Report back: DIY Food Photography

Food photography at Brooklyn Brainery

Food photography at Brooklyn Brainery

As mentioned earlier, I recently spent an afternoon at Brooklyn Brainery learning about DIY food photography. The instructor, Rachel Been, made smart use of the three hours, kicking it off lecture-style but moving into hands-on practice time. We all spread out to photography the produce (or, ahem, the French toast and bacon cupcakes!) we brought along, and then downloaded a few and took some time to do post-production edits.

Several of us, including yours truly, just edited using the free tools on Picnik – no fancy Aperture or Photoshop for my radishes and potatoes. In other words: you can do this, too!

Seriously. Before the post-production work in Picasa, the photos looked more like this:

Blah. I’m telling you: Picnik. Radishes to riches!

(Note/update: these are technically not the same original files; I deleted those when I made the edits – but they were very similar.)

If you want to ogle some food porn, here are some of the sites Rachel recommended:

And if you want to give it a try yourself, here are some resources for learnin’:

  • Camera simulator: Shows just what those manual settings on your camera do!
  • Creative Commons: Innovative sets of copyright licenses and tools for people who want to share their work online. (Big ups to people who share their work in this way; I raid Creative Commons almost every day at work to illustrate our blog posts and I’ve just been too lazy to figure out how/whether to do it myself.)
  • Rachel Been’s DIY Food Photography presentation: Bonus: Prezi seems like a super alternative to Powerpoint if you’ve been looking for one.
  • And Picnik, for photo edits. I’ve used Picnik before for work and it’s pretty simple and fun, and syncs easily with Picasa, Flickr, and other places you might be storing your photos. I wish it gave you a little more control over color adjustments, but for cropping, adjusting the exposure and saturation, etc., it’s pretty handy. And free!

8 thoughts on “Report back: DIY Food Photography

  1. Yay, just found your blog! And in addition to admiring your rainbow photos,was excited to see this little primer, as I’d set out to search for just this sort of thing not more than two days ago! Off to practice some food photography…


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