Recap: PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop

Considering attending a food photography workshop or want to learn more about my experience? I attended the Pinch of Yum Tasty Food Photography Workshop and wanted to share bits and pieces of it with you on the blog!

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

Hi friends! I’m doing something a little different today – we’re skipping out on a recipe and instead I’m going to tell you about an incredible workshop I recently attended – the Pinch of Yum Tasty Food Photography Workshop!

Why this workshop?

I have been a longtime reader of Pinch of Yum. It was one of the first food blogs I ever read and is without a doubt the blog that I most often cook from! Lindsay is the creator of PoY, the cook, the writer, and the photographer extraordinaire – honestly she is just amazing, inside and out. I have been following her journey for years and have loved watching PoY grow to the incredible business that it is today.

Throughout this time, I have always loved Lindsay’s photography skills. And as an amateur, I try to mimic her focus on the food (because that’s what we are all really here for) and was always envious of her photograph’s ability to make me hungry.

There are a many different food photography workshops that I could have attended; but learning from Lindsay has always been a dream of mine. I was thrilled to attend her two day workshop in Minneapolis!

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

Day 1: DSLR Basics

We started out the course with DSLR basics and shooting in manual mode on your camera. Lindsay talked through aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and how the three work together to let light into your camera. Prior to taking this course, I was shooting in manual mode on my DSLR camera; but it was amazing to see Lindsay demonstrate just how changing those three settings can drastically affect your photography.

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

Day 1: Lighting

The afternoon session was all about lighting. And I’m sure you know that all good photography needs good light – and preferably natural light. Again we talked about how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO affect how much light is let in to your camera. But we also talked about the different types of lighting – back-light and side-light.

Back-light is just what it sounds like – light coming from behind your subject. You can tell the images below are back lit based on the shadows and where the light changes from bright to dark. The tops of the berries are illuminated with light, while the fronts are caught in the shadow. That is similarly shown with the potatoes.

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Similarly side-light is when your subject is light from the side. You can see that the light is hitting the carrots from the right side and their shadows are on the left and vice-versa with the blueberry and peach crumble.

Please note: this is the recipe for the crumble and it is OUTstanding. Stop what you’re doing right now and go make this.

[one_half padding=”0 5px 0 28px”]Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com[/one_half][one_half_last padding=”0 28px 0 5px”]Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com[/one_half_last]

Day 1 Takeaways:

  1. You can significantly alter how light enters your camera, and therefore affects your photography by changing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Practice changing each of these independently to see how they affect the images.
  2. Lighting is key. Look at your subject with your EYES first, before looking through your camera. See how the light bounces off the food and make sure you capture when the light changes from bright to dark. That is what makes the photos pop!

Day 2: Composition

I was very excited to talk about styling and composition. We started the day studying the photography styles of other food photographers, which is something that I do quite frequently. I have a hard time with food styling and believe in a less-is-more approach, and look to others’ photography for examples on styling.

Then, Lindsay  demonstrated how she would style a stack of pancakes. First she made sure the stack was uneven and not perfect looking. Pro tip: she used Nutella to hold the berries in place on top of her stack – genius! And most importantly, she demonstrated how to get the perfect pour shot… something I have always wanted to do. After that, she gave us time to practice, practice, and practice some more.

This shot is my absolute favorite shot from the entire food photography workshop. I was so happy with the way my pancake stack turned out – the uneven pancakes, berry placement, maple syrup puddle, and certainly the magic of the powdered sugar!

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

Day 2: Editing

But that shot would not have been possible without editing the raw photo in Lightroom. I had very minimal experience with Lightroom prior to this course. But Lindsay walked through her top 10 favorite Lightroom tools and then gave use time to edit on our own.

My favorite tools are the spot removal tool, the ability to bring up the luminance of certain colors, and darkening the shadows. These three things alone have made a huge difference in my photos!

Day 2 Takeaways:

  1. Take LOTS of photos. It will take practice to get the right shot and more practice and more practice.
  2. There are several styles of food photography – experiment and find out what is right for you. Study other’s work! While most of the ‘popular’ food photography right now is heavily styled, here and here are great examples, I want my photography to really focus and highlight the food itself.

Below are a few other favorites from the workshop.

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

Recap of PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop | food photography, camera, DSLR, lighting, composition, editing, Lightroom | hungrybynature.com

I feel so lucky to have been able to attend the Pinch of Yum Tasty Food Photography Workshop and have already seen a huge difference in my photos. It’s also fun (read: scary and horrifying) looking back at my old photos and seeing how far I have come.

If you are looking to improve your food photography, or simply want to learn about shooting in manual mode, I cannot recommend the PoY workshop enough!

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7 thoughts on “Recap: PoY Tasty Food Photography Workshop

  1. jess larson | plays well with butter

    GIRL i’m giddy for you just reading this. so thrilled you enjoyed your time at the workshop, & i’m so excited to see the beautiful photos to come for HBN. xo!!!

    Reply
  2. Lephan Tieu

    Ellie, These photos are so great! I can’t wait to see how you incorporate what you’ve learned to your photos! I also agree with you, re food styling, less is more.

    Reply
  3. Jenna | pinchofyum.com

    Ellie! These photos are amazing. It was so fun to have you at the workshop this summer! Thanks for the shout-out!

    Reply
    1. Ellie Post author

      Of course! And if you are in need of new testimonies for the course, feel free to use anything from this post! It was such an incredible experience 🙂 thank you!

      Reply
  4. Emily

    This sounds like a food blogger’s DREAM! Your photos are absolutely beautiful, and I love how you used the teaching that Lindsay gave you and came onto your blog and gave us a mini tutorial. I still am not good at using a manual mode on a camera, and I really want to practice soon.

    Reply
    1. Ellie Post author

      It was totally a dream! Thank you so so much Emily, that means the world to me. And manual mode is all about practice! I would start by setting your camera to manual and then change only one setting… take the same picture at ISO 100, 200, 400, etc. and see how it affects the image. Then do the same with shutter and aperture! That’s how I started practicing and it really helped me learn how each part affects the image. Let me know how it goes!!

      Reply

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