29 Jul2007

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I just got back from an afternoon class combining food styling tips and food photography given by Pixie Sevilla Santos and Jo Avila. They are such nice folks and clearly professionals in their respective fields, but the main thing I learned is that I will never be a professional food stylist nor a food photographer, period. Together with a half dozen other bloggers, we went through the basics of food styling, short2planning a photo, prepping the food and actually taking the photo. A lot of the seminar was really geared to more commercial purposes or perhaps a magazine photo shoot, and there were many interesting tips about composition, color, height, angles, centering, plating etc. While I have taken over 20,000 photos of food and produce for this blog, I HAVE NEVER considered myself a competent photographer; and worse, my hands shake like I have Parkinsons disease or something, so blurriness is a Marketman trademark. And I use the most basic shoot and point Canon Ixus 850 camera, with no fancy lenses and hardly any photoshopping after the fact, except to crop out my shadow or to get a specific part of a dish…

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But I do think I have taken a few decent photos over the years, perhaps attributable to the “chamba” factor more than anything else. But I think having an “eye” is something that wasn’t discussed much and in my amateur opinion, having an eye, using the finest and freshest ingredients and just shooting a dish as naturally as possible in natural light often yields a short4pretty decent photo. Let me reiterate that on this blog EVERY SINGLE PHOTO you see is something that I then went on to eat and it was fully edible, and cooked as a result of the underlying recipe described in the post. I learned today that so much commercial food photography is styled with food that is actually totally inedible, spritzed with all manner of stuff you wouldn’t use in the underlying recipe, and it is actually shocking that a lot of what people see in magazines, newspapers and advertisements is in fact for show only! I should also add that anyone who saw the Yummy spread on Marketman, that despite the presence of a food stylist, assistants and photographers, the resulting photos were of things I actually cooked, and that the Yummy crew ate afterwards… And I think the photographer and stylist of that shoot made everything look spectacular for print…

All this new knowledge has me more worried about ever attempting a book. Either I go with my instincts and patently unprofessional photographs or I hire the best professionals and don’t go into the photoshoots to micro-manage the shots (I don’t think I could be hands-off on this). If I ever did a book, I would want to take pictures of the actual dishes after I cooked them, if not, it would seem a bit fake, don’t you think? And if you peruse some short5of the local food magazines, you will find a few odd things like setting the flatware wrong, the use of napkins under plates (who the heck does that in real life?), placemats and props to draw the eye to the food, etc. that are all geared at the perception and visual impact, but sometimes lacks basic logic. I must concur, however, that most readers of these types of media will feast with their eyes, and never attempt the underlying recipes, so for that reason, beautiful photos are a must. But I think brilliant food stylists and photographers are BRILLIANT for a specific, usually commercial purpose, I just don’t think I fall into that realm at all… At any rate, upon returning home, I found that Mrs. MM had been hard at work, cooking up a recipe of braised short ribs from the fabulous book of the restaurant Balthazar, that I featured a few weeks ago. I decided to plate up some of the short ribs and see if I could take a decent photo using a simple (and much too bright) lamp as it was already dark outside. Frankly, I think these photos have a bit too much glare in them, but I know they are real, and seconds later, we ate the fabulously tender and tasty ribs for dinner, with a sauce that can only be described as rich and silky and superb… Mrs. MM doesn’t go into the kitchen that often, but when she does, and toils for 4-5 hours at that, the results can be stupendous. For the recipe, you must get a copy of the Balthazar cookbook…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. T. Legarda says:

    Hi – I LOVE your site and always LOVE your pictures! Keep up the wonderful work!

    Jul 29, 2007 | 9:52 pm

     
  2. Apicio says:

    Not to be presumptuous to encapsulate your loss of innocence, yes, professional food styling is a deceitful dodge indeed. One of the bragging rights that Gourmet magazine takes particular pride in over the years is exactly what you are doing in your kitchen and your table. Everything featured (or pictured) is as cooked, served and eaten. I think that it is a quantum leap of skill over that of food stylists’ tainted bag of tricks.

