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5 tips for a great food photo shoot

five tips for a great photo shoot food photographer libby vision south florida

 

After almost five years of photographing food, I've learned a few things about having a smooth shoot. So whether you're hiring me (YAY) or going with another photographer, here are a 5 tips for a great photo shoot - things you can do to guarantee a great day. 

 

1. It’s always going to take longer than you think

You probably need to book at least four hours, preferable eight hours. The photographer and the chef will be fussing with the dish more than you ever anticipate and it takes time to get the perfect shot - the lighting, the plating, the propping, new garnishes, shining glasses - there are a million little touches to every beautiful food photo.

five tips for a great photo shoot food photographer libby vision south florida

 

2. You don’t have to shoot the entire menu

One of the 5 tips for a great photo shoot has to do with a quantity.  Rather than working through an entire menu and not devoting enough time to each item, concentrate on selecting your most popular dishes, your most beautiful and your most unique dishes.

 

3. Pick a time and day that isn’t busy

I personally prefer working when the restaurant is closed so I can have the chef’s undivided attention on the shoot. It also minimizes the chance a guest might wander through the shoot (safety first!). If you’re always open, then working between lunch and dinner is usually best. 

five tips for a great photo shoot food photographer libby vision south florida

 

4. Don't be afraid to use flash (in a well-done manner!)

I know (and believe) that working in natural light can help a food photo really accentuate the natural beauty of the dish. But often on shoots, I’ll add in artificial light (flashes) to deepen the shadows. And with almost all cocktail/bar shoots, you need that sexiness a strobe can provide to convey night.

 

5. Know when you need a food stylist

Certain foods (pizza! burgers!) and certain restaurants will do best working with my CIA-trained food stylist. It’s not to say the chef doesn’t know how to plate – it’s that the food stylist will use her 20+ years of experience in getting dishes camera-ready. I work with Stacey Stolman and she knows all the tricks to really accentuate each dish to the best it can be photographed. Bring on the brown food! 

five tips for a great photo shoot food photographer libby vision south florida

 

Bonus Tip

So now that you already know 5 tips for a great photo shoot, here's an extra one. Know when you need a professional. If you want to get serious about bringing in customers, elevating your brand and getting placement in publications, you’re going to need professional photographs. And I highly recommend working with a photographer that specializes in food. Trust me – you don’t want to hire me to shoot your wedding nor should you hire someone to shoot your food that doesn’t understand the intricacies, light and details of shooting food. And hey - if you'd like to talk to me about a shoot, drop me a line. 

Photo shoot at Chez L’epicier Palm Beach

Chez Lepicier palm beach food photography

I’m still buried beneath a mountain of photo shoots while everyone else around the country is buried beneath a mountain of snow. And while all of the shoots have been delivered, I haven’t had a chance to share all the awesome food photography shoots the last of the year entailed.

So here’s a particularly fun one from Chez L’Epicier Palm Beach – this chic, delicious, beautiful restaurant located in the heart of Palm Beach. Every time I’m here, I think about how I wish the owners (perhaps it was sweet Veronique Denault that I need...) would come over and decorate my living room. (Please??)

Chez Lepicier palm beach food photography

Chez Lepicier palm beach food photography

Chez Lepicier palm beach food photography

Chez Lepicier palm beach food photography

Veronique and her husband, chef Laurent Godbout also own Chez L’epicier in Montreal, where he’s known throughout the country for his sophisticated, masterful cooking and has won numerous international competitions (think Rock Star status).

They’re also some of the nicest, warmest, most caring duos I’ve had the pleasure of working with lately.

And we got to do awesome fun video too!

 

Chez L’Epicier Palm Beach: 288 S. County Road, Palm Beach, call 561-508-7030 or visit their website.

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

 

Every year I like to take stock of my favorite images from the last year – spend some time thinking about what I accomplished for the year and where I’d like to go next year too.

This year was about translating my vision into commercial work. A way for me to keep doing the style of work that I love at restaurants, on-location for commercial clients. It’s also a year that I expanded into interiors – yes, I’ve always shot interiors but never promoted them. I’m out there, shooting interiors now.

It was a year of

And finally, there’s a few beloved images from some amazing magazine stories I was honored to work on. I look forward to more magazine experiences like these in the future.

So these are Libby Vision Best of 2017 photos. Happy New Year friends. I hope that 2018 shines brightly for all of you.

Libby Vision Best of 2017

 

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

Libby Vision Best of 2017

 

The Real Foodie Photographer

Libby Vision interview in The Atlantic Current’s Local Business Issue

I was recently featured in The Atlantic Current’s Local Business Issue. It was an absolute honor to be featured alongside the likes of A.J. Brockman and Jayson Koss.

It was amazing – and bizarre – to be interviewed. Not be the interviewing one. But I like to talk so it was over too fast. I LOVED the story. I loved the magazine. I loved reading about everyone else’s journey as well as the great advice on page 34 from so many friends in the community.

Libby Vision interview in The Atlantic Current’s Local Business Issue

Libby Vision interview in The Atlantic Current’s Local Business Issue

Libby Vision interview in The Atlantic Current’s Local Business Issue

And I’m humbled beyond words can say. Seriously...Huge thanks to Dustin Wright, Publisher and writer Darien Davies.  You can pick up The Atlantic Current magazine for the next few weeks around the county. 

