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Styling a Light Bright Food Shot

Got a splendid haul of red currants in the garden this year and what better way to showcase them than with a gorgeous tarnished silver jug on a clean white background?

Anyway, I have seen a bit of discussion in some of the food

photography groups I am on about styling a shoot.  Some people are

uncertain about choice of props or what they can do.  Some are possibly a

bit impatient and want to get into the fun of shooting.

So this is my process through one shoot and its a very simple layout, as follows:

1 x white baseboard
1 x white foamcore background
1 x white fabric draped
1 x jug
1 x paper towel
Redcurrants to suit


White painted beadboard base with white foamcore against the wall for background.

There is an obvious shadow and dark join where these two meet so I use the white fabric to hide that line.  It also adds soft texture in the background when shot high key and with a f stop that blurs it in the background – F4 in this instance.

EDIT :  Only the header and final image (same shot) are edited in LR – all the rest are unprocessed RAW files

First setup – scrunch the paper towel into the jug so it mostly fills it, and then fill the front side with currants and scatter a few around artistically.

Drape fabric in the background so it looks nice.

Fabric has a tuck in it which throws a shadow forward in the background so tuck it down a bit (follow the first line on the board down to the fabric to find it if you can’t see it)

Continue to tuck fabric down til it sits flat and isn't throwing a shadow

Better but when we do a landscape shot we have issues at either end now

Change angle and bring up more of the fabric in the right hand side behind the handle of the jug, but we have another dark shadowed area and it doesn’t look nicely draped

Rearranged the fabric behind the handle, draping nicely, looks like one piece of fabric now

OK now we have the background sorted!  Now to the subject itself….

First we went and picked more currants and filled in all of the top so we could do other angles of shots.  Making sure that all the holes are full and it looks nicely overflowing.

In reality the layer of currants is about an inch deep, but you would never know….

Top shot and the decorative currants on the boards are not looking so good on this angle, need more.

There we go, but its not a good angle for this jug, so back to the side on shots

Yes, I like this angle better but we have some currants that need to be moved – one just above the handle and the one above the lip of the jug are intruding.

There, moved those two and added a spray of water for freshness

A side on shot from a DIFFERENT angle again and I am liking this a lot but there is now a currant behind the bottom of the jug handle that needs to be moved.

And the final shot – also edited in Lightroom.

Lots of little tweaks here and there, paying attention to the details, starting from the background and working forward to the subject.

Then we work the subject across ALL angles, and different angles require different prop/styling changes.

Everyone’s personal style is different - take what works for you and make it magic