Ugly Food Photography / Thank You, NY Times

According to Andrew Scrivani, it is possible to photograph ugly food (such as pot roast) in a pretty way. A cheat sheet, for those of you who missed the article:

– Take the focus off the food and put it on the image: think interesting angles, beautiful props, a gorgeous table setting, and great lighting. The photo at left works because it’s more about the lighting and the bowl than about the food itself.

– Look for graphically interesting elements in the food and use your imagination to arrange it in unexpected ways. For a photo of meatloaf, for example, you could arrange a couple of slices on a stark white plate with a big swirl of ketchup, and make the contrast between food, plate, and condiment the focal point.

– Deconstruct the dishes and focus on the prettiest ingredients or the most photogenic parts of the cooking process. I actually sort of did this when I shot my meatloaf, but I think I could have gone further by adding more movement (maybe oatmeal pouring into the bowl) and/or detail.

P.S. Scrivani’s article on photographing soups is similarly great. Check it out here.

Thanks to Dad and Alana for the heads-up!

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