An Experiment in Scones

November 24, 2015

Several months ago I attended an ASMP workshop with career food photographer Jim Scherer.  I was immediately inspired by this branch of photography and the seeming simplicity with which Jim presented it.  But the stars had to align before I found myself making my first attempt at food photography...

My sister is quite the baker and at any given time we will have a variety of baked goods around the house.  Last week she made her signature scones and before they all disappeared I set up for a food photography shoot in the kitchen.  The new acquisition of a solid wood butcher block island made it the perfect time to try it out!

Here you'll see my progression as I started with the basics... my subject on a small plate... and continued to add elements until I felt the shot was complete!  First, the scone and then the styling of a cloth napkin.

Nope... that napkin isn't quite right.  Let me adjust.  And adjust again.  Let's add a cup of coffee in the background, as this is a breakfast baked good, and an itty bitty spoon to fill the foreground!


Ok now we're getting somewhere.  Time to make that scone more appetizing.  It's not quite realistic enough, how about filling the cup so we can just see some coffee, and putting some of that coffee on the spoon.


One final adjustment to show a little more of that golden scone top and I think we're there!


I did this simply with natural light and a bounce card and the kitchenware we already had in the house.  Now I just have to find a few more props and I think I could try anything!

Before I was completely done I attempted a flat plane approach from above.  This was actually much more difficult for me.  I played with different napkins and placement of props... I was using a wide angle lens which wasn't ideal because of the distortion but without being able to get enough height off the table I had no choice.  I personally think this approach requires a lot more staging expertise and perhaps a better dish will work better in the future.  Something like a full course meal or a main dish item that could really help bring some presence to the frame.

Anyway, this was my first food photography attempt and I have to say it was very fun!



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