The Art of Food Photography (And A Great Christmas Gift Idea)

Have you noticed how it's no longer enough just toss a few ingredients together and call it a meal? Now you need to style it and photograph it too. Just in case, you know, you need it for your blog. Or your next book deal.

Or that cookbook of family recipes you been wanting to collate. (Such a great idea. It's just a pity I can't cook very well. A cookbook of dodgy dishes doesn't seem as appetising.)

Even those of us who aren't avid foodies, such as this writer, are still enthralled by food photography. Well I mean, it's fascinating. The vintage plates and bread boards. The old French linens. (Where do they source them all?) The styling. The beautiful lighting. Even the settings are amazing. It's not surprising that bloggers like Katie Quinn Davies (who took the second photo above and the one immediately below and writes from whatkatieate. blogspot. com) and Béatrice Peltre (top image and chocolate dish below:  latartinegourmande. com) have been given book deals.

So many people I know have started up food photography as a hobby that I've lost count of the number of conversations I've had about macro lenses. (I'm still trying to find the best one for good bokeh.)

One friend, a restaurant reviewer in London, even shoots the meals we have together when he's not reviewing. Apparently many London waiters are becoming annoyed about the sight of Canon lenses poking through the napkins. I'm not surprised. It would scare the life out of me too.

If you're fascinated by food photography, like I am, you may like to take a peek at a post Béatrice Peltre did here, on a workshop she held in France recently. It shows the behind-the-scenes shots of food styling. The images are so evocative you can almost smell the ripeness of the fresh produce. And the accompanying pix of the French countryside are beautiful too.

(If the link doesn't work, here's the site here:

So if you're wondering what to give you mother or grandmother for Christmas this year, why not collate a book of their best recipes, all photographed in beautiful, bokeh-enhanced light? Lots of places will print and collate mini booklets – Officeworks, Harvey Norman – and you could give them to the hard-to-buy-for aunts and cousins too.

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