Food Photography Portfolio

Wow!  I can’t believe that my 6 week Food Photography with Sony class at the Social Fabric U is ending!  It was definitely more work than I thought it would be but I feel like I learned so much!  Our final project is to create a Food Photography Portfolio with 5 of the images we created during the class.  This picture of green beans was not planned.  I was making myself Crispy Green Bean Fries for lunch after seeing Lindsay at Delighted Momma’s post. But when I saw how they looked on the pan, I decided to take a few shots and liked how they turned out.  This is one of the 3 images I submitted for unit 5 which was about combining the skills we learned in the previous units!
Although this picture of a biscuit with strawberry jam didn’t fare well in the peer critiques, it is an image I really like.  I submitted it as one of my 3 images for Unit 5.  Some of my classmates felt the strawberries were too dark, the biscuit too close to the jam jar, the biscuit too bright so the details are washed out, the angle/spacing is off, the extra biscuits & jam jar need to be blurred.  I have 21 shots of this composition on my computer and that doesn’t include the ones I deleted.  This one was my favorite of the images I shot but I took this class to get better at taking pictures so I will take the critiques to heart and try to remember them the next time I am shooting.

Can you tell what the hardest part of the class was for me?  It was the critiques but not only receiving them but critiquing my classmates work as well.  Everyone has their own taste in what they like in a picture.  For example, one of my classmates submitted 3 different images of oranges in a bowl.  My favorite image of the 3 was the least favorite of some of my classmates.  Plus, everyone’s screen is different.  When I view a picture on one of my computers and then see the same image on another, it looks different.  So, what is too dark or washed out on one person’s screen might look perfect on another screen. The last thing I want to do is to make another photographer feel discouraged, which is how I felt every time I read my critiques.  So, I tried to point out what I really liked about each picture my classmates submitted or told them which one was my favorite and why.  There were some times when I pointed out what might be able to be improved but made sure I also said what worked in the picture.
These buttermilk biscuits are the 3rd image submitted for Unit 5.  I made the biscuits specifically for the strawberry jam but wanted to get a picture of them alone.  I have 29 shots of these biscuits on my computer!  Obviously, I am not to the point where I always know the exact shot I am looking for and what it will look like before I even take it!
The most important thing I learned from the class was how to edit my photos.  I do not have Photoshop and I’ve tried using some of the free programs but never really understood them.  Now, I know how to use several of the editing tools in the free online photo editing program called Pixlr.  These editing tools will help to make my pictures look better and therefore improve my blog!  We all love looking at pictures of food that are good enough to eat!  To give you an idea of all the edits I did to take this picture from the before to the after, here are the tools I used:
Levels, Brightness, Contrast, Unsharp Mask, Dodging, Image Size and Text
For the 4th image in my portfolio, I chose my barbeque chicken pizza picture which I am sure you are sick of seeing by now because this is the 3rd blog post with this picture.  I am happy with how it turned out but it makes my hungry every time I see it!  This class has taught me that it takes A LOT of time to get the picture you want.  When you are going to be photographing food, make more than one of the subject.  I had enough ingredients for 2 barbeque chicken pizzas and after I was done with the pictures, I ate one and Vanessa at the other.
The final picture in my food photography portfolio is this image of mini fruit pizzas.  I really like the contrast of the rustic, scarred board and the clean, crisp fruit.  The bright colors of the fruit really pop and the white spread helps to showcase them.  I like how the lines in the board are running in crooked “V” and the mini fruit pizzas follow the lines in a repeating pattern.
I want to say THANK YOU to the wonderful people at Collective Bias for so generously giving me this opportunity!  Thank you to my fellow classmates, who took the time to study my pictures and let me know what the liked and what I need to work on.  And thank you to Stewart for all of your hard work as our instructor.  Although, we ran into some technical difficulties during our class, I feel that it was a huge success and look forward to seeing the work of the students in future classes!
Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post although I am taking the photography course free of charge.
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  1. says

    Thank you for sharing your work and all your kind, yet expert advice! Was such a pleasure to explore your work in greater depth through this course!!!

  2. says

    I’m certainly no expert and don’t pretend to be, but I think your shots are great for someone who’s not a professional food stylist. I know my own photos need a lot of work, and I would love to take a styling/photography class myself. Personally, I think my favorite might be the pizza shot, but the strawberry jam is a close second.

    Are you sharpening your images? It looks like you are, especially the green bean shot, but perhaps sharpen up the jam photo a bit more and make a few selective color adjustments to brighten up the berries and bring a little more depth back to the biscuits?

    I like the composition of all of the shots and don’t think I’d change anything about them. I think your biscuits are just fine where they are 🙂

    Jamie @

  3. says

    I love all your photos here and in the class, but those green beans are just magical to me. I love that pic.

    Really enjoyed taking the class with you.

  4. says

    Great job on the photos! I think the jam one is great, and I hear you about the different screens. I know my laptop is whiter than other monitors, so I always have to take that into account. This class sounds great! When (if) if have more time, I’d love to try it too!

  5. says

    Giving critiques was probably the hardest part of the class for me. It’s not easy for me to be critical of other people’s work as it’s so personal, ya know? Plus, if it wasn’t for the class and needing to make critiques, I would never be so critical – rather, I would just enjoy the beautiful photos.

    Your pictures always make me hungry, and that means that, ultimately, you’re doing a great job. 🙂

  6. says

    I absolutely LOVE the pic of the jam, biscuits and strawberries! You are so right that everyone has such different ideas on what is a good shot. All of your pics are amazing!

  7. says

    Tonia, they’re awesome! Your fruit pizzas are my absolute favorite, but I so want a piece of your chicken pizza, now! Beautiful!

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