Raise your hand if most of your phone’s memory is taken up by food pictures! What is it with millennials and wanting to take pictures of everything we cook, or eat at a restaurant? It has to do with two things, and chefs have known this forever.
One, everyone wants to interact with their food. They want to admire it, describe it, inhale it, and cherish every bite of it. And two, we all want to tell others what our dish was like. While we actually talked about it a few years ago, we simply tweet it out or Instagram it now. The mediums may have changed, but our desire for new and exciting gastronomical experiences remains intact.
In the food industry, we interact with food all the time. Our chefs dream, walk, eat, sleep food and are always thinking of ways to make it more exciting for the customer.
At GRT Hotels & Resorts, we’re absolutely obsessed with great food! Our way of sharing this passion with you, is through stunning photographs. And we work hard to get them right.
Behind The Scenes
We caught up with our food photographer Chandra Prakash, who has interesting insight into what goes on behind the scenes.
“I got into food photography because the two photographers I trained with loved food. It’s very different from shooting models or products. When you’re shooting people, you’re working with a set of expressions and there isn’t too much variation. Same goes for products too,” says Chandra Prakash.
“But with food, you’re shooting multiple types of surfaces in the same frame! You can have a matt cake, semi-matt sauce, and glossy cutlery. All surfaces behave differently in the same light, so you have to strike the perfect balance. There’s also often a live element – like steam, or tossing.”
Before The Shoot
The photographer and his team meet with the chef 2 – 3 times before the shoot. They talk about the dishes that need to be shot, what style they need to shot in, the number of dishes, the schedule, textures, colours, condiments, cutlery, backgrounds and accessories.
They go over ideas on making the food look its absolute best, and styling so every element is visible.
“That’s the most important thing about shooting food professionally. Through a photograph, we’re telling the customer what they’re going to get in their food. That’s why we show all the layers in a burger, or include dry spices as accessories, to indicate what’s gone into the cooked dish.”
They also test lighting and how various surfaces behave in various lights, to get it right in the final shoot.
When You Do What You Love, You Never Work A Day!
On the day of the shoot, the photography team comes armed with cameras, lenses, lights, computers, background options. The GRT team is armed with ingredients, accessories, condiments, spices, fruit & veg, sauces, glazes and a whole lot of culinary tools. Our resident styling expert Vikram Cotah (COO, GRT Hotels & Resorts) comes with compositions in mind. And in one beautiful combined effort, our delectable photographs come to life.
There’s a lot of fun behind the scenes – a few attempts to get the shot right, tests, sneaky tastings, experimental action shots, and more than a few laughs!
So does Chadraprakash have any tips for all us wannabe food photographers out there, snapping away on our phones? “Shoot in natural day light, compose your shot by balancing colours and accessories, try different angles (from the top works well!), use a white background if there are too many elements, take pictures from different sides to capture textures, look to Pinterest for inspiration, and don’t forget to enjoy your food!”
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