    Jul 29, 2007 | 9:59 pm

     
  3. w.g. says:

    MM, you don’t need fancy food styling to make your posts look better! Content is already very “meaty.” I’ve seen other blogs which give more emphasis on the photos, sayang naman minsan the content is not up to par. You can do wonders with your point and shoot. :) If you need a close shot try using the macro function of your Canon. If you just need to take regular shots, but you’re worried about having shaky hands, you can buy a mini tripod. I think it’s less than 500 pesos at camera stores :)

    Jul 29, 2007 | 10:08 pm

     
  4. ging says:

    Hi MarketMan!

    Thanks for visiting my blog ;-)
    As for food styling, I learned about all the sprays and stuff they use to make the food look more photogenic several years ago. From then on, I never fully trusted food photos in menus and magzines anymore.
    I prefer to read descriptions, especially of the ingredients and spices. If one has spent enough time in the kitchen, one can tell how the dish comes together and can pretty much get an idea of how the end result will taste like.

    ging

    Jul 29, 2007 | 10:54 pm

     
  5. ging says:

    By the way, I really cannot say where to find good pan de sal here in Cebu. pan de sal here tends to range from mediocre to ridiculous. From the tiny hard, tasteless ones to the large, soft, sweet ones that remind me of dinner rolls except that they are rolled in breadcrumbs.

    The best ones i tasted so far were the ones i used to eat for breakfast when i was still in UP Los Banos. Large pieces with a thin but crunchy (but not burned) crust and a nice dry, soft, slightly salty interior.

    They went really well with the Dari Creme that the bakery sold by the slice.

    ging

    Jul 29, 2007 | 10:58 pm

     
  6. tulip says:

    I had a crash course in food styling years ago, though I know they fake those “yummy” looking photos I was still shocked with what they use. One example is motor oil, imagine more! I sure wish to enjoy styling then eating my artwork after the shoot. Anyway, I dont think you have to do some faking. Your photos are good enough to make us drool! I know some restaurants nowadays take photos naturally for the menu and their promotional ads. And some use point and shoot type of cam too. Just make your Ixus your buddy, experiment with it and lighting.. am sure that will suffice for a book worthy photos.

    Jul 29, 2007 | 11:17 pm

     
  7. sha says:

    since I have worked along side pro photographers I have seen the tricks , what i post of my blog are natural set up of plated food too… i love the spontaneousity of it thats why i called my other blog impromptu.

    i just natural light as much as possible

    Jul 30, 2007 | 1:00 am

     
  8. dhayL says:

    i remember watching “chef at large” with michael smith one time, he featured how food stylists, photographers etc..do a photoshoot for a magazine or a commercial i think! and i agree with you, all if not most of the featured recipes/food items are stylled to attain that “oh so yummy-look” for the camera’s sake only and after they achieved that perfect shot, they simply throw everything out! what a waste, if you ask me!

    to tell you the truth i’d rather stare at your food photos rather than the ones in the magazines, why? its because i know that not only you and your staff exerted too much effort, i know that there is soo much love that went to it as well! that’s why i consider every post in your blog so special! your photos are all natural, no staging necessary to have “that look”. knowing that you made a certain dish for us (your readers) to share and to make us drool, knowing that after all that hardwork, you and your staff will be rewarded with an excellent meal so nobody is going home or should i say leaving your home with an empty stomach! :)

    Jul 30, 2007 | 4:09 am

     
  9. elaine says:

    I hope you push through with your book, you don’t need any professional photos done as this would be “not you” or would be a bit fake like what you said.. I think your photos, food styling are quite good and your blog is very interesting, very readable and recipes at most very doable too. I would definitely get a copy of your book(if you compiled all your posts including the wonderful photos). You’re pretty good for an “amateur”.

    Jul 30, 2007 | 6:06 am

     
  10. shirley says:

    Hi Mr.MM

    i also prefer the real food stuff in the photos meaning the actual food that is edible so to speak…i dont trust those food photos in the magazines ever since i watch a tv show featuring how to shoot a photo for a food ads or magazines, they were mostly fake and can never eat it afterwards…i do encourage you to publish a book that features photos of food recipes you actually cook and tasted, which is the real thing taken of course by no other than Marketman himself, you are not that bad for an “amateur” as you described…

    Jul 30, 2007 | 8:07 am

     
  11. nikita says:

    You should definitely buy a tripod for your food pics. That will help out with the shaky hands syndrome. Also make sure to use your macro function for those closeup shots.

