There are so many things in life to photograph and so many ways to do it that sometimes I feel a little bit lost at how to set up shots. Will the mood of the image be bright and airy or dark and moody? Will I use just natural light or need some flash? What lens to use? What should the composition entail? The possibilities can go on and on.
The other part of photography is the styling of the item to be photographed. Here is a little secret about me, a stylist I am not. However I have learned the right props along with proper set up make all the difference in a photograph. This being said I am always looking for props that are inexpensive whether I am aware of it or not.
When shooting for myself I also like to photograph things that have been a part of my life in some way (I’m a little vain like that 🙂 ). Last week I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Angela . Our time spent together usually involves something photographic whether we set up a photo shoot, talk about possible future shoots or go to photo meetings/seminars. While at her house a bowl of locally grown gala apples caught my eye. These were normal sized apples and by that I mean they were not the large ones we are used to seeing in the grocery store. She told me I could take a few since she had a large bowl full of them. The rest of the visit also included a trip to Costco that caused me to buy some prosciutto, because I love it and it was such a good deal. That last bit of info will make sense later.
Fast forward a couple of days and I start setting up to shoot just the apples and try to decide how to do this (reference questions in first paragraph). Lately I have been shooting the bright airy stuff but Angela had shown me some images from a photographer that were reminiscent of old still life oil paintings, in other words moody. So I decide to go for that look. My effort to photograph just the apples was not inspiring me so I think to myself that I could put them on something plate-like (using an actual plate was apparently not working for me that day) . Enter the Nutkin phase of my life. (Nutkin is a baby squirrel I had found and rescued in August). His presence in my home had brought tree bark onto my shelves that I had foraged for him during a walk. Enter tree bark as plate. Next I remember I have some funky silverware by Gourmet Settings that I had bought from Marshalls for a steal that was just so unique I had to get it and not use it personally (this was part of my absent-minded prop shopping). Finally I Google recipes for apples and prosciutto. There wasn’t much but what I did find gave me the idea to add basil to the mix. So a trip to the store and a walk got me some basil and some flowers growing along the road to use as yet another possible prop. As a side note, while at the store I thought I would take some inspiration from Gourmet magazine and looked through their Quick Kitchen issue and found this recipe . Initially I thought these were apples because I had not read the title and thought myself quite uncreative. But thankfully these were peaches and the setup was nothing like what I was planning.
So with props in hand and rainy day to waste I came up with the following images. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did shooting and then eating them (oh yes, I ate each one!). The salty, sweet and spice were a divine trifecta. Ooh I almost forgot to pass on the secret to stop the browning of the apple slices. There are various ways but for this recipe I opted to soak the apples in lightly salted water so it would blend in with the saltiness of the prosciutto.