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Find out how To batch Shoot Your Food Photography Like a Food Blogger
Now I’m expanding on one of the tips and tricks I’ve shared before: batch shooting your food photography.
My food photography style has evolved since I first started my blog at the start of 2016.
I’ve learned a lot about food photography and developed my own style. I favour light and airy photos with colourful pops of food over dark and moody or bright and perky styles.
What is batch shooting?
Batch shooting has really helped me to build a polished and cohesive style across my Instagram and other social feeds, and here on the blog.
Whether you’re shooting your food photography for a blog and ‘gram, or as a food business bootstrapping tasty shots of your products or menu, batching your food photography makes the whole process easier.
Task batching is a common productivity hack. Bloggers, ‘solopreneurs’ and other one-woman-bands use task batching to get things done more efficiently.
Without task batching, you might approach blogging by writing a single blog post. You’d then shoot the photos for that post, edit those photos, and write and schedule social media promotion for that blog post, before going back to square one to start writing a second blog post.
Batching lets you group similar tasks together, so you’re not task-switching. In this example, you’d plan out your next 4-6 blog posts, write a quick draft of each of them in one session, then plan and shoot photos for all of them in a single session, then edit all those photos in one session, etc.
Doing all your similar tasks together in one batch essentially makes you more productive. Read more about the psychology of task batching/task switching here.
Here’s the strategy I use to batch-shoot my food photography and shoot 2-4 weeks worth of food photos for my blog and social media in just a few hours:
How to batch shoot your food photography like a food blogger
1. Set aside a time to shoot
Set aside half a day to a full day to batch shoot your food photography. This should give you plenty of time to get all the shots you need (and then some) without panicking. Its best to pick a time during the day, so you can work in the natural light.
2. Decide what to shoot
Do a little research and plan exactly what you want to shoot in your batch shooting session. I usually aim for 4-5 dishes, plus a couple of extras (like groups of ingredients or setup shots).
3. Ensure you have everything you need
Make a list and gather together everything you’ll need for the shoot. This should include ingredients, props and backdrops, as well as ensuring you have fully charged camera batteries (oh, the pain of setting up an entire shoot only to realise you’re out of battery with no spares).
Decide what are the most urgent or important shots to capture, and get them done first. If you have a
5. Don’t try to do everything at
It’s easy to think ‘well, everything is essential’ and get started on #AllOfTheThings. You’ll probably end up outfacing yourself. Take it one at a time and stick to the plan (that’s not to say that you can’t start a dish, then shoot a different one, then come back and shoot the first,
6. Pre-cook, where you can
Things like baked goods can usually be made the day before shooting, so where you’ve got the opportunity to make your day easier, do it! Even simple prep like chopping veggies can be a lifesaver when you’re on a tight schedule.
7. Set up your first shoot
If it’s something that requires further prep or cooking, set the shoot up first and check your layout, lighting, etc. before you light the stove. At this stage, a few shots of the set-up or the key ingredients can be done quickly, and add a little interest to your social feeds.
8. Don’t mess with the images until the end of the day
Obviously take a look at them to make sure you’re generally happy, but then leave any editing until you’ve
9. Shoot in natural light where you
I know I bang on about this, but that’s because it’s important. Plan your batching session for a day, not an evening. I tend to schedule a batch shooting session into my calendar one Saturday each month or so.
10. Don’t just shoot the key dishes
11. Play with angles & combinations
My Food Photography Batch Shooting Setup
Here’s how I actually set up a physical batch shoot.
My setup generally goes something like this:
- Natural light (from the window)
- 5-in-1 reflector to diffuse shadows
- A low coffee table as a surface to shoot on. Low enough that I can easily get a full flat lay without doing any acrobatics, and takes up relatively little space when not in use.
- I use a few different backgrounds in each shoot, to keep things interesting. I use a few foam boards covered with sticky vinyl marble or wood effect contact paper, as well as scarves and fabric that double as backdrops and props.
- Keep other props handy – bowls and plates, pretty utensils, and key ingredients or garnishes always work well in food shots.
- I tend to set up using a prop in place of the actual dish, to get a good idea of how the shoot will look before I set the food out.
- I use a compact 3-way tripod with an overhead arm to shoot flat lays, and a combination of handheld
shootingand a flexible minipod to shoot from other angles
This post has shown you how to batch shoot your food photography.
Batch shooting your food photography is a great way to shoot a cohesive set of styled images for your food blog, website and social feeds.