    I have both a DSLR and a point/shoot. I tend to use the point/shoot more for food because it’s just quicker to grab and less informal. When my dad cooks something that I want to blog about, I end up taking the pics straight from the pot.

    Jul 30, 2007 | 8:23 am

     
  12. Marketman says:

    nikita, I have a tripod, two in fact, a table top and a floor version, but I find it just gets in the way and limits angles and slows things down… handheld is so much more natural for me… but I suppose for more publishable photos, a tripod will be necessary…

    Jul 30, 2007 | 8:36 am

     
  13. Mila says:

    Try to adjust your ISO for camera shake.
    I wonder if food stylists can’t eat knowing how they make their food look cool for a photo using such unpalatable tricks. And all that wasted food taking place all over the world just for a photo!

    Jul 30, 2007 | 8:37 am

     
  14. ctl says:

    But that’s exactly why reading a food blog like yours is so enjoyable. You know that the pictures are the actual finished products, which is so unlike reading a recipe from a book or a magazine. A food blog recipe has so much passion and honesty.

    BTW, MM, thanks for gracing my humble blog with your presence :-)

    Jul 30, 2007 | 9:04 am

     
  15. bernadette says:

    I really think that “image” is everywhere in the world and that “heart” is something quite rare in anything made public. The reason why I am attracted to your blog is because of the candidness ( without being crass) of everything presented—from your write-ups, photos to commentors even!

    Jul 30, 2007 | 9:11 am

     
  16. joey says:

    I love gorgeous food shots but if I’m taking the photo I don’t think I could bear not being able to eat the food afterwards! In fact, the “reward” of eating the food after the taking a picture for my blog has become a ritual I really enjoy :)

    Jul 30, 2007 | 9:39 am

     
  17. Kongkong622 says:

    What’s wrong with your food pics? They look ok to me. I mean, they look yummy to me. Jo A. was a schoolmate/kaasaran in Admu, a zillion years ago. He’s a great guy, btw.

    Jul 30, 2007 | 9:45 am

     
  18. Cumin says:

    How odd that you don’t consider yourself a competent photographer. You’ve posted extremely attractive pics, MM, and effective too in the drool factor, and to be able to do that with a minimum of gadgets and no cheating on ingredients, you’d’ve to be very good, di ba?

    Jul 30, 2007 | 11:04 am

     
  19. kaoko says:

    I know of a couple of professional food stylists who makes it a point to style food that’s fully edible. The art director attests to it, since she gets to eat it afterwards. So I guess it depends on the food you’re shooting but it can be possible to food style without “cosmetic” enhancements.

    Jul 30, 2007 | 11:39 am

     
  20. titashi says:

    hello MM! first of all, please push thru with the book, even if you don’t hire a food stylist and professional photographer, i believe the contents of the book will be more than enough for us…and your photos are good enough for me (and i guess to most of us). I am into photography but i take portraits, events, sometimes still life and i do want to try food photography, though i know that food photography is a lot of work and does use a lot of non-food items and all kinds of tricks, i still wanna try it because it has two of the things that i love, food and photography! i just wanna share with you that i use my point and shoot digicam for my food shot instead of my DSLRs and despite of having a studio, i shoot at home the goodies that my sister and i cook : )

    Jul 30, 2007 | 12:33 pm

     
  21. TOPING says:

    Don’t be ridiculous, MM. Your food pics win out over the ‘styled’ ones every time, and we know why, too: As the doctor in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera” put it, you can always tell when food is “prepared with love.”

    Jul 30, 2007 | 12:55 pm

     
  22. Marketman says:

    Toping that book also had the memorable line about “the smell of one’s urine after feasting on asparagus…” and it is so true indeed… one of my favorite books, that was…

    Jul 30, 2007 | 1:07 pm

     
  23. pixeldose says:

    MM, does your Canon IX 850 have the IS (Image Stablization) capability? If it does, then you may want to make sure that it’s always switched on so that it’d compensate for any camera shake that you may indavertently make whenever you press the shutter button.

