Divide and conquer: how to have a low stress food shoot

There’s a LOT going on when you’re shooting for your food blog. And there’s a tiny window to get it all done. So here’s one technique to take that pressure off and give you a low stress food shoot.

Divide and conquer.

Yes, that battle strategy is just perfect for your next stress-free food shoot.

Plan your low stress food shoot or recipe shoot with these simple instructions.

Imagine (or remember) your last food shoot. You had already been cooking or prepping food, probably an unfamiliar recipe or one you’d created. It most likely had a ‘best before’ window before it melted, wilted or simply looked tired. And you were hungry and wanted the shoot done so you could eat. Ditto your family or friends. Yes, hangry is real.

That’s a lot of pressure on top of all the things you need to do to take beautiful food photos. So let’s list all the tasks involved in a food shoot:

– Choosing/creating your recipe
– Finding styling inspiration (e.g. Google images, Instagram)
– Planning your props and plating
– Choosing where to shoot
– Buying/finding ingredients
– Getting your props ready (plates and glasses shiny, napkins ironed, background set)
– Deciding the angles of photos you need for Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, your blog post and possibly sponsors
– Modifying the light for your shoot (e.g. bouncing it with reflectors or white boards, diffusing it with muslin/fabric or soft boxes, blocking it with black boards)
– Building your set-up, arranging your props
– Prepping your camera: making sure you have space on your memory card, battery charged and your lenses are clean and nearby
– Cooking your recipe
– Plating your food and prepping your garnishes/styling fresh items
– The shoot itself

Plan your low stress food shoot by dividing your tasks before and during your shoot. Your list may look a little different to this with more or fewer steps, but the chances are this is pretty close. Feel free to pat yourself on the back for having done all of these things in past shoots.

Have you noticed that EVERYTHING except the final three can be done beforehand? There is no need for it to happen at once, especially when the pressure is on.

You could even set up your props and backgrounds weeks ahead so that they look the way you want before finalising your recipes or blog posts and take test shots.

If you’re finding your food or recipe shoots a lot of pressure, try separating out the planning, styling and lighting from your actual shoot. Even if it is done moments before you step into the kitchen to cook your recipe, at least you are only concentrating on a few things at once. If you try this out, do let me know how this works for you.

If you want more help with your food photography, you can get the Food Photography Quick-start Templates to help you with that. The templates contain three templates for taking food photos including styling, lighting set-up and camera settings. 

Plan your low stress food shoot by dividing your tasks before and during your shoot.

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