Food Still Life – Final Evaluation

This project has now come to an end and to be completely honest it wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. Sourcing the props for one shoot and having to cancel them and provide props for the Plan B shoot which was stressful enough as was my friend who is a chef, letting me down last minute forcing me to make a trip to pick up the burger in a small amount of time before the shoot.

The chef at GBK did not do a good job on arranging the burger nicely for me even though I said pretty please. Once I got my assistants to help me set up my desired lighting I wanted following my lighting diagram, I then set up the Phase only to find the battery had little power in it and originally said it was a full battery on the monitor however it was not and it was only thanks to Julian that he managed to get me another battery from CLR and save the day for me and my team (I was shooting first). When I say battery I don’t mean the ones for the digital back as we had spare I’m talking about the one battery for the bloody body of the camera, thats so expensive you don’t get a spare!

I ended up really pushed for time with all these problems however I was professional about it as mistakes happen and kept my cool. I followed my sketches of how I want to position my food and props and things started to look up. I got one of my assistants to hold the light meter and got a perfect reading.

Once I got the things started it only took me 25 shots to finish as I was a little pushed for time. My biggest regret was that the chips and olives behind the burger were not in focus. If I had more time to play around with the Phase I would have taken 3 shots with focus on the different items and then stacked all the images together using Helicon Focus (Phase One Recommended program).

Post production that evening was the most fun I got out of this project as I used my inspiration from Martin Parrs style food photography, and inspiration from a New York photographer I like and came up with a kinda pop art style I had planned.

This style will not suit everyone however after putting the image on Facebook and Instagram I got good feedback from John Gulliver and Chris Frazer Smith (Two of my other tutors)

Insta gram.png

and a honest review this evening from Geraint Cunnick (Head of Digital Photography). I agree strongly with what Geraint said with practice I will master Phase One just like I did with my Canon 5DSR. Onwards and Upwards!


All in all I don’t believe I will be going down the path of a food photographer as I enjoy working with people in my shoots more than food and still life is a little dead for me (no pun intended).

If I was to do the shoot again I would prefer to work with a food stylist and possibly a art directer. I also would prefer to shoot something flat next time and try out a birds eye view shot of the product. Also the fact we had no kitchen on site was a little disappointing as real food photographers have this option too. A great experience overall though and I’m always up for new challenge! so bring on the next one! 🙂

Food Still Life – Final Estimate

This is my final estimate for the main items of the shoot and the props. At £31.07 I would say I went a little over budget here as I was originally aiming at around about £20 tops!.

However the deal originally was that I only purchased props as my friend who is a chef was meant to collaborate with me and give me a meal for free leaving me to only pay for the props.

Plan B came into action and I then had to pay for these new main items for the shoot brining my budget to the new amount totalled below. So slightly over budget but spending a little extra than planned saved my arse!

Final Estimate .jpg


Food Still Life – Contact Sheet

When deciding on what shot to choose this evening, I narrowed the search down to the best still of the burger on its own and the best still with the chips and olives.

The chips and olives were out of focus as I was having problems with the Phase (being my first time using it and not asking for help) however I picked this picture instead of the burger on it own , because I still had focus on the burger itself and it looked better with these in the background than just on it own.

Overall the shot I decided on was ok, however I can see a lot of room for improvement here. I will reflect on this more in final evaluation so stay tuned.

Contact Sheet .jpg

Food Still Life – Looks Like Plan B

So tomorrow is my shoot and it looks like ‘Plan A’ with the Chef I no has fallen through. This was my worst nightmare something like this happening, so looks like I will now be heading to GBK tomorrow and speaking to the staff/chef.

I need a Burger, Onion Rings & Sweet Potato Fries. As a precaution I will most probably re-arrange the burger myself. I managed to find this picture on line for guidance and a few extra last minute tips.


Better Burger Tips

Also I have prepared the syringes tonight ready for the morning to save extra hassle. Ketchup, Mustard & Mayonnaise. This will be injected along the edges of the burger on the outside. Just hope they don’t go all over my bag when transporting them to the studio in the morning.


