This past Saturday I had the great pleasure of attending the Natural Light Food Photography Class taught by professional food photographer Christina Peters and prop, still life and set stylist Amy Paliwoda. The class took place at Christina’s Marina del Ray studio and there were 10 of us students, which was a great student/teacher ratio. Amy had set up a long table filled with props, such as napkins, table coverings, plates, bowls, glasses and tableware, plus beautiful food items for the still lifes we would each create and photograph in the morning. In the afternoon, after the lunch she provided, Christina gave a presentation on how she optimizes images for the web and print using Photoshop.
On the left, Christina lines up a shot while Amy, on the right, perfects her styling.
Above you can see the part of the studio kitchen with shelves of table coverings stored neatly in plastic cases. On the right is some equipment for photo shoots: a rope with many A-clamps, a bag of wood blocks for raising props and the big black tubular tripod. In the middle are the two director chairs that Christina and Amy sat on to give their presentations. All of us students brought our tripods, so they were standing everywhere. On the bottom you can see part of Christina’s computer setup with her Mac and the big open double garage door, in front of which we set up our tables with our food still lifes to shoot. There was such beautiful light there.
Above is a photo of the long prop table with linens, dishes and food items which we picked from to create our still lifes.
This is my still life shot with my camera on my tripod. Amy helped me with the composition and Christina helped me with the camera settings. I mostly shoot hand-held, so this was new and interesting.
The following photos were shot hand-held by me of my fellow student’s set-ups. The oranges were styled by Amy and, to me, show how something simple can be so beautiful. Also, I was really admiring Amy’s talent with arranging, bunching and folding the fabrics for the shots.
Thank you again Christine and Amy for an extremely interesting and informative day. I definitely recommend your class to all food photographers, beginner to advanced, because your day was packed with information. Thank you for answering all my questions and for the tips about shooting and styling. Food bloggers, take this class. You will be so glad you did.