The Art and Science of Food Photography

Food photography is everywhere--on trucks and billboards, in magazines, blogs and Facebook posts. I personally love looking at photos of food. In fact, I can't buy a cookbook that doesn't include images with the recipes. And I can't tell you the number of magazines I have purchased because of the decadent chocolate cake or cheesy casserole on the front cover. On the contrary, I have also seen some really bad, almost lost my appetite level of food photography. Do you remember the series of dinner photos Martha Stewart tweeted using her phone camera? Her followers reacted with comments like, "That looks like spit and diarrhea" and "Better than prison food?", or my personal favourite, "Looks like a present from my dog". Poor Martha.

Great food photography is truly a combination of art and science. In addition to proper lighting and correct choice of lens, there are little tricks, creative applications, and props that are used to make food look fresh, plump and ready to eat. Stylists or photographers often spray glycerin on fruit or vegetables to add beads of moisture or insert make-up sponges between the layers of a hamburger to make it stand tall and proud. Meat is generally under cooked and painted with Kitchen Bouquet Browning Sauce and branded with skewers to give it a "hot off the grill" look. Some trickery perhaps, but necessary when working with perishables and competing with the ultimate adversary--time! 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with Chelsea Robinson, owner and primary chef at Lamplight Diner in downtown Ayr, Ontario. Chelsea started her business in 2016 after graduating from the culinary program at Conestoga College. Chelsea needed photos for advertising that would highlight her signature home-cooked style meals and baking. It was very difficult handling the food without having the urge to take a bite!  I've provided a few of the photos from the day.  I will be adding more photos in the coming weeks, so please visit again!

 

 

Butter Tart // Lamplight Diner // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
Food PhotographyButter Tart // Lamplight Diner // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
Food Photography // Hamburger // Lamplight Diner // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
Food Photography // Hamburger // Lamplight Diner // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
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Food Photography // Hamburger // Lamplight Diner // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe

In the Moment

American photographer, Dorothea Lange, said, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."  Dorothea's statement resonates with me. After years of making images, I instinctively view the world around me with curiosity and purpose, with or without a camera in hand - I can't help it. I've trained myself to search for light patterns, leading lines, intersecting objects, colour harmonies, unique faces and landscapes, no matter where I am or what I am doing. This way of "seeing" has forced me to live in the moment; enriching my experiences with the people I meet and the places I visit.

There are many times in my life that I wished I brought a camera with me.  Like the time I was in Alberta driving down a country road, surrounded by mountains, and a real-life cowboy on a horse was lassoing an escaped bull. Damn! Or those less epic but beautiful misty mornings on my drive into the city where the sun is just rising and the dew is glistening on the grass. Even if I'm not camera-ready, I take mental note and revisit if I can.

Fortunately, I was fully prepared for an evening of photo-taking for my visit to the Paris Fair last month. Fairs are always so much fun - lots of colour, movement and interesting people to photograph. My senses were on high alert as I snapped away. Even if you don't make a living as a photographer, I highly recommend bringing your camera to a fair or amusement park.  Observe your surroundings; look at the interesting lines, the bright hues, the patterns of light or the smile on a child's face as he is about to ride the carousel and start framing the subject through your lens. I promise that once you start, you will see, too.

Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography
Paris Fair 2017 // Lori-Anne Crewe // LA Crewe Photography

Colour Inspiration

I am often inspired by colour; particularly primary blues, reds and yellows. Just looking at pleasing colour combinations brings me joy. When I spotted a yellow, vintage suede coat at a thrift shop a few months ago, I was ecstatic - I had to use it in a portrait!  I also found a similar hue on a workshop wall not too far from my house that would make a perfect backdrop. My creative juices were flowing. Now all I needed was a model.

Call it coincidence, serendipity or divine intervention, things seem to fall into place sometimes. I received a message from my friend Jane Van Pelt, also a photographer, that Megan Allan from ANM Management modelling agency would like a few photos for her portfolio. Voila! It was a perfect match. 

Megan was a dream to photograph. Her delicate features and slight physique were exactly what I envisioned for the series. We did a few costume changes and used colour as the inspiration for the shoot. Although it was a challenge, I used the mid-day sun to create deep contrast and shadows, mindful of not overexposing Megan's beautiful ivory skin. The only aid I used to control the light was a reflector.  

My sincere thanks to Megan, Jane and Diane for helping to make my colourful vision a reality. Here are a few of my favourites from the shoot.

Megan Allan // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
Megan Allan // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
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Megan Allan // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
Megan_Allan-8753.jpgMegan Allan // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe
Megan Allan // LA Crewe Photography // Lori-Anne Crewe

Model Photography

Model Photography

For this photography session I was on location at a skate park in Kitchener, Ontario photographing beautiful and youthful Emma from Cameo Models.  Emma needed a variety of posed photographs for her portfolio and upcoming pageant, so we decided the skate park would be an ideal backdrop for the style she wanted. Here are a few photographs from the session.

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PPOC Model Shoot & BBQ

PPOC Model Shoot & BBQ

A few weeks ago I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC-ON) Annual Model Shoot and BBQ in Hamilton. I was a little nervous at first as there were many talented and experienced photographers in attendance; however, that soon waned as I slid into my portrait groove. 

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10 KM

The 365 photo project I started in January didn't work out so well (halting after only 18 days!); however, I did manage to find inspiration from a few photos I took in and around my home town.  10 KM is a new project documenting the area and land in which I live. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone to attempt landscape and nature photography. I think we should all step out of our comfort zone once in a while - the challenge keeps us on our toes ; )

Creating a web site and a brand

I'm using Squarespace as my template provider. It is (fairly) easy to use and I love the layout and template options.  The hard part: choosing photos!  This business and website has been 3 years in the making.  After graduating from the Photography program at Conestoga College, and years of dreaming, I can say that I'm ready!  Please stay tuned as I create new ideas and explore in my virtual sketchpad.