    Now I’m guessing that you probably set your camera on ‘Auto’ mode (i.e., it sets the aperture opening, shutter speed, and ISO for you) whenever you photograph your subjects. This may or may not be ideal in certain situations especially if you’re shooting indoors in low-light conditions as it may choose a lower ISO (hence, slower shutter speeds) intermittently. The slow shutter speed (i.e., slower than 1/60 sec) plus the camera shake can cause blurring in your photos. (I’m pretty sure your camera does not allow you to set the shutter speed nor the aperture opening.)

    What I would recommend is to set your camera setting to ‘M’ (i.e, manual) mode then depending upon the light source you have, set the white balance (WB) to either incandescent (light bulb) or flourescent. Most peope prefer not to use the flash as it tends to flatten out their subjects (in food
    photography specially) — hence the use of available lights instead and hence the need to manually set the white balance. So yeah, you may want to switch off the flash :).

    Next, you want to set the ISO (i.e., it sets the shutter speed range that your camera would use) according to the following rule:

    1. 80: resulting photo would have the most detail but produces slower shutter speeds; may require a tripod if your camera’s IS doesn’t do a good job when shooting handheld

    2. 100: has good details and produces faster shutter speeds than ISO 80; less chance of blurring here

    3. 200: has less details in photo but produces shutter speeds faster than ISO 100; much less chance of blurring

    And so on and so forth. The rule of thumb is that the higher ISO settings you choose, the faster shutter speeds you get and therefore, the less likely you’d get blurred shots. There is a price to pay though: as you choose higher ISOs, the more digital noise your images get (your images would have that grainy look).

    If your light source gives off a super bright light then it will probably okay to set your ISO to 80; otherwise,
    choose a higher ISO setting like 100 or 200.

    It would probably be best to experiment, e.g., use the same light source then photograph your subject using ISO 80, then set it to 100 and take another picture … and so on and so forth. Then compare the resulting photos. Pick the photo you want and then look at its metadata (these are the settings
    used by your camera when it took the shot … settings like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, etc.)

    The Canon software that came with your camera should give you this piece of ‘metadata’ or exif data for each photo that you upload to your computer. If it doesn’t then you may just have to manually record the ISO on a piece of paper for each of the photos you take.

    Photos may look okay on the camera’s LCD when you view them but may look totally aweful once you have uploaded and viewed them on your computer screen. So try not to rely too much on your camera’s LCD … go ahead and take several shots of the same subject using different ISO settings.

    For web postings, a point and shoot camera has enough megapixels and dynamic range that could produce acceptable images but for (as you have indicated) publishable images, it would probably be best to have a pro do it with their digital SLRs.

    It really comes down to the lighting techniques and how your subject gets illuminated and it’s not easy manipulating light
    sources with a point and shoot digicam. It’s probably doable but it may become a hit and miss situation for the most part.

    Your camera has 8 megapixels, right? There’s enough pixels on it to produce good quality 4×6 or even 8×10 printed
    images, in my opinion … but like I said, you gotta play with it. Also, you may want to learn some rudimentary techniques on how to post-process images in either Window’s Picture Manager or try the lite version Photoshop Elements:).

    Oh and before I forget some newer point and shoot digicams actually have a ‘Food’ setting these days … the camera
    automatically produces food images with really vibrant colors — based on what I’ve read … I don’t have the link handy right now but yeah, you may want to look into it in the future.

    Just my 2 cents. Sorry for the longish comment.

    Jul 30, 2007 | 2:42 pm

     
  24. Marketman says:

    pixeldose, OMIGOSH, thank you, thank you for those tips… I haven’t the foggiest idea what you are referring to but I will hunt down my manual now and read it… again, I appreciate your taking the time to help me out! :)

    Jul 30, 2007 | 3:01 pm

     
  25. divine says:

    Hi MM,

    You are very modest- Your food pictures are at par with professional food photographers! The truth is, I love to read your blogs and look at the pictures too because you make look the dishes very palatable and tempting ( I can just imagine how tasty the dishes are).

