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In Love With Food…(photography, that is…)

January 18th, 2012  |  Published in Featured, Shoot

Michelle Turner Photography

I have posted a few times about the importance of capturing the details, but today I wanted to write about an oft-forgotten detail– the delicious, beautiful, oh-so-amazing food.  Take it from me, I can’t even remember what I ate at my wedding.  I do know that it was excellent (we hired a fabulous caterer) and that it made up a big part of our budget, but other than that I draw a total blank.  It’s funny, but for something so expensive and that takes up such a large part of the day/night, food is often ignored.  Sure, we photograph the wedding cake and the cute little whoopie pies served at dessert.  But how often do people say “I would love a photograph of my food”?  I get perhaps three couples out of forty that ask for food shots, and yet every single one of my clients who orders an album wants to include the shot of their food as a supporting detail in their album.

Plus, the simple act of photographing the food can gain you a few friends where the caterers and venues are concerned.  After all, food makes up a huge part of what they sell, and yet so many of them say that very few photographers make the effort to take and share photographs of the food.  And of course, I consider it to be a good move for my business to walk away from every wedding leaving the venue and the caterer feeling like I have taken good care of them.  Actually, I feel that way about every vendor.

Now, I’m not a commercial food photographer.  Many of them can spend hours tweaking a plate to get it just so.  I, on the other hand, have just a few seconds to grab some shots of the grub before it is wolfed down by the hungry masses.  Often the kitchen is in a state of chaos during the meal, so I like to grab servers as they leave the kitchen with their trays.  Many times they are more than happy to stop for you, as long as you don’t take more than a few seconds of their time.  So, have your lens of choice and your preferred lighting ready to go and tweak your settings before you ask them to stop.  Most of the time I simply ask the servers to hold the tray (or plate) down and away from their body.  I like to photograph food with a wider lens (personal preference because I like to see the rows of appetizers or the entire meal), but make sure that you don’t go TOO wide as no one will look kindly upon you if you are photographing so close that your hair falls in the food.  :)

Do I photograph the food at every wedding?  Almost, but not quite.  Why not?  Sometimes I simply don’t have the time because things are behind schedule.  Sometimes the caterer is too stressed out and food photographs would stress them out more.  And occasionally there is too much going on elsewhere to get the food as it comes out.  On the other hand, sometimes you will get lucky and the caterer will let you into the kitchen while they are actually preparing the food.  If the presentation is interesting enough, you can get a fun behind-the-scenes shot for the bride and groom.   Happy shooting!


Post by Maine Wedding Photographer Michelle Turner.


About Michelle Turner

Michelle Turner has written 19 post in this blog.

Michelle is a professional wedding photographer who splits time between Maine and Puerto Vallarta.


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