I made this soup last weekend in 30 minutes and spent 4 times that amount of time (2 hours total) on the photoshooting today, there's some lessons learned I will share at the end of the blog.
The recipe isn't mine to share, I found it on Pinterest.
Here's a great "hack" I read about on the Internet: instead of peeling and cubing the squash, just cook it for 6-8 hours on low in a Crockpot. Just wash it and put it in whole (on a rack!! very important).
It comes out fully cooked and soft. First scoop out seeds and then the flesh, puree it, add coconut milk or cream or whatever you use in your soup, add your spices and you're done. Very easy, much easier than this photo shoot.
For the inexperienced photographers reading the blog, here's what I learned about capturing food:
- Don’t cook and capture at the same time. Prepare the food then if necessary “reinact” the cooking part for the photoshoot
- If you take a long time (over one hour) on your photoshooting, make sure the food is very cold to start with so it doesn't start "sweating" in the sun or lights
- Change the image size ratio to 1:1, ratios 16:9 will have more "background"
- Decorations, decorations, decorations
- Sunlight, nothing is better than natural light from a window
- Metal spoons reflect
Now I'm sharing my first capture from today's session. It's not bad, definitely "minimal" however the parsley seems too big in relation to the soup bowl, part of the bowl is cut off and there's too much grey of the dishes in the frame. Nonetheless, the soup looks better than in the first 2 photos probably because it was still fresh.
I set up on a 110 cm x 70cm x 1 cm board made of birchwood, which is light enough for me to carry up from the basement by myself yet stable enough to balance on the small coffee table. I place the board on the table which has wheels which allows me to flexibly position it. We only have good sunlight in the living room - no way to do a photoshooting in the basement or kitchen until I invest in high-quality photo lighting.
I use grey dishes because white is too harsh and grey is a neutral color which will work with almost all colors of food. The dishes are glazed which isn't optimal, as you can see in the reflections in photo #4. So I ran outside and gathered the huge leaves from the plantan trees directly across the street and placed them on and around the plates in #1 and #2.
I'm so glad I'm participating in the 365 photo challenge although it is a lot of work. My first attempt at food photography in January was an epic fail but today I'm trying to get over my embarassment to see it as a way to measure how far I have come in less than a year in improving my photography skills. Probably next year I'll look back at today's shooting and be embarassed as well.
I thank all of you for your tips and comments and by writing up my lessons learned in today's blog, I hope to pay it forward to all of you who are just starting out.