Last year at Photoshop World 2011 in Vegas I met an amazing photographer, Nicole Young.  She and I talked briefly about her book, new at the time, Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots.  Ironically the following night I won a raffle for the book we discussed.  Nicole signed the copy for me with a smile and told me to enjoy it.

For the longest time I couldn’t open it.  This wasn’t because I didn’t want to read it, but every time I sat down to read it I got hungry.  I was recently contacted by a local cafe, Suzie’s Cafe, to shoot their entire menu.  While I do have some experience shooting cupcakes for my wife’s blog, Sticky Marshmallows, I figured now would be a better time than ever to brush up on my Food photography!

Nicole’s photos in this book are incredible and really get the stomach growling.  I was thoroughly impressed by her descriptive delivery of not only food photography but photography in general.  The first few chapters give anyone who may or may not have experience with the basics of digital photography a very descriptive crash course.  Nicole seamlessly weaves f/Stops, shutter speeds, ISO’s and White Balance into food photography from cover to cover.

I was especially impressed by the organization, workflow, and diagrams in Nicole’s publication.  Nicole starts with the basics of photography, then takes you into the tips and tricks of setting up a scene for food photography.  Following the tips are some great ideas for props and then the workflow.  I found Nicole’s lighting setup diagrams incredibly helpful.  Her ability to describe the photo shoot is uncanny and can have you snapping amazing food photos in no time.  Nicole also offers up her workflow in Photoshop which I found just as helpful as the diagrams.

The Bottom Line:

Nicole saved me when I was in a pinch!  If you are into food, photography, or the combination of both, you cannot go wrong with this masterfully crafted publication.  It is very rare that I read something and just click with it, however, Nicole’s delivery of food photography is impeccable.  Check out Food Photography, you will not be disappointed.  My only regret is not reading it sooner.  Thank you Nicole, I read your book and now my food photos rock!

Some examples of my photo shoot after reading Food Photography:

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.
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