How much do you like getting your picture taken hate it perfect let’s make it vacant I’m Joanie Simons welcome to my studio this is where I do food photography so if you’re into that you go ahead and hit the subscribe button and today we’re talking about something that can be super frustrating as a food photographer but really important.
To know how to be able to handle it is that you are shooting for a restaurant maybe got hired to photograph their menu and they also want a few portraits of the chef.
And you go I’m a food photographer not a portrait photographer but it is really helpful if you can do both in the same shoot that will make you more valuable more marketable photographer so what I want to do is share with you just a couple strategies that will hopefully make this process a little less complicated a little less stressful and a little easier so if that sounds good to you you stick around so a portrait photography in my book is worlds different than food.
Photography and it’s not just the fact that the food doesn’t move and the people do it’s that things that you consider all the way from how you light people versus how you like food how you position them how you create composition how you create lines you know all these different things that we know how to.
Do really well with food all of a sudden you.
Put a person in front of it and we just go oh crap what is going on and you know likewise there’s.
Plenty of portrait photographers who show up on this channel and go oh my gosh I’ve.
Been shooting portraits for 20 years but like how do I do this food stuff so they are definitely two different animals and I’m not necessarily gonna.
Go through everything you’d ever.
Want to know about portrait photography you know if you’re a food photographer there are definitely tons of great resources online I’ll link down below just some of my favorite tutorials here on YouTube but in terms of the posing.
To me that’s where things can go really wrong really fast when it comes to chefs.
And just how do you make it flow well how do you make this a lot less stressful and easier so I’ve got five tips for you so tip number.
One is to build rapport with the chef and get to know them make them feel at ease that you know this may be somebody you’ve never met.
Before they’re like who is this photographer person because here’s.
The little secret which may not be so secret if you’ve ever try to photograph chefs.
Before is the vast majority of them are.
About getting their portraits taken that’s probably one of their least favorite things to do they’d rather be in the kitchen behind the scenes doing their.
Thing they don’t want to be sitting there being ogled over and you know fussed with in front of a camera and so just creating some sort of rapport with them getting to know them making them feel at ease.
Will make their facial expressions a lot more positive and a lot more friendly because if they’re like me and have no poker face how they’re feeling will.
Come through in their expression and in their face and so if we want to capture the chef’s looking friendly and.
You know like somebody that you put them in the newspaper that we now want to come visit their restaurant we want them to look at ease and so the best way to do that is to build rapport now you might think okay well.
Let’s ask them a bunch of questions which is definitely a great way to start to connect with somebody is to ask them questions but please please do not ask them the one question that is a very clear wiki move is what is your.
Favorite food and what is your favorite dish to prepare do not ask that question now there might be some chefs out there who love to answer that but pretty much every single chef I have ever met or connected.
With or worked with in the restaurant industry is like a rookie question so don’t ask that question ask them where things there may be more business-minded like oh.
Wow you know that last holiday was it really crazy busy in here or you know like here in Arizona for example this summertime it gets.
Really slow cuz it gets unbelievably hot here and people leave town.
And so go hey how’s the summer doing and they’ll very happily tell you kind of the business side of things but ask him.
Their favorite dish mm-hmm don’t do it tip.
Number two is to be in charge because as the photographer in a photo shoot you are the head honcho you are the person in charge even if you don’t feel like it even if you’re like what the heck am i doing still pretend fake it till you make it you are the one in charge and a chef will greatly respect this because chefs are natural leaders or maybe they’re not natural leaders but.
They are leaders in what they do they are coordinating cooks and chefs and dishwashers and all the logistics of.
The people and the execution there is so much that goes into the operation of a restaurant in order to ensure that the ingredients turn into a delicious dish that is on a diners table and so understand.
Leadership they understand people’s roles and responsibilities so in this scenario you’re the photographer you are in charge and a great way to communicate that is being very direct with them and what you want them.
To do so say for example they’re standing next to a bar and you want them to lean on the bar so be very specific very direct with what you want them to do so take your left elbow rest it here on the corner of the bar and now just straighten up just a little bit and actually hand more chefs all people are very used to very direct communication if you ever ever worked the line in a restaurant you.
Know that to be a fact they don’t want a lot of hibbity jibbity and wishy washing this they want somebody who knows exactly what they want and you tell them how to do it and.
Feel free to take your time you don’t necessarily have to be like and.
Do this and do this and do this and boom it’s the perfect post no.
That’s not how it goes feel free especially if you are new to.
Portraits to take your time really look for.
The angles what looks good what is gonna be most flattering through.
The lens for that particular chef in that scenario and feel free to be very direct hey can you turn your nose just slightly towards your shoulder and that’s exactly right so feel free to be direct with them because you are in charge tip number three is to be encouraging because again like.
I said they’re not excited necessarily to be there and there might be a lot of like am i doing it right am i.
Screwing this up like there’s a it feels very uncomfortable sometimes to get your picture taken if you’re not a professional model and so being encouraging and telling them ya know that looks great you’re doing great oh you look awesome Oh perfect that’s exactly what I was looking for yes I love how.
You moved your hand or oh that looks awesome oh these are gonna be great pictures I mean you can hear me rambling rattling these things off.
Now you don’t actually want to take it into like that world of oh the camera loves you oh.
You look fabulous oh darling right I mean it’s not that kind of photo shoot right but just some words of encouragement to fill the space because you have been there you have gotten your picture taken maybe.
Professionally at some point you’re in front of the camera and then the photographer is behind it and dead silent and so then you as the person getting your photograph taken is going am i screwing it up are they.
Hating it oh do I look ugly oh do I look fat right like all those things start going through your mind so as the photographer if you’re talking with them you’re telling them directions you’re giving them encouraging words that really helps fill the space that helps reduce stress that helps put them at ease and helps them look more natural.
Number four is to pick the right lens now I’m not saying there are right lenses and run lenses there are not there are lenses for all occasions all circumstances whatever you’re going for artistically but when it comes to portraits anything in the neighborhood of 50 millimeters to 100 millimeters is going to be very flattering for your subject because for the most part these images are all gonna be more in a commercial sense so used.
In magazines or newspapers or on the website and so you know we want a friendly looking chef who also looks like themselves that if you get into the world of the shorter focal length so.
Thirty five-millimeter 24 millimeter you start to hear things like distortion that’s where you get kind of that fisheye effect it distorts on the edges but it can also distort your subject to make your subject look wider which is like oh we don’t want our chef to look wider necessarily so a good recommendation then is to go with.
Fifty eighty five hundred anything in that neck of the woods because you’re going to get a very true sense of.
The person it’s not going to distort or Bend or make somebody look a wider and it’s also gonna fill the frame nicely so that again the chef is your subject that you’re not necessarily getting a lot of periphery now again it all depends on what you’re going for what’s.
The purpose of these photographs where are they going what are we.
Trying to create but for the most part 50 to 100 it’s gonna rock and roll tip number five and this is something that I do all the time here when I’m filming these videos because when you’re nervous you’re like what do I do with my hands well I’ve always got my coffee.