    Jul 30, 2007 | 5:18 pm

     
  26. tings says:

    I agree with most people here that there’s nothing wrong with your photos. We, your audience appreciate that we get to see what the dish really loks like. The same reason why a lot of people like Nigella Lawson. She’s so natural and her style and attitude makes you feel like you are right there in the kitchen with her. However, we all need inspirations and new ideas. There’s another food blogger who is also just as talented with photography. You might want to check her blog. Her photos are absolutely stunning!

    http://www.nordljus.co.uk/

    Jul 30, 2007 | 6:16 pm

     
  27. Pam says:

    Hi, Market Man! I’ve known you by reputation for quite some time now, but it is only recently that I got to follow your blog on a a regular basis, so I have a lot of catching up to do (Whew!). I’m actually very relieved that this is how you felt about the class you took. I took foodstyling & photography because of my love for food and for my work in the corporate world. After that class, I told myself I couldn’t be a foodstylist precisely for one of the reasons you cited — the use of non-edible stuff. You will be glad to know that times are changing and, hopefully, we’ll catch up soon. In the US, the use of non-edible materials has been banned for foodstyling. Here in our country, there are a number who are already following that trend and they are being hired by clients of these advertising agencies. I don’t fault the old foodstyling, but I think they’ve served their purpose. A new kind of foodstyling is emerging. Like everything else, it’s just a matter of time until we catch up. : )

    Jul 30, 2007 | 6:48 pm

     
  28. Marketman says:

    tings, I visited that blog, the PHOTOS are UTTERLY SPECTACULAR… super nice!!! Thanks for the link. Pam, welcome on board, there are over 1,200 posts in the archives so browse through them when you have nothing better to do! :)

    Jul 30, 2007 | 8:09 pm

     
  29. veron says:

    Hey Market man, you know when it comes to real food photography they hardly use edible food. mash potato for ice cream , grease on grilled food… , I’d rather see pictures of real edible food like what you have on your blog. I just came back from NY two weeks ago and the first place I went for dinner was Balthazar. Even if I had a copy of their cookbook, I went ahead and bought a signed copy. This cookbook is my go-to recipe for duck confit!

    Jul 30, 2007 | 10:11 pm

     
  30. T. says:

    Hi again, MM – if you haven’t checked out Shuna Fish Lydon’s site @ eggbeater.typepad.com, I think you’d enjoy it; she’s a pastry chef who writes really well and has nice pics on her blog.

    Jul 31, 2007 | 12:54 am

     
  31. Maria Clara says:

    Food styling is a big industry now – the dog and pony show of the marketing world. Not only it brings big buck to the artists themselves — a good food stylist can command her/his price plus extra perks they ask for like 300 dozen red roses in their dressing room, Don Perignon/Moet & Chandon champagne and mineral water as opposed to bottled water. The propped food they use is not meant for eating like a baked chicken – they brushed the chicken with dishwashing soap before they bake the chicken so it has shiny baked skin look which we cannot achieve in our baked chicken. It is a new wing in the advertising industry. Your braised short rib looks great with the root veggies in its natural form no prop involved except your creative talent in plating!

    Jul 31, 2007 | 1:50 am

     
  32. Em Dy says:

    Hi MarketMan. Your pictures look great. I like taking pictures at the spur of the moment. I feel it’s more spontaneous and natural. When my sister and I travel together, she takes more time taking pictures, figuring out where the light should be, etc. I feel the “eye” is more important.

    Jul 31, 2007 | 8:04 am

     
  33. Connie Veneracion says:

    This may sound insane but I must congratulate you. The hallmark of a credible food blog is the lack of fakery. And food photos that have undergone styling are fake.

    Jul 31, 2007 | 9:35 am

     
  34. Kristine says:

    You know, I wouldn’t have known you weren’t a professionally trained food photographer if you hadn’t mentioned it. Everything you’ve photographed looks delicious! Fantastic work! :)

    Jul 31, 2007 | 10:21 am

     
  35. noemi says:

    Your food photos entice me. So that’s the most important thing there is for me to read your blog.

