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Ed Rooney

Food: you eat it but do you shoot it?

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Food keeps finding its way into so many other posts, I thought it time to give this universal subject its own place.

 

Food related subjects account for about a third of my sales. That includes what's on the shelves of supermarkets, produce, people eating or drinking in restaurants, as well as tabletop food pics. Circumstances have confined me to shooting my tabletop pics in restaurants now but I used to do some cooking and capturing at home in NYC. I may eventually start doing some food photography in my new rental flat in Liverpool. 

 

I don't have a professional kitchen or a studio and staff like my culinary hero, Francesco Tonelli, has. He is a master chef, a teacher, and runs a magnificent studio in New Jersey. I aim for the more-modest midpoint between studio perfection and the reality of Street. And I eat all the meals I shoot. I try to capture the taste, the freshness, and the value of food. I don't see meals the way fast-food TV ads do, a party-like event. And as a general rule, I don't upload images that I don't like. "Anything sells" and "good enough" are not photo philosophies I embrace. 

 

I see a lot of outstanding food photography on Alamy. I hope we hear from some of the best shooters here. So, what do you other foodies do?

 

 

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Not really my thing but this snap has sold a few times. 

 

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Edited by geogphotos

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I enjoy shooting food. I don't think I'm an expert by any means--and I don't usually make food that's pretty enough to photograph! I'm always looking for opportunities when I'm out and about. Public markets are some of my favorite places. This is my only food shot that has sold (so far).

 

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Just checked and I have 1,060 images with food as a tag...not all are plates of food of course.  I do sell a fair amount of food shots and most of those dishes of food, I did consume!! 

 

France Cote d'Azur Provence Cassis mussels at restaurant shell fish  dining fresh Mediterranean Sea Stock Photo

 

USA Virginia VA Williamsburg food restaurants Culture Cafe Bowl of braised pork and vegetables Stock Photo

 

USA New York Geneva Lake Geneva NY steak sandwich at the Red Dove Tavern pub restaurant Stock Photo

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One little bit of advice to help increase food sales....and maybe it is obvious, is to always try to order iconic dishes from the region where you are.  Those photos are often used in travel related stories or brochures.  Also shots of latest food fads or trends, such a plant based burgers, gluten free anything etc... 

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I just bought a book about food photography ... 

 

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I used to do a lot of studio shots of food this had done well for me and we consumed it eventually 

 

 

 

 

canadian-maple-leaf-shaped-glass-bottle-

 

Pad Thai that I had for lunch at our favourite place. 

 

a-vegetarian-pad-thai-dinner-with-fresh-

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I have been using my Sony RX100V for restaurant shots recently, the Pad Thai I posted above was shot on this camera, however I have noticed if it is not “Lay Flat” types of shots, then the depth of field gets narrow quickly and I hesitate to upload those shots. It happened recently with a veggie burger and fries I didn’t want to gamble that the area in focus was enough to pass QC. It’s surprising that the Sony RX100V can produce shallow depth of field from a small sensor.

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I'm going to need some help chowing this one down. Does anyone have any spare sour cream?  

Glendon Alberta

 

Giant roadside attraction in Glendon Alberta Canada, depicting a perogy with a fork stuck in it Stock Photo

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It is my wife taking shots of food, not my cup of tea, but she is not on Alamy (yet). 

Still have three (rather dull) shots, where I could not resist 

(They belong to the first pictures I uploaded and looking at them now, they may need some serious rework) 

 

Fried cockroaches Stock Photo

 

Snakes on a stick Stock Photo

 

Fish drying Stock Photo

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I believe every food shot I’ve sold has been of something I baked or cooked. No fancy styling, just plain home cooking. It always amazes me. This one sold for packaging, $700 back when I got 60%.
a-coconut-cream-pie-on-a-white-backgroun
This is an early shot of pinto beans and ham hock with cornbread. I think it’s awful...I got better than this later on. Yet this image has sold several times. I just cooked the same thing yesterday, plenty of leftovers. I think I’ll shoot it again.
 

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Edited by Betty LaRue
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A great subject for horrible winter days. I don't have many but this one has sold

 

a-stottie-or-stotty-cake-or-oven-bottom-

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Mostly France for some reason...mmm duck à l'orange, Laon, a seller

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Duck confit...actually taken in Rochester, another seller

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I quite like this one.......Tuna steak, Toulouse

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.....and haute cuisine in Hull.

