How I Take My Styled Food Photos With The Foodie Bag From Paper Bag Co* #AD

3 Nov 2020


If there's one thing that I'm pretty chuffed with in 2020, it's how much my photography game has grown. With having more time to myself on furlough and partnering up with someone who knows his stuff when it comes to visuals, I like to think that my photos have gone from 0 to 60 in just a few months. So in this post, I want to dive a little bit into how I take my styled food photos with a little bit of help from the Foodie Bag from Paper Bag Co.*

I'll be honest, most other photography styles are totally alien to me. Sit me down to take a portrait and I have no idea what I'm doing. Ask me to take a picture of some pretty hills and a scenic lake, and I'm lost. But put a load of cake or a platter of cheese in front of me, and I'll feel right at home. Sure, I don't want to toot my trumpet too hard, but I do love taking some good foodie photos.

Camera and lens

Let's with the most basic of basics - the camera I use. Thankfully, I'm lucky enough to own a DSLR, and I use the Canon 7D for pretty much all of my styled food shots. Sometimes I'll use my Canon M3, purely because it's so much lighter, but if I want to get that super pretty, sharp shot, it's the Canon 7D that I reach for. I can't tell you a single thing about the specs because I'm not clued up in the slightest, but I know it's fantastic at capturing exactly what I need.

As for the lens, I like to have my chosen element of the photo in crisp focus, plus an amazing depth of field and a slight blur to the rest of the image. For this, I tend to reach for the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. This is such an affordable lens, but it really is one of my favourites when it comes to getting those delicious images. If not the 50mm, then the 40mm. I find that this gives me a similar effect, but it allows me to get in much closer.

Of course, you don't need to have a 'fancy' camera to get your perfect shot and I know so many people who just use their phones. It's all about finding what's right!


Backgrounds

A big game changer for me was learning how much of a difference a background can make. From using the same wooden wallpaper samples from Wilkos time and time again (which are absolutely fine and totally amazing for backgrounds), to investing in some high quality backgrounds made specifically for food photography, the difference is just phenomenal.

This is where the Foodie Bag from Paper Bag Co.* comes in! In this cotton bag, you'll find a set of four beautiful backgrounds from Black Velvet Styling, the photographic backdrop company. With a rusty black, a white marble, a mottled paint cream and a deep teal background, you'll be able to experiment with seeing how different foods look against different backgrounds. They'll add stunning colour, amazing texture and the most mouthwatering depth to your pictures. I absolutely love using mine!

Black Velvet Styling happen to be one of my favourite backdrop companies and after using the Foodie Bag* backdrops, I went ahead and bought a few larger ones in other colours and textures. They're just perfect for whipping out and lying on the table or floor to build that studio look.


Lighting

We all know that lighting can be an absolute nightmare, especially as it gets into the winter months. I'm writing this at the start of November and it's already night time be 5:30PM! And the way that I like to tackle this is with softbox lights, which emulate natural daylight, even in the darkest spot. I picked up a couple of cheap softboxes from Amazon and they work perfectly, but of course, you could quite easily splash out and treat yourself to some fancy lights.

If I'm taking photos in the summer, I love to use natural light as much as I possibly can. I'm lucky that we have big French doors leading out into the garden, which is on the side of the house where the sun starts to go down. So I'll set up a bit of a studio on the floor, with something sturdy for the background to sit on and the food on top, then positioning everything to get the light that I want.

Shadows can be hard to avoid though, but for all of those pesky problems, the Foodie Bag* has us covered. Not only do you get the four beautiful backdrops, but you'll also have a 15" photographic reflector and diffuser. The reflector features a silver side for cool reflections and a gold side for warm reflections, so you can play with banishing shadows and adding colour to your images. As for the diffuser, this is perfect for softening the light if things are a little too bright. They're tools that I absolutely can't live without!


Props

Props are my new favourite thing when it comes to food photography. I feel like before I discovered the power of a good prop, my photos were a bit flat and lifeless. It's crazy how much difference a fake plant can make!

I'm always on the look out for new props to add to my collection, but it's all about thinking what would sell a photo to you and make everything look a bit more 'lifestyle'. I like having a look in supermarket magazines (the Tesco one always has incredible photos) and seeing what they use. I've got an array of things that are just for photos, including slate table mats, serving boards, plates, fake plants and so much more. They just make the set up feel a whole lot more professional and it gives the eyes a bit more to look at.


I hope this post has given you a little bit of an insight into the way that I photograph my food, but if you need a bit more advice, the Foodie Bag* contains a selection of ten gorgeous postcards with hints and tips. Each one features a stunning photo from Matt Inwood, then a tip on the back - there's advice on how to use light, what composition is, how to choose the best background and so much more.

Make sure you go and pick up your Foodie Bag from Paper Bag Co.* today!


All items that are marked with a * have been sent to me or gifted for review purposes.

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