    Jul 31, 2007 | 10:21 am

     
  36. connie says:

    Now dont’ wonder why after meticulously following the recipe you saw in a food mag, your food still don’t like it was in the picture. The magic of food styling. It’s like airbrushing them models and celebrities to look thinner and younger.

    Jul 31, 2007 | 10:23 am

     
  37. beckykho says:

    Hello, Marketman! Becky here of YUMMY mag. My editors alerted me to this very interesting discussion. Just want to share a little bit about how we do our food styling here at YUMMY. Our approach is very much like yours: we like to eat what we photograph. How your story was shot is pretty much how we shoot all our other stories. We use the real stuff—the Thai Prawn Salad that’s on the cover of the current issue, August 2007, is real…and delicious! It’s our preference to shoot edible stuff so the photos do not have an artificial quality to them. Even for the July 2007 cover, which was pistachio ice cream on a dark chocolate tart, we used real ice cream. While setting up the shot, we used mashed potato, but once all the lights were set and we had the composition we wanted, we set the real ice cream in front of the camera. Even if it takes longer and requires more effort, we persist. I think it just makes for better photos, the kind of photos that really make you want to cook and eat. I hope that gets across; so far, we’ve been lucky that our readers seem to appreciate our food styling and photography. Of course, another reason we like to cook/bake real food is so that we can share them with our colleagues here at Summit. The YUMMY room has become somewhat of an in-office food stop—the folks here constantly drop by to check if we have cupcakes or pasta or whatever—and we’re all too happy to feed them. Of course, because we’re producing a magazine, it is sometimes inevitable to get some help from traditional food styling tricks (like oiling something to make it look more vibrant or using mashed potatoes), but we use it always with the goal to produce the yummiest food pictures.

    All the best to you and continued success with this blog! We’re all looking forward to your book. :)

    Jul 31, 2007 | 12:41 pm

     
  38. Marketman says:

    becky, thank you so much for that clarification. Glad to hear that Yummy pushes for “real food.” I certainly was thrilled that during the Marketman shoot, so little was “done” to the food as I plated it up. In fact, I asked Belle (the stylist) if she wanted to do the plating and she just let me do it as I would normally think to do it… She and Ocs, the photographer just determined napkins, angles, location, movement of some herbs, etc… It was so incredibly easy to work with them… Some folks say Gourmet Magazine and I suspect Saveur in the states also try to stick to as real and natural a dish as possible… But I hope folks don’t get me totally wrong, I understand why commercial photos need to be carefully styled, after all, 98% of people who buy based on a billboard or photo have never cooked the item before… Perception of perfection is something that applies to fresh fruit (perfect shape and skin, as opposed to brilliant flavor), autos, bodies, etc., etc… Oh, and one last thing… the feature Yummy did on Bukidnon in the latest issue is great… if I weren’t deathly allergic to pineapples I would have booked the first flight to Bukidnon after reading the article! :)

    Jul 31, 2007 | 1:53 pm

     
  39. Katrina says:

    MM, if you do decide to come out with a book, I think you should go ahead and shoot the photos the way YOU want — whether do it yourself, or with a pro phtotographer, and with real, edible food. Your readers would expect no less from you. Judging from the above comments, they love your photos already, and therefore aren’t looking for perfect-looking food. Also, as someone said, they would buy the book less for the beauty of the pictures, than for the content. I do agree with Pixeldose, though, that a DSLR would be highly preferable to your point-and-shoot. How pictures look on a computer screen, or on a small print, is very different from how they’d look once printed on a large page.

    I do feel I have to come to the defense of pro food stylists and photographers. As someone who’s worked with them for years, I know for a fact that what they do IS indispensable. It’s a bit unfair to call their work “tainted” or “unpalatable.” It really isn’t too different from putting makeup on the models you see in fashion magazines — just as most people are more enticed to buy clothes when they see it on a pretty girl modelling it in a beautiful setting, they are more likely to buy food products or try a recipe if the finished dish looks like something they aspire to achieve at home. The key word here is “aspire.” Most of us can’t look as good in a dress as a model does, just as most can’t make food look as good as in the photo. But the ideal makes us want to try. In general, the goal of food stylists and photogs isn’t to make the food look so impossibly perfect that no one could replicate it — just as good as it can possibly look. (In contrast, fashion mags do often Photoshop models and celebrities to the point of unrecognizability.)