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That's me behind the burger, copyright OH. She gets a drink if it sells. London.

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Edited by spacecadet

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I might have wanted to see more of that jolly tray- it's part of the schtick.

You didn't ask about it, but I often put in a wink of built-in flash in daylight- it can lift a pic. Most of mine above probably have some.

Edited by spacecadet

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21 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

That's me behind the burger, copyright OH. She gets a drink if it sells. London.

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How the hell do you get your mouth round THAT?🙂

 

Allan

 

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1 minute ago, Allan Bell said:

 

How the hell do you get your mouth round THAT?🙂

 

Allan

 

Maybe body modification with some snake-tech?

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I used to shoot then eat my food. After skinning and gutting it.

 

There are some images of food in my port but not very good. Non have sold. My add one or two when I have more time.

 

Allan

 

Edited by Allan Bell

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I don't qualify as a foodie, a chef, or a food photographer. However, I do a bit of casual food photography in restaurants (meals I've ordered myself) and in grocery stores and markets. I've been semi-vegetarian (I do eat some fish and other seafood) most of my adult life, and with the growing interest in consuming more plant-based foods, I've been concentrating on photographing veggie meals and meat alternatives.

 

However, I'm still waiting for someone to order my tofu teriyaki:

 

close-up-of-a-dish-of-japanese-tofu-teri

 

or my vegetarian pho...

 

close-up-of-a-bowl-of-vietnamese-vegetar

Edited by John Mitchell
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We don't have many but this one of mine has sold to Japanese TV for a nice sum.. And tasty it was too!

gelato-in-brioche-in-a-cafe-in-sicily-A65Y2H.jpg

 

 

 

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This studio shot of Ian's is more concept including food than food to eat!

 

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I worked as an assistant for a food photographer for a few years, and that may be why I don't do much food photography - I shoot some but I usually feel they aren't good enough. I only have 20 "food" images and most were shot for old assignments for local media and uploaded over a decade ago, before I worked with her.

 

I'm a bit more lenient on myself when I shoot with my iPhone. The first one I shot at home, the others out at coffee shops. The last one made the "grid of greatness" when I uploaded it earlier this month. I like the middle one best. 

 

Good morning porridge for breakfast red ripe strawberries oatmeal and almond milk in a green aqua bowl on wood vintage Stock Photo

 

 

Double exposure iced tea in mason jar glasses with eco friendly paper straws. Europe announced a ban on some plastics including straws.These brightly colored paper straws are fun an good for the earth Stock Photo

 

 

Healthy kale vegetable soup and cortado coffee that is half espresso half milk. Grunge scratch paint wood table flat lay. Stock Photo

 

Alamy sold this one for me years ago:

 

 

A stack of five ripe red orange gold yellow and green heirloom tomatoes Stock Photo

 

And this sold a few times (though I consider this one more travel than food, it's one of my few that showed up with "food" as a keyword:

 

 

Pumpkin Patch pumpkins for sale at the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ Cape Cod Chatham Massachusetts Stock Photo

 

 

I'll be baking for Thanksgiving, so I ought to shoot some of that.  You've inspired me Ed!

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I photograph food-related signs as well. Some have sold, like this one not too long ago:

 

caribbean-street-food-sign-at-the-car-fr

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Forgot about this one - it has sold four times - once for the cover of a Sunday magazine in one of the British papers:

 

wedding-cake-decorated-two-brides-isolated-on-white-same-sex-interracial-C1W77B.jpg

 

 

I shot a bunch of different cakes for a client and then gave her a break on the price in exchange for letting me style some of them. 

 

And this one of baking supplies has also sold:

 

 

vintage-tin-christmas-cookie-cutters-and-wooden-rolling-pin-on-green-B524EX.jpg

 

Out of 20 images, no a bad percentage. Ed, you've inspired me to add more food and food-related pix to the mix. 

I shoot a lot at restaurants but usually end up deleting them, they don't seem to come out well for me. You do so nicely with your restaurant pix. The two above were both done with strobes and softboxes. I haven't set up my home studio in ages - takes up a lot of room. A good winter project. 

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What about cat food, does that count as well? 

(WARNING: mouse involved, only linking to picture to protect the faint hearted) 

 

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