Today, I was honored to speak the New Jersey Blogger Network Spring Conference. I was asked to spill my secrets about photography styling and composition. I thought for a while how I would present this. I didn’t want to be boring and just talk at the attendees. And then it hit me! I would do a live photo shoot for them.
I came up with a setup in mind (something that could easily be transported in my hour commute) and decided to style an Iced Tea setup. It’s almost summer time and I knew it would be a nice and refreshing photo.
So what did I bring?
Wood Pallet Top – I got mine at AC Moore but you could use a real pallet.
Pitcher – This one is acrylic and from Target. You can find a similar one on Amazon.
Glasses – Again, these are acrylic and from Target. Here are similar ones on Amazon.
Wood Cutting Board
And, of course, iced tea!
In full disclosure, I retook these photos when I came home so they are not from the actual conference. But the setup is the same.
Now that we have that in the way, let’s take a look at the finished product first. This is the setup that we worked with at the conference.
Let’s break down the shot.
This is an overhead shot of the iced tea in a pitcher, with sliced lemons to give color. I needed something to break up the brown. You could do the same thing with lemonade by adding berries. I filled two glasses about half-way with the iced tea and added a lemon wedge garnish. I then sliced some additional lemons for accents. I kept them on cutting board and included the knife as well. I wanted this shoot to look like I took it as I was preparing some iced tea for friends on a summer day.
Now, let’s take a look at the pull back.
Let’s break this down. My light source is to the left coming from my sliding glass door. This is were I take about 85% of my photographs for the blog. I placed a whitewashed board to the right to help bounce some light and fill in the shadows. Underneath the pallet top, I put an aqua placemat so that a little pop of color would come through. I stood directly overtop the setup to get the final shot.
Of course I couldn’t just stop at this one shot. I took a bunch more.
I took these standing directly in front of the setup. I was standing in between my light source (the window was behind me) and the table. I then took them at different angles depending on the picture.
Here is a pull-back from another angle.
There you have it! Your food photography setups don’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, it’s best to keep it simple!