Two months are done and past. It seems like only yesterday I was taking shots of food for fun when I went out to brunch with my buddy. My second issue of being food photographer (amongst other type of photography) for the magazine was just as exciting and just as educational as the first. There are still so many things for me to learn but I feel, looking back at these pictures, that I’ve made a bit of progress. It’s been a rough road with more than one or two bumps. I’ll leave the final judgment to you.
The theme of the June/July Featured Restaurants in Alcoholmanac magazine was tapas, or in English, small dish foods.
Six restaurants were named by our writer, Stephen Carlson of YourMilwaukeeDining and we chose four. They were Antigua, Hinterland, Swig and Ginger. All very good restaurants in Milwaukee they served up some really good looking and awesome tasting dishes.
The great thing about doing food photography is you usually get to eat the subject after your done shooting it. Not exactly something you can do when you take a models picture…hehe.
This issue, with the help of my experienced business partner, I began to spend more time thinking about the framing of the shot. How to give it a little more life then I did in the last issue. It’s amazing how just a little tilt of the lens can make things feel more dynamic.
For the June/July issue of Alcoholmanac magazine we also had two editors picks, one of which was mine. Angie, my business partners Brian’s wife chose Alem, an Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of Milwaukee. My choice was the Eatery on Farwell, a little off the beaten path but still close to the heart of the city.
Ryan, one of the owners, set a feast for us. Dish after dish came from the kitchen looking like a piece of art waiting to have its portrait done.
The dish that caused my jaw to drop was the one pictured below. There was something about the mix of colors, about how vibrant they were, and the fact it was a tasty looking steak that stuck a big grin on my face.
It’s not all fun and games. There is a lot of stress that sits like an imp on your shoulder as you snap away. Time is limited, the writer needs to taste it. The picture needs to have the right elements, or the editor-in-chief gets pissed that you didn’t get what he wanted. You need to catch things from the right angle, or the whole picture seems lifeless.
If your a perfectionist, or even if you just want to make sure your picture looks good its a lot of weight to carry. But the more you carry that weight the more you get used to it.
I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that in the heat of the moment when it seems like everything’s crashing in on you that the best thing to do is to take a deep breath and let it out slowly. After all, it’s not a matter of life and death. That is, unless you see the writer reaching for a steak knife because you’re taking too damn long. Then you should hurry up and get the shot…