Foodtography 101

Published February 2018, Hour Detroit magazine and hourdetroit.com.

BY EMMA KLUG // PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROMA BAKERY

With some 80,000 Instagram followers, it’s safe to say Sarah Fennel knows a thing or two about photography. The 26-year-old Detroiter is both the recipe creator and photographer behind the tantalizing shots of sweet treats that make up her blog, Broma Bakery.

Now, she’s teaching others the secrets to her success. Her online and in-person food photography workshops cover the technical side of picture-taking plus tips on how to create a profitable business.

“As a food blogger, you really wear multiple hats,” Fennel says. “It’s not just developing a recipe and putting it on the Internet and being done.”

When she began working on Broma Bakery in 2010 (she went full-time in 2014), Fennel was a baked goods-loving student at the University of Michigan who was seeking a creative outlet. Fennel reached out to other bloggers for advice. Their support, along with her background in the restaurant industry, was crucial when starting out. “Much of this is paying it forward,” says Fennel. “So many people out there have so much raw talent. I just want to be able to put this information out there so that people can achieve things that they’re capable of.”

Visit bromabakery.com for more information.


Sarah’s Food Photography Tips

Editing & Equipment
Editing is half the appeal. You can take a really good photo, but if you can’t edit it, it’s going to feel dull. I would recommend using some sort of app. If you’re shooting on your iPhone, using an app like Snapseed or VSCO will help. I would preface all of this by saying you don’t need an expensive camera to take great photos.

Lighting
The most important thing you can do in food photography is put your subject close to a window or light source. I don’t own any lights. I shoot completely in natural light. would say try to shoot on cloud days — [they’re] the best days for light. Sunny days are too harsh.

Props
Marble, stone, or wood — a natural surface — is a great starting point. To balance that, you want to add texture [with] a linen cloth or [by] throwing a little sugar onto your surface. Remove unwanted props — salt shakers, paper napkins, or a cup. Making your space more minimal is better. Everything serves a purpose.

Angles & Composition
Stick to streamline angles – straight on, at a 45-degree angle, or from above. Those are the most pleasing. I suggest shooting in multiples. If you’re shooting soup, make sure you have at least two bowls. So much of food is about community, so when you can add multiples to a scene it enhances that.

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