has
different aspects on the image taken. For instance; if the camera you are using has a cropped sensor
factor of 1.6, then the lenses needs to be multiplied by the same amount, to give the resulted image.

1 | Sabrina Wisniewska
The best lenses used for this theme will be 100MM macro lenses; it enables you to shoot close up,
gives a shallow depth of field and flattens the perspective.

Lastly, I have researched advantages and disadvantages within the food photography (Notions &
Notations of a Novice Cook, 2008). I have researched different reasons, why is it easier to take
photographs of food, than any other theme in photography. One of the advantage is that food does
not speak, it is not hurt by the strong light and does not complain about the results that are
progressed. It expands on personal achievement due to personal layout of each item, it is
developing on your own style of photography, created by the number of different images taken. It
can be cheap and you can recycle the products; whenever you buy food for the photography, it can
be easily eaten afterwards. On the other hand, there are disadvantages that need to be thought of
before taking the shoot. Each food photograph can be time consuming. If you are lacking second
camera, it may be difficult to capture the cooking sequences. Food photography is mainly for the
people with patience, if you lack patience then it may be time for you to move on from this theme.

2 | Sabrina Wisniewska

David Loftus. (2018). David Loftus - About. [online] Available at:
[Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].

Photo Photography. (2018). Marcus Nilsson. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018]. (2018). Marcus Nilsson food - Yahoo Image Search results. [online]
Available at:;_ylt=A9mSs0sHsk9aMYIAjR1LBQx.;_ylu=X3oDM
click [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].

Digital Photography School. (2018). Food Photography Techniques and Tips. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan.

Hedgecoe, J. (2009). The art of digital photography. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Peters, C. (2018). What lens should you use to shoot food? [online] Food Photography Blog. Available
at: [Accessed 5 Jan.

Notions & Notations of a Novice Cook. (2018). what are the advantages and disadvantages of Food
Photography? [online] Available at:
advantages-and-disadvantages-of-food [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].

3 | Sabrina Wisniewska