When you take a photo or video of the great food you just made, how does that photo turn out? Usually, not so good. Creating stunning food video or photography is challenging.
So, how do you capture food video and photos that are good enough for television? It starts with pre-planning. What exactly do you need to show? How does the food fit into the creative concepts? How will the food be framed (wide, medium, close-up, etc.)? What kind of movement do you want? What is the food served on and what is around the food?
After you know what’s needed, you create the shot list. The shots will tell you what kind of video/camera gear you’ll need, whether you’ll need a Dana dolly, a jib or possibly even a special-built grip apparatus. You’ll determine which lights are needed, what lenses are needed, what general grip gear is needed, etc.
You also develop the food and prop list. A common technique is to bring whole food items for every ingredient in the food being filmed, such as whole tomatoes, whole onions, whole green peppers, etc. These items can be used as props around the main food item. You’ll need a table top or some surface on which to shoot. You’ll need the plates and serving dishes. Basically, you need to plan in advance for every way you might want to show the food, because if you don’t bring the items to the shoot, you’re probably out of luck.
Next, you’ll need to hire a good food stylist and likely one or more food prep assistants. The camera can only capture what is presented. A food stylist knows how to make your food look fantastic.
Often this requires tweaking how the ingredients are combined. For example, while you might always place the mushrooms under the sauce, this would not present the mushrooms to the camera. The food stylist will find a way to stay with your recipe while still making sure that the ingredients can be seen and are presented well.
Next, you’ll want a talented art director, somebody who knows how to choose the props, the plates, the napkins, the serving dishes and also how to place the supporting ingredients around the food.
Finally, you’ll need a video production team (director, director of photography) that knows how to light and shoot food.
We’ve created lots of food video for clients over the years, including this television commercial for Pollo Campero. Give us a call and we’d be glad to discuss your next food project.