Keeping it Simple:
Five Questions for a Food Photographer

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MattWright1 Keeping it Simple:</br>Five Questions for a Food Photographer

In our Five Questions series, we ask photographers to share a bit on how they do what they do. This week’s subject is food, and the man behind the camera is Matt Wright, food photographer, blogger, and charcuterie enthusiast. His Blurb book, Wrightfood Photography Manual, is a an approachable, illustrated guide to photographing all kinds of food. He also shares photo tips and recipes on his blog, Wrightfood.

Blurb: Talk a bit about gear. What five things should a food photographer have?


1) A camera – Well, duh. Everyone thinks it has to be a DSLR, but it doesn’t. Some of my more favorite shots of the last year have been from people taking pictures of food using camera phones. With those things everything gets broken down into just composition and light, and as a photographer that is really interesting.

2) A solution for when natural light is bad – I have both a strobe with soft box and an always-on umbrella light. Both are great solutions if your natural light is bad, or you are up all night taking photos. It’s also a good solution when you need consistent light across many photos.

3) Some kind of editing software, and a lot of patience and practice with it – Digital camera images tend to come off looking a bit flat. Just a simple contrast adjustment can work wonders with these things. This was originally done in the dark-room back in the day, but nowadays we all use editing software. Glad not to be breathing in those chemicals!

Matt Wright 14 Keeping it Simple:</br>Five Questions for a Food Photographer

4) Good looking food – OK, not gear (well almost) – but if the food is ugly, you got yourself a much harder job. Think about editing the plate (removing food from it to make a simpler composition) and garnish if it all goes bad.

5) A site where they can show off their work nicely – Just something simple that they update regularly.

Blurb: What’s your number one tip for someone who might just be getting into photographing food?

Matt: Keep it simple. Food, a plate, a table. Don’t over-style.

Blurb: What’s the most challenging food to photograph?

Matt: Anything that you don’t photograph much. I find desserts very challenging because I never photograph them. Most say that meat is the hardest, however I do a lot of meat curing, so for me photographing meat is pretty darn fun.

Blurb: Natural light or artificial light? Which is best?

Matt: Both. They are just different and have to be treated as so.

mattwright2 Keeping it Simple:</br>Five Questions for a Food Photographer

Blurb: I’ve heard that big commercial photographers use all kinds of sprays and whatnot to enhance food. What’s the most you’ll do to style food for a shot?

Matt: I have sucked beans once to clean them of gunk, a trick a food stylist showed me. Otherwise I don’t use anything that isn’t edible.

Check out Matt’s blog, Wrightfood, and his book, Wrightfood Photography Manual, for more tips on making your food look good.


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