I was stalking some of the food blog community sites and a discussion came up about watermarking photos. I don’t usually mark mine, but I have found so many photos of mine used without my permission or even attribution, that I decided that I would add a small watermark to them so hopefully somebody viewing them would know where they came from. So, after spending a good deal of time thinking about it and trying out different things, I came up with the above.
And the second choice, which was actually the first one I made:
I can’t decide which one I like best. The top one isn’t quite as colorful, but the second one makes him look like a hungry lumberjack. I’ll probably stick with the first one for a while.
Attention Food Photogs: You may want to stop reading here, unless you would just like a good laugh.
I know most photogs have photos that they look at and say, “What was I thinking?” Then, we quickly mark them with an X and delete them. I say, “Why do that when you can make a blog post out of them?” My photog friends would probably answer, “Because those photos are bad and people will have nightmares over them.” I laugh in the face of nightmares and boldly display some of my worst outtakes from the last several months.
Now this first entry was one of those things that I did not think about until I got it on my computer. It looks like I posed a headless chicken in a fairly provocative manner and then she peed. Most embarrassing photo I have taken in a very long time.
The next photo is one of those that looked better in my head than it did in actuality. I was photographing a martini that Yes!Chef! made for me when I noticed Obie’s reflection in the bottom of the glass. So, I took the shot. I think it would have been better left in my head.
Obie was not pleased.
For my next embarrassing moment in food photography we have a great dish that Yes!Chef! made. He made a lovely pork loin roast on the barbie and added a great strawberry sauce to go on top. It was really quite tasty. However, my props just ruined the whole dish.
I inherited a whole collection of great salt and pepper shakers from my grandmother and I’ve been trying to incorporate them into my food shots. However, Ma and Pa S&P here look more like they belong in a Halloween shot than this barbecue food photo. I think they could probably scare small children.
And here’s another photo using a cute S&P shaker pair, but the whole picture just doesn’t make any sense.
Nothing works in this shot. The colors, the linen, the adorable kissing S&P shakers and, the food. What was I thinking?
Even Yes!Chef! doesn’t understand where that picture was coming from. It wasn’t even his food.
Sometimes it’s not about the styling…it’s about the food. And even when the food tastes really good, it just doesn’t come across well in a photo. Here’s a prime example:
This does not in any way look appetizing, although it was quite good. I roasted some tomatoes and some artichoke hearts. drizzled some balsamic over the tomatoes and then I melted some Mozzarella cheese on top of the tomatoes. Not even little sprigs of basil will help this one. And the fork looks like it belongs to a giant. Scale, scale, scale!
And then there is this:
My youngest son asked me to make him a pizookie. I had never heard of it before, but he had tried one in a restaurant and really liked it. So, I looked up the recipe and made it for him. I wanted this to look like I cooked it in this little ceramic pan (which I hadn’t), put some lovely ice cream on the top, which began to melt because of the hot cookie (it wasn’t hot when I took this photo.) And then I wanted it to look like someone had taken a bite out of it because they couldn’t wait for it to be served. Instead, it looks like a hot mess with crumbs flung everywhere and a messy spoon in front and in back. And, it doesn’t come close to looking like I cooked the cookie in the pan. Besides, the point of a pizookie is that it is a cookie that is cooked in a small pizza pan.
What was I thinking?
The artichokes in the above photo do not in any way look natural or pleasingly arranged. If only there was a little sauce under them, they would look like synchronized swimmers. Plus, the plate is ugly, dirty and chipped. If it’s any consolation, I told Yes!Chef! they tasted good.
And finally, a photo I took while I was actually watching a live streaming food photo workshop from Creative Live.
Sigh. Alas, another failure. The curly-cue onion and the out of focus bread are game-enders. I felt like I was being inspired as I was watching the workshop…but I think now it might have been gas. (Although the food photography workshop was very, very good. I probably should watch it again.)
And there you have it: Food photography gone bad.
However, I’m an optimist by nature, so I prefer to think of these photos as deconstructed food photos.