My props have also all arrived on time, so I’m all set for tomorrow. Only thing I was missing was a large chopping board but I went to ASDA after uni today and managed to find one for a fiver!. Next I will upload my lighting diagrams and sketches stay tuned..

Food Still Life : Research & Inspiration : Part 5


This evening was all about research into Matin Parr’s Food Series. The main reason I wanted to look into this, was because of how ‘in your face’ and how bright the colours were, that this particular style of food photography really stands out for me.


I came across this a few months back now but with this new project in mind and the fact I would be now shooting a burger I thought I would have some fun with this and once the photo is taken, I plan to play around with the colours ect and make them extremely vibrant and in your face. Obviously martin parr’s photos have little editing done to them however you can tell straight away this series is his work and thats how I want my food photography to be perceived with my brand name on it.


Once I’m done with the image the burger will most probably look fake however I want it to be viewed as a piece of art, almost along the lines of pop-art as this brief is open to imagination, but clearly I’m not going to have my work look like my classmates work and I need a little extra edge to it. Am I going to end up crossing the line with this brief? Will it still be classed as food to make you look at it and say ‘I’m hungry’? Who knows.. this is all trial and error from here.

Food Still Life – Backup Plan!

So we all know that from time to time things can go wrong. Thats why its always a good idea to have a backup plan. If my friend who is a Chef does not come through for me for any reason then my next resort with be GBK.

GBK is a great burger joint found in the o2 Arena and if I want some food hot and steaming and ready to go then this would be a easily accessible place. I would be able to pick up my order half an hour before my shoot, however I would have to speak to the chefs in the kitchen or the hostess and ask that they put a little more time into it than usual as I would be shooting it for my project.

I obviously have the props and extras to make it look better already but I still want to try and get this as right as possible. They have a number of different types of burgers and at the moment I have a code on my phone for a buy one get one free! meaning I could even possibly stack two on top of each other to make a mega burger.

Opening times for the day I’m shooting or night before are highlighted below. This is my last resort but could need up being the better option. I will have to see how things go and make my mind up closer to the time but for now I think this task will run smoothly on the day and go to plan. Next will be to draw up some lighting diagrams and I think I’m all set.

Backup Plan.png

Food Still Life – Talk : Food For Thought

So yesterday I decided to go to the ‘Beyond The Lens’ talk with my classmate Dean.

I had seen it advertised on Facebook and rung him up asking if he would like to go with me. We both paid £10 each for a ticket and the main talk we was interested in the most was Food for Thought, as it would be a great help towards this project.

food talk

Beyond The Lens Sunday

Apon arriving we were 5 minutes early and got ourselves a seat at the front. There was a panel of 6 top Food Photographers and 1 top Food Stylist (pictured furthest right).


Me and Dean listened for the duration of 1 hour 30 minutes and then at the end we asked a few questions and spoke to them one on one and got there  business cards.

Food Photography Cards.jpeg

First up was Caroline who we took a liking to, as she is the founder of “Pink Lady” the first ever international food photography competition in the world and now the largest.

Pink lady.png

The competition is on once a year and you don’t have to be a Food Photographer to enter, anyone can with prizes up to £5,000 per category normally. She is the lady if you look further up the page , sitting the furthest left hand side with the microphone.

She had some amazing stories to tell about herself and her son and was a real pleasure to listen and learn from. Plus a great contact to keep in mind for the future.

The other person I really took a liking to was Sal Henley, a farmers daughter who grew up in love with food and became a stylist to feed her passion. I spoke to her for about 15 minutes after the show and she also gave me her business card.

food stylist

She is one of the biggest names in the food industry and has worked with a great deal of big names in marketing. She gave me some advice on how I could present my burger and also a few tips on how to keep it looking good.

Companies shes worked for.jpgFood Stylist.png

Overall this was a great talk and we both were extremely happy we went along. Food Photography is something I wouldn’t have thought much about before, but now I have heard a few stories and seen the work of the professionals I probably wouldn’t mind getting involved in future. They say Food Photography is the way forward now, so lets see how I do on Thursday and if my shots are not to bad, my Instagram feed might see a bit more Food Photography.