Tomorrow is my presentation

As you know from my last post, I was asked to do a presentation on food photography for food entrepreneurs by Foorpreneur. What do I talk about? This is supposed to be an educational experience for the students but, it does have a self promotion aspect to it as well. After all, that is why I am donating my time.

I decided to do a powerpoint presentation with three objectives.

  1. What is the value of good food photography?
  2. Helpful hints on doing the food photography on your own.
  3. What to expect at a professional photo shoot.

So where do I begin? We’ve all heard the expression “We eat with our eyes” but what does that mean? I decided start my talk with how an image must substitute for all of the senses that we use for eating. I’ve already posted the original version of this presentation but it keeps changing. So, have a look at the final version. I guess that after I do this tomorrow for the students, and entertain their questions, it will change again.

My Presentation

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My First Presentation

I’ve been asked to make a presentation at a bootcamp to Food Entrepreneurs to tell them the importance of good food photography, and how to achieve it. It is an educational program to train people new to the food industry. The company doing the bootcamp is appropriately called Foodprenuer. Here is the information on the bootcamp.

I am preparing a Powerpoint presentation…boy, it’s been a very long time since I’ve used Powerpoint…it looks so different and I’ve had difficulty navigating but, I found all the functions I was looking for.

Here is my Powerpoint presentation…tell me what you think. (t’s a PDF – scroll down to see the slides.)

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Death Valley

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I took a week and flew to Las Vegas and then headed out to Death Vally for a couple of nights. I wasn’t expecting 105 degrees in April but, as they say, it was a dry heat. I took almost 1000 images and am having difficulty narrowing it down. Here are a few…

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Advice for Product Photographers

I was asked to contribute to a blog posting about advice to product photographers…here is what I wrote:

A product photographer has to be skilled in at least four areas. You have to be technically skilled, artistically skilled, skilled in business and maybe the one that is mostly overlooked is people skills. Don’t be afraid to get help in any of these areas that you think you need help with.

People skills comes in when you are talking to potential clients, doing the shoot and delivering the images. There are many photographers out there that can do what you do. A client wants to work with someone who is easy to work with, communicates well and shows that her or she enjoys his or her work. You have to always treat people with respect, even those that work for you.

Business skills are important in scheduling, preparing estimates, keeping records, doing billing, and remembering to file your taxes on time. Invoices have to look professional. They need to go well with your website, business cards and all things that you do. These things represent you. How do you know if your business is making money or not? Can you buy that new lens or camera? Does it pay to get new props? You need to know what your income is and what your expenses are. When the time comes, you might need an office manager, bookkeeper or accountant.

Artistic skills are probably what got you into this business in the first place. Hopefully you’ve always enjoyed photography and have a sense of composition, color and lighting. This is one that you are the expert. As a product photographer, lighting is crucial. Remember, the most important part of a product shot is the label. For food (my passion) the food has to be fresh and look appetizing. Yet, my culinary skills are certainly lacking. You have to make someone want to eat it. You do this with your choice of background, props, lighting and composition. I often get the help of a food stylist and/or prop stylist when doing food shots. They are the experts.

Finally technical skills. The image that comes out of the camera is usually good but not good enough. Post production is always necessary. You need to be an expert in Photoshop or whatever your editing tool is. Many times, a curves adjustment and a few flaws with a clone tool is not enough. If a client asks for a white background, almost white is not good enough. You may have many shots that need clipping paths or color adjustment or something that takes just too much time and too much expertise. Don’t be afraid to seek out help by sending images out for these tasks. When I have one or two shots, I do them myself but, if I have many, or something I’m not confident with, I send them to the experts.

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Back from Costa Rica

I’m sorry that this post is not about food photography. I just got back from vacation in Costa Rica and had to share some of my photos with you. My wife and I had an absolutely great time and are already planning to return. We were on a tour with Collette and our guide, food and accommodations all beat our expectations.

I couldn’t believe the number and variety of beautiful birds. I spent most of the time chasing them and thoroughly enjoyed it. How could you not love sloths and monkeys. We saw three types of monkeys; white face, howler and squirrel. Unfortunately, the squirrel monkeys were far away and I was on a moving boat so I didn’t capture them.

When we were in the jungle (northern Caribbean coast) I went for a walk in the mud (lots of mud) to try and see animals. There were none to be seen. When I got back to my room and sitting on the porch with my camera still in hand, a white face monkey walked right passed us. He was actually too close to capture on my camera which had a 150-600mm zoom on so, I followed it in hope of getting a shot. The monkey headed straight for the back of the kitchen where he saw a papaya, grabbed it and ran. We were all hysterical laughing. The monkey stopped to take a taste of his booty and I got the shot.

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As usual, I made a vacation photo book with Adoramapix.com and wanted to share it with you. http://www.adorapro.com/JerryDeutsch/book/costa-rica/r9nzrqtgq5

OK…I can’t take the pressure. I have to put in one food photo. We had a cooking demo at our resort and here is one of the shots. It was at night and all I had was the on camera flash…sorry for the lack of creativity.

Cost Rica Cooking demo

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Holiday Photos

So, the Facebook group I am administering decided that this month’s challenge would be holiday food. What comes to mind? A plate of christmas cookies and a glass of milk on the mantle? A fruitcake? Stollen? An out of focus tree with beautifully colored lights as the background  for a dinner of Turkey or Ham?

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For me, there was only one thing that I can think of as holiday food. LATKES! Now the big decision was Applesauce or Sour Cream? When it comes to Latkes, I go both ways. First, I have sour cream and then I have applesauce for dessert.

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OMG It’s December

I can’t believe another year has come and gone. So, before I forget, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year.

Happy New Year Champagne

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