    I think it’s also important to point out that although food can be photographed for still pictures in magazines or cookbooks in a totally realistic way — no “trickery” involved at all, as Gourmet proudly boasts — TV commercials or any other *moving* medium are a completely different deal altogether. Until someone invents ice cream that doesn’t melt under hot lights for hours on end, or ingredients that can move the same way take after take after take, or make all fruits available all year-round, the fakery is necessary. I agree with Mila, though, that wasting food is a shame. However, the truth is that there really isn’t that much that’s thrown away. In fact, using only real food would cause more wastage, since you’d have to use more of it to get the perfect shot.

    Sorry for the long comment. Just to be clear — this is NOT meant as a rant against anyone, least of all you, MM. I only wanted to respond to some of the comments made here and in Awesome Planet, because (with all due respect to bloggers) one truly should not compare photography for blogs and professional photography.

    One last thing: have you heard of the Gorilla Pod, MM? It’s a really cool, portable tripod that you can bend every which way and even attach to all sorts of things so you can easily take your photos from any angle without constraint. I think you’d love it, as I do!

    Jul 31, 2007 | 5:37 pm

     
  40. Marketman says:

    Katrina, I do agree with your comments almost completely… and the analogy of models with make-up is a very good one. I don’t think I would want to look at a fashion magazine if they had really ugly models with peklat… However, I would rather date a model fresh off a fashion shoot but not want to eat a plate of food that has just been photographed after some styling tricks with inedible ingredients… I do think food stylists and photographers are doing a needed and highly professional job, it’s just something I wouldn’t be comfortable doing myself. It won’t stop me from ordering a dish at Jollibee only to have it come (and not look like the photo and I make wangot) wondering why my misua only has two meatballs rather than the 6 in the photo… :) At any rate, I also agree that TV is a totally different ballgame altogether, and didn’t even bother to cover it in the post… Yes, I completely agree blogs and professional photography are world’s apart, at least mine is, though there are others with pretty stunning photos… I would however, be more inclined to patronize magazines or books or blogs that did use more naturally presented dishes…

    Jul 31, 2007 | 5:54 pm

     
  41. Raneli says:

    Your blogs and photos are authentically you! Keep it up MM! Anticipating for your work to be published!

    Aug 1, 2007 | 10:40 am

     
  42. Katrina says:

    “ordering a dish at Jollibee only to have it come (and not look like the photo and I make wangot) wondering why my misua only has two meatballs rather than the 6 in the photo”

    — Now, that IS dishonest. But that’s not the food stylist’s fault; it’s the client’s. The times I’ve worked with food clients, they were very strict about shooting the food exactly how it would be served. When ads or menus aren’t realistic, the client should be blamed. The food stylist is just following directions. :-)

    Aug 1, 2007 | 1:42 pm

     
  43. iloveiloilo/inday hami says:

    Hi MM,

    Your photos look very good to me. I’d rather see honesty written over a photographed dish although i must say too that food stylying is an art in itself.

    Aug 2, 2007 | 9:57 am

     
  44. iska says:

    I think your photos are good and the content is what makes me come back here. :-) Ako din, I don’t think I can be a food stylist but fortunate enough to be gifted with steady hands using a non-pro cam similar to yours.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:42 am

     
  45. jewel75 says:

    Hi MM!

    Just got to read this blog as I’ve been googling food photography. I am representing an up-and-coming food photographer who does not “style” the food. She’s really talented, as she comes from the Baldemor clan. Her philosophy is that she does not “touch” the subject, but lets the lights and shadows do it to make it more enticing. Hope you can “feature” her in one of your blogs. Just email me or give me a call/text at 09209048659 so I could set up a “photo date.” Her name’s Charming Baldemor. Truly talented.

    Tes Lariosa

    Mar 24, 2008 | 4:37 pm

     
 

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