Half Moon Bay resident Alison Parks-Whitfield has focused in on the fine art of food photography.
Her new book "Food Styling and Photography for Dummies" points the lens toward the growing trend of images in cooking and dining found in so many places - on glossy magazine pages, in cookbooks, billboards and television, in social media, and now on color tablets and smart phones.
According to reports, the number of published cookbooks increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2009 and has continued to climb each year since then. Technorati reports that there are currently 33,000 food blogs and the number is growing every day.
Parks-Whitfield, who works as a technical writer at Google, first found a passion for photography while in college. She realized food photography was a strong interest while traveling around the world; instead of shooting notable landmarks and statues, Parks-Whitfield would photograph plates of local foods. Her particular specialty, she says, is in food and vineyard photography used for advertising and editorial usage.
In the Dummies book, she identifies many opportunities open to food photographers in the world of blogs, restaurants, food packaging, stock photography, and other areas.
She carefully explains the differences between photographing food and most other subjects, realizing food must look appetizing. According to her, a food photographer may be working with a perishable subject and, as a result, must be prepared to work quicky and effectively, shooting from many different vantage points, and constantly checking one’s work.
Parks-Whitfield goes on to describe the power of composition in food photography, along with ways to dress up food to look its very best and compose an appealing food image.
Readers will find some “inside” tips about food photography, including the use of fake foods, how to apply brown shoe polish on a roast chicken to enhance its appearance, and why it is best to use Elmer’s glue instead of real moo when depicting a glass of milk.
Parks-Whitfield concludes the book with advice on how to create and build a food photography business, including information on websites, blogs, stock agencies and advertising.
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