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Photography Tips: The Little Details

While I still have far to go in my food photography, I’ve learned a lot over the past few years from some amazing photographers and stylists like Todd and Diane, Matt and Adam, and Penny De Los Santos. You can check them out in my links I love under mentors. Since several of you have expressed interest in how I make my photos, I thought today I’d share some of the small details that go into arranging my photos, including some props secrets! Here are some photos from my Papaya Crab Salad. They’re not touched up at all, this is directly from the camera.

The photo on the left is the first photo I took at this angle. It was definitely too dark, so I reduced the speed a little (which was no problem because my camera was on a tripod and my subject wasn’t moving) to make it brighter.


I decided it still wasn’t quite bright enough, and that I needed to move everything a little closer together. Notice that just moving the top papaya (and spoon) a little closer to the bottom one and bringing the glass on the right more into frame makes the whole picture feel a little more complete?  I also made it a hair brighter.


Next I needed to tip the back papaya up ever so slightly to get rid of the huge glare bouncing off of it. I just used a wadded up paper towel underneath it, which is how the front papaya is propped up.

I got the photo I wanted in my camera. The last thing I did was use Photoshop to slightly darken the blacks and slightly sharpen the photo which really helps everything pop.


Now speaking of small details, those cool wooden plates I used? $2 soap dishes from Ikea! The glasses are also from Ikea, they’re really candle votives. You can find props in all sorts of places so think outside the box.

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