No, I am certainly not a pro when it comes to photography. But I know someone who is! And this someone has graciously agreed to give me some advice, which I am passing on to all of you, because this photo taking business sure is tricky.
John Bernunzio, who owned a wonderful photography studio in Portland, Oregon hired me at the age of sixteen as a photography assistant. You may assume I learned a great deal about the art at that time, which I did, however 16-year-olds don’t often have enough perspective to appreciate such a gift, leaving me now to often wish I’d taken more time to learn from him. Actually the gift John gave to me at that time had nothing to do with photography, he was my mentor in life. He happened to be one of the few (semi)sane adults in my life that I really looked up to. I also often wonder how I would have turned out without the studio as my refuge.
Let’s talk about photography now, shall we?
I’m planning to do a series of these so let’s focus this one on:
Gear: What the heck do I need to take good pictures?
I’m currently using a Canon Rebel XT for all my food shots.
John says: The camera you have (Canon Rebel) is perfectly fine for what you’re doing. It has all the features you’ll ever need for your main purpose.
Sweet! I’m using the standard 18-55mm lens.
John says: The lens you have is good for general picture-taking, which is what that one is designed for. But this lens is not appropriate for your food shots. You need to use a longer focal-length lens, like THIS.
Good to know, I’ll start saving my pennies. What else do I need?
John says: You must have a decent tripod. If you don’t use a tripod for each shot, you’re really hurting your chances for success.
I’ve read time and again on other blogs not to use flash when taking food photos. True?
John says: Whoever told you that you shouldn’t use a flash for photos is wrong. HOWEVER… there’s using flash – and then there’s using flash. Again, more learning through use. The use of reflectors and/or additional light sources in your food shots are CRITICAL!!! You can MAKE your own reflectors using assorted materials. This step alone would make a huge difference for you.
Obviously, not an easy question to answer. AND I clearly have a lot of learning to do.
Do you have a question for John? Email me at gwenedwards82[at]gmail.com or leave a comment and we will try to meet your photography needs!
Next installment: restaurant shots!