Let them eat cake – dreamy cake photography shoot

let them eat cake food photography libby vision south florida

Nina's Fresh Bakery

 

Words can’t rightfully express how much joy it brings me to see this beautiful let them eat cake photo shoot in print. But let me try. I first came up with the idea for a photo essay on lavish cakes as I was a big fan of the blog Call Me Cupcake by Swedish baker Linda Lomelino. I’ve always found her photos entrancing and her way of telling stories with food aspirational. My original idea was just to photograph really beautiful cakes as well.

 

 

Once I pitched the idea to my editor over at Palm Beach Illustrated, the idea grew with envisioned sets. It soon became clear we were going to need a location that could handle our dreams. And that’s where the first hurdle came up.

I was stubbornly determined that it would be majestic, filled with old-fashioned touches. I wanted a beautiful, old mansion to shoot in.

let them eat cake food photography libby vision south florida

Sugar Monkey

Sugar Monkey

But in Florida, we have beautiful young mansions. Not old ones. I looked at businesses and I looked from Jupiter down to Boca, entertaining everything. I was in despair because nothing matched my vision. Then my husband suggested a beautiful home that he knew of – Diane and Jim Kleiforth’s gorgeous historic house. The moment I stepped inside I knew that it was perfect. Forty-foot ceilings towered over the main room. Little nooks throughout the home invited pictures wherever I looked. It was everything I had hoped for.

 

I called my cake artists, I called my favorite florist, everything was set up.

let them eat cake food photography libby vision south florida

 

And then a little storm called Irma headed our way. And it got bigger and bigger. I’m surprised I didn’t give myself a heart attack that week my blood pressure was so high. I made the decision to cancel the shoot, effectively meaning I would miss my first deadline for an assignment ever (SORRY PALM BEACH ILLUSTRATED!!)

 

We (along with one of the cake artists and the owners of the house) evacuated the day we would have had the shoot.

 

 

Our town was spared the worst of the storm. Everyone who evacuated spent the next four days running from town to town as Irma changed her mind time and again. We returned to West Palm Beach to a house without power for 8 days. Another of my cake artists lost every piece of inventory in her freezer they had. Even though we were spared – and grateful -- it was a bleak time.

 

let them eat cake food photography libby vision south florida

Eau Palm Beach

 

And yet a few weeks later I asked if we could do the let them eat cake shoot. We had more challenges. The shutters were still on the house. One of the cake artists didn’t have a bakery to bake out of. It was hard – yo.

And yet out of all that, here’s what we did. This gorgeous spread was built from the ruins of the storm, a dream that I refused to give up.

let them eat cake food photography libby vision south florida

Earth and Sugar

 

This let them eat cake shoot was made possible because of every single cake artist: Janderyn Makris of Earth and Sugar, Nina Tomasik of Nina’s Fresh Bakery, Jenifer Reed of the Sugar Monkey, Sarah Sipe of the Regional and Elizabeth of Eau Resort and Spa. It happened because of Halle Frey of Flower and Fringe – who not only provided all of these gorgeous florals for the shoot but helped me to style them. For Janderyn – who put together this gorgeous centerpiece table, then stayed the day and hung out with Halle and I helping to style and make everything gorgeous as well. And to Diane and Jim Kleiforth for the gorgeous location. And to Olga Gustine and Daphne Nikolopoulos at Palm Beach Illustrated – who let me pursue my crazy ideas.

 

 

 

The Art of the Oyster

Magazine_photographer_PalmBeachIllustrated_Food_south_florida_food_photographer_ Oysters

 

I’ll be the first to admit it. When I was approached by my beloved editor at Palm Beach Illustrated to produce The Art of the Oyster for Art and Culture” magazine, I thought it would be easy.

I mean we’re talking top down shots (kind of my specialty) of little oysters. Slap a macro on my camera, slap my camera on a tripod. Voila.

Magazine_photographer_PalmBeachIllustrated_Food_south_florida_food_photographer_ Oysters

Addison Reserveo Oysters

 

Assumptions are where the trouble falls as I must remember that in the future. Where there wasn’t complicated styling involved (also, kind of my specialty), I was quick to learn that it wasn’t an easy shoot.

Each oyster represented a tiny city after the chefs were done with them. And even more than that, each tiny oyster city was precariously situated on a bed of ice. And it’s there that things got complicated.

Because as the ice melted, it made beautiful, ornate patterns underneath the oyster and within that, I had to style the ice. That’s what I never saw coming.

Magazine_photographer_PalmBeachIllustrated_Food_south_florida_food_photographer_Oysters

 

It was a beautiful little world I got to work with and once again, the best part was working with each of the chefs. They are far and away the most creative, most exceptional people I meet every day. I know I say the phrase “it’s an honor” all the time but I say it because it’s true.

I mean, just look at these worlds.

Gulia ArnoDecember 2, 2017 - 10:35 am

Wow, your photos are so professional! Do you use retouching? Tell me what you think about these tips and ideas for food photography retouching http://highendbeautyretouching.com/blog/advertising/food-photography-retouching.html. I would like to hear your advice. Thanks in advance!