Food Photography – I’ll never be skinny

It’s true.  I’ll never be skinny.  And I’m OK with that.  Hi my name is Nikki and I’m a die hard foodie.  There is a high likelihood that at some point in my old age I will bribe a healthcare worker to smuggle prosciutto and triple creme into my hospital room.


I’ve never been easily star struck.  I have a very interesting life and have found myself in the same room with all sorts of professional athletes, Hollywood actors, Broadway performers and important politicians.  I’m rarely impressed by any of them.  But the day I met Wolfgang Puck and the day I sat at a table just feet from Anthony Bourdain were serious highlights in my life!


Contrary to popular belief, the life of the professional photographer is rarely glamorous.  I normally return from a day of shooting tired, sore and often dirty.  Then the real work begins.  The hours of tedious culling and editing late into the night.  But there is one part of my job that totally curls my toes.  I am thrilled every time I get to shoot food.  The food shoot is always the highlight of the week.  Allow me to describe…


I enter the restaurant and am greeted by the manager.  This is always someone I’ve spent real time on the phone with coordinating the day.  So the job always starts with a happy greeting and normally a hug.  Off to a great start!  I’ll then do a walk through of the space, choosing the perfect spots to stage the plates.  We may set up lights or reflectors or we may get as simple as a white plate to bounce a little light into a shadow.  While I’m doing that, a cup of good coffee normally magically appears next to me.  There is almost always great coffee on food shoots.  And then it happens.  The chef (gasp!) walks out with some of the most gorgeous, yummy delishousness.  And I get to spend the next hour staring at it, and photographing it at all different angles.  I don’t have to be embarrassed about obsessing over food.  I am encouraged to obsess over the food!


But wait!  There’s more!  I shoot real food.  I’ve never shot in a studio with white glue for milk or stringy cheese.  I don’t use any of those tricks (which I totally respect by the way, I just don’t do it).  The food I shoot is what comes out of a restaurant’s kitchen.  So what happens when we’re done shooting it?  Oh you bet!  It’s snack time!  No, we don’t sit down and eat a ten course meal.  But there are bites.  Oh yes.  There are bites.  During these bites, I’m normally planning the perfect meal I will eat when I drag my husband back to that restaurant later in the week.  And there it is.  Another great meal in the future.


So as you can see.  I’ll never be skinny.  But I will never regret it either!

About the Author:
Photography by Nikki Cole is a full service corporate and commercial photography studio. We provide professional head shots and portraiture in studio or on location, architecture and product imaging as well as special event coverage.


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