A few weeks ago I got the chance to do my first food shoot. This production was for a Bagel store ad and was produced and directed by Chanina Katz and Draizy Zeiger.
Beforehand they showed me a commercial that featured some food for a breakfast ad. It was shot with an HMI light (which is really expensive to get) and it looked gorgeous. This was really a tough challenge that I certainly was up for since I have not done this before – and I live for new challenges in my work.
I have never shot food products and therefore I had to do some research. One thing I immediately noticed is that the food in most commercials is very sparkly lit with lots of highlights. I had an idea that we could use an HMI light, but arriving on set and using a Arri 2000W tungsten light did not produce the same results at first glance. The Arri light would create very hard and edgy shadows that made the image too contrasty. Everything that was not touched by the Arri light was too dark. The contrast ratio between lights and shadows was way out of what my DSLR could handle.
So, one solution was to set up some fill lights. I took a bunch of cheap photo lights and threw them against the ceiling. But I didn’t want to eliminate the shadows created by the Arri completely. I love shadows. They’re actually more important than the lights. Therefore I had to choose the fill light intensity just under the one of the Arri 2k. And voila! It created the desired effect.
Check out some screen grabs from the shooting.
Another thing I worked with that turned to be a great investment is my new ring light that I purchased from Fotodiox. It’s one of the best and cheapest ring lights on the market. Cost me about $200. I had been looking for such a light for quite some time, but they were not to be found for under a $1000 before this one reached the market. That changed everything for me. It is rock solidly build and Litepanels can hide themselves behind such a light. And it’s a fraction of the cost.
The food was done by a food stylist. It looks delicious, don’t you think? It tastes that way too. We were eating all the stuff that he made and we photographed. That’s the kind of